NOT WITHOUT BLAME

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
06/08/12 9:21 am EST

Much of the Sixers success this season should be attributed to Coach Collins.  He is directly responsible for the team unity and mental toughness that the squad displayed throughout much of the regular season and post season.  Collins guided a team with extremely low preseason expectations to within a game of the Eastern Conference Finals; a place the Sixers haven’t even sniffed since the 2001 season. 

This feat is especially impressive considering the team’s collective age, playoff experience, and lack of a true superstar and / or scorer, a usual prerequisite to playoff success.  However with that being said, after seeing flashes of the team’s potential throughout the playoffs, one can’t help but wonder if Coach Collins could have done more with his team. 

While NOT having a true shooter / scorer hurt the team throughout the season and was a big factor in their eventual playoff downfall (We have chronicled this here at Philadunkia extensively.), as the team struggled through one poor shooting performance after another, Collins’ coaching may have had an impact on their exit as well. 

 

It is no secret that this Sixers squad performs best when on the move.   They were not one of the League’s better half court teams for several reasons, including the lack of a true post threat or dominant perimeter scorer.  Thus their success stemmed from the defensive end and their ability to run the basketball.  Knowing this, one would think Coach Collins would encourage the team to break at any given opportunity.  However he all too often relied upon a slow-tempo, perimeter oriented half-court style, that didn’t play to the Sixers’ strengths, and put them at a strong disadvantage against teams with more talented post and perimeter players.  Very often this style resulted in missed jump shots and poor possessions.  In short while the Sixers defensive strategy was sound (Thank you Michael curry.), the offense was too conservative, especially at times in the playoffs and Collins should have done a better job been opening it up. 

Collins stubbornness with roster decisions played a role in some of the issues that plagued the Sixers this season as well.  He stuck with underperforming Jodie Meeks for entirely too long, all the way into the playoffs, damaging Evan Turner’s development along the way.  Aside from a brief stint during the regular season, it took Collins a game into the Chicago series to finally commit to the obviously superior Turner as a starter.  It was frustrating to watch Turner’s minutes fluctuate throughout the season, especially considering those minutes could have been dedicated to his development and were instead given to a one-dimensional streaky shooter who is a borderline NBA player and is not tied to the future of the franchise.  Who knows, if Turner had been given consistent tick (read: starter’s minutes) throughout the season he might have gained confidence in his skills or added some elements to his game which in turn could have served as a catalyst to help the Sixers past the Celtics.  The mishandling of the Meeks-Turner situation by Collins was just one example of his poor roster management this season.  Similar situations occurred with Lavoy and “Big Nik” and the inconsistencies in their playing time throughout the season.  Also there is that issue where the Sixers traded for Sam Young and then did not play him at all.

Lastly, as the team’s de facto GM, Collins also had a let this team down in 2012-13.  The Sixers have had a glaring need for a shooter-scorer for two seasons now.  Collins and Rod Thorn failed to address that issue during the lockout shortened off-season last year.  Then at the 2012 trade deadline, they again were unable to get a trade done to improve the team in this area.  It was clear that the team needed a shorter-scorer as well as a post presence on both ends of the floor, and had an abundance of guards.  One would think that maybe a deal could have been made at this season’s deadline to address at least one of these warts.

This season will be considered an overwhelming success for both Collins and the Sixers, and the coach is well deserving of the credit he is receiving.  But, it would have been unfair to turn a blind eye to some of the mistakes Collins made this year.  It would have been interesting to see how well the team would have done had Doug been able to adapt or make a move or change his ways in the areas mentioned above.  Who knows, maybe they Sixers would be headed to Miami for Game 7 right now.   


 
 
 

7 Responses to “NOT WITHOUT BLAME”

  1. Steve
    8. June 2012 at 12:21

    Chris Paul, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Steve Nash, James Harden, Kyrie Irving. Those players along with Jodie Meeks, make up the list of 23 players with a TS% of 55+ and played over 24 minutes a game.

    Jodie Meeks is the 3rd most underrated player on the Sixers behind Iggy and Lou Williams.

    82games.com and Basketball Reference both in a very simple manner show that Jodie Meeks > Evan Turner.

    Evan Turner is good at 2 things. Passing the basketball and getting defensive rebounds. Turner was the 4th best passer on the sixers behind Lou, Iggy and Holiday, which dilutes the value of being a capable passer. Defensive Rebound are a nearly useless stat. In the playoffs 86% of Evan Turners defensive rebounds were completely uncontested. He doesn’t get offensive rebounds which is the true value of a players rebounding ability.

    The rebounding thing was said by Haralabos Voulgaris, a world class NBA gambler. Google Him.

    Meeks produces more Win Shares and destroys ET in +/-.

    In the Boston series, ET, shot 33% and had more Turnovers than Assists.

    In regards to a Scorer. Lou Williams created his own shot (USG), passed the ball (AST%), scored (TS%), got to the rack (35th in FTA per game, all 34 guys ahead of him all played more minutes) and didn’t turn the ball over (TO%) in a way never done before in the History of the NBA.

    Evan Turner would be in the D-League if he wasn’t the 2nd overall pick in the draft. He produced .001 Win Shares per 48 minutes in the playoffs while player 36 minutes a night.

