• August 17, 2022

76ers’ Doug Collins Had A “Coach Of The Year” Season

Of course the Sixers are in the off season, having fallen 4-1 to the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. This relatively young team has learned some tough lessons that will benefit from them later in their careers.

The one constant that rookie Evan Turner and second year point guard Jrue Holiday have had is the tutelege of first-year head coach Doug Collins. I’ll be the first to say that I wasn’t on board with the hiring of Collins largely because of his time away from the coaching scene, it’s one thing to be an in-game analyst and another to coach these players. Collins ability to teach the finer points of the game to his younger players has been invaluable. Holiday, Turner, Jodie Meeks and Thaddeus Young are getting lessons on the fly from someone that has been in their position before and knows how to get through it.

From a strategic standpoint – Collins best decision was to allow Lou Williams to play the role of a scorer. From the time Williams was drafted everyone from Larry Brown to Eddie Jordan has tried to make Lou a point guard, Lou has proven that when turned loose he can be one of the game’s most effective reserves. Same can be said for Thaddeus Young who was placed in and out of the starting lineup for most of his time in the league. Collins came in, gave Thad a role, and he has played it to the max. Young is the Sixers do-everything reserve as he brings energy from both ends of the floor.

When it comes to floor leadership, Collins has entrusted the younger players to Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand. When the game is on the line, Collins has insisted the ball be in the hands of Iguodala. I can’t say that I agree with this and I feel that this has cost the Sixers at least three games that I can count this season. When it comes to Iggy, I feel that Collins is going out of his way to coddle him. And if you have to coddle a player making $85 million something’s wrong with that picture.

Elton Brand has endeared himself to Collins through playing selflessly and leading by example. Playing on a broken hand for the past month Brand has brought a genuine work ethic to a young Sixer team in need of lockerroom leaders. Brand was a perfect fit for the job. Not a rah-rah guy and not to much in-your-face either, pretty much the type of person that when he speaks – people listen.

The odds on favorite for NBA Coach of the Year may be Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau, whose Bulls won 62 games. Not denying that fact but he walked into a situation with a team that was well on it’s way to being a top 4 team in the Easten Conference. If I had to give it to someone other than Collins, it would be Portland’s Nate McMillian. After losing Greg Oden for the season and Brandon Roy for a lengthy stretch the Blazers were able to go 8-4 in February and 10-6 in March to get back into the playoff chase. They were able to finish sixth in the Western Conference.

Call me biased, but looking at where the Sixers were last season – Collins managed to win 14 more games with essentially the same roster.He got the most out of Evan Turner, who played below expectations and helped develop and find key roles for players like Meeks, Williams and Young. I think Collins deserves major consideration for NBA Coach of the Year.

Ron Glover

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5 Comments

  • Coach Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies should win Coach of the Year
    plays in a tougher Conference and beat the San Antonio Spurs in the 1st Round of the Playoffs who has this years best overall record in th NBA..
    It shouldn;t even be close and probably leaves Collins a 2nd or 3rd Place
    the Bulls Coak and Oklahoma Coaches will also get some votes..

  • Paulman I wrote and submitted this after the regular season ended. But I agree that Hollins probably will win it. Imagine if that team goes to the Finals?

  • Collins did a unbelievable job for us this year, I applaud him. He made this city believe again and most important the entire team… spencer hawes played motivated ball tho he has many deficencies, but I like to look at where a player came from and what they are now… came from the sac kings with no hope to a energizing player coach that motivates you to give maximum effort and to be great every day…

    If the 6ers would have won the series against the heat then collins would have had a strong chance of winning coach of the yr

    I picked thunder vs heat in finals but memphis is playing great ball, look out for them… and they match up well against the lakers and so do the thunder so either way you look at it the lakers have a tough road back to the finals

  • No doubt Doug Collins did a great job this year and to be honest, did anyone really expect any less of him. He’s a great student,teacher of the game and a great communicator to players and will defintely get some Votes.. Now lets see what GM/Collins do this Off-season to take it to the next Step.. I really believer COllins didn’y leave his nice cushy TV position to Coach in Philly to be an averagfe team.. He wants a legitiamte shot at the NBA Championship and if they can add 2-3 players and get rid of Iggy, they could have a shot by 2012-2013 Season

  • Love almost everything Collins did this year. He should be considered seriously for coach of the year. The only negative this year was his insistence on trying to make Iguodala the man by putting the ball in his hands at the end of games. If Collins can overcome this error in judgement, he will be on his way to winning more games.

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