    He was historically awful in the playoffs.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=totals&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=Y&year_min=&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=0&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&qual=&c1stat=ws_per_48&c1comp=lt&c1val=.005&c2stat=mp_per_g&c2comp=gt&c2val=24&c3stat=mp&c3comp=gt&c3val=300&c4stat=gs&c4comp=gt&c4val=10&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=ws

    Ramon Sessions played his minutes against Russell Westbrook, Ty Lawson and Andre Miller

    Joe Johnson played against Lebron and Wade.

    ET played against Kyle Korver, Rip Hamilton, Ronnie Brewer, Ray Allen and Avery Bradley.

    Doug Collins is a good couch because everyone says “Doug Collins is a good coach” That doesn’t make it true. No team in the NBA took more mid-range jumpers than the 76ers. The mid-range jumper is the least efficient shot in the NBA.

    Here is proof:

    http://courtvisionanalytics.com/the-worst-shot-in-the-nba/

    http://courtvisionanalytics.com/the-shooting-terrain-of-the-nba-mapping-field-goal-percentage/

    http://courtvisionanalytics.com/midrange-shooting-the-land-of-brotherly-love/

    Here is a DOUG COLLINS quote “We don’t feel like contested two-point field goals will beat you. At the end of the day, you’ll get beat in the paint, you’ll get beat with fast breaks and you’ll get beat behind the three-point line, but we just don’t feel like teams are going to beat you making contested two-point shots.”

  2. ken
    8. June 2012 at 16:42

    how can you say that jodie is better than turner? anybody can find a useless stat that can make a player look good but the fact is that jodie is a d-league player he isnt good at defense and doesnt knock down open 3 pointers when thats his job. as far as turner all you do is rip on him but everybody will agree that dc has severely slowed turners progress by constantly changing the way he wants turner to play every game not to mention we didnt have any practice time this year to work on gameplay, hopefully this offseason dc will give turner one role to play so he can work on it in the offseason and be nasty next year jsut wait and see. and lastly again just throwin out useless stats about lou but they dont show how he shoots below 40% which is unacceptable for an nba player especially if they shoot the ball 13-16 times a game which severely hinders a teams offense

  3. Salis
    8. June 2012 at 18:20

    So I hope steve your not saying jodie meeks is good…He can defend dribble rebound nothing he stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. matt.G
    8. June 2012 at 18:38

    Wow Steve good stuff Lol but we still don’t need jodie.

  5. rebcalale
    9. June 2012 at 13:00

    The original post and reply demonstrate exactly why the Sixers are not a very good team (in spite of post season illusion of success). They are bad because they had terrible guard play and that is not limited just to Meeks. The response makes an excellent point that Meeks was better than advertised but isn’t that because the Sixers needed a shooter in the worse way. Even one as bad as Meeks helped because shooting was such a big weakness. So lets blame Collins for being stuck with playing Meeks or ET and as the original post stats, not playing to the Sixer’s strength.

    However what is being overlooked is the poor play of Jrue. Collins was stuck trying to play at a high level with no leader. Most of the year Jrue was a poor excuse for a PG. Occasionally Igoudala and ET tried to assume the role but ET was raw and Igoudala, well, he is what he is.

    Jrue never was able to play well with ET and for that matter anyone else. Sure he made the super athletic play now and again but he simply has no Basketball IQ to speak of. Typically he was out of position (offensively and defensively) and has no idea of how to lead a team. So even when ET was getting burn it wasn’t great because playing with Jrue wasn’t exactly what you call ideal.

    Sure moving Igoudala will help but if this team is going to move forward they have to start by getting rid of Jrue and letting ET run the team.

  6. Steve
    9. June 2012 at 23:04

    To his credit, Jrue did step his game up in the playoffs. His trade value is pretty good. Yes, Jodie Meeks is more valuable than Evan Turner. Here is something the casual fan doesn’t understand. Iggy is not overpaid. He is correctly compensated. This year Iggy-$6125 Carmelo-$9871 Pierce-$7389 Granger-$5827 Rudy Gay-$6206, what does that mean? That is what each player was paid on a per minute basis (this was there full 2012 salary, not adjusted for 66games divided by minutes played). Furthermore, if you go back since Iggy signed his deal, the numbers are roughly: Iggy-$4500, Carmelo-$6500, Pierce-$6200.

  7. Hank
    12. June 2012 at 13:19

    Steve – Agree with many of your points. Ken, these stats are not useless. They are the stats that actually matter and show how useful players are. You can use points per fga to solidify these, with Williams (1.22) and Meeks (1.19) putting up significantly more efficient scoring than Turner (1.03).

    In addition, while Turner’s assist rate is high, his turnover rate is also the highest on the team among players who saw significant burn.

    While Turner had a very tough year, he presents a problem in that we have three players that can play the 2, none of which are without major holes in their game. Turner’s issues are well documented, but both Meeks and Lou are fairly bad defenders, with Lou lacking the size/length to really get the job done on most 2 guards (one of the reasons he still hasn’t been given starter’s minutes by Collins) and Meeks being too slow laterally.

    I think that Turner’s ceiling (he showed some serious promise in various stretches this postseason, despite his terrible overall numbers) will keep his trade value relatively high. In my opinion, we should put together a package involving our pick and Turner to move up some spots in the draft and snag Terrence Ross. He’s a sniper, and is a fairly strong defender. He played in a weak conference, but it seems that his workouts have been positive against the other members of the draft class. Then we can resign Lou, and keep him in his sixth man role that is perfect for him, and use either Ross or Meeks as the starter, depending on how much work Ross needs to get ready for the league.

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