Finally, something to rouse GrowthPlates from the slumberous dregs of this fey and fore-doomed season.
The slow and winding Seppeku of Doug Collins’ will they? won’t they? dance with Sixers management is mercifully brought to an end by Basketball’s biggest scoop journalist and loyal kaishakunin, Adrian Wojnarowski.
Woj reports that Collins will resign at season’s end, freeing management from the awkward and delicate decision-making that would have surrounded the popular and cantankerous coach; and bringing some clarity to the murky power struggles within the front office…
Truth is that we have no clue what the hell is going on with Sixers management, as a despotic commitment to secrecy and the fact the Sixers have only 14 fans to report back to has resulted in little meaningful reconnaissance.
Either the new owners are A) rational actors who’ve had some bad luck… or… they are B) complete baffoons.
Scenario A: Totally Reasonable
Impressed by last year’s exciting run and int he absence of a General Manager they commit the venial sin of giving Collins too much say on personnel which resulted in a basket of low cost mistakes.
They drafted exclusively for trade-bait (Harkless, Moultrie), swung for the fences… and whiffed badly on Andrew Bynum.
They fought off Doug’s desire for a mid-season trade for Josh Smith, plan to take Bynum on fishing trip, Fredo style, and are hitting the reset button.
Doug’s a good coach, but is too old and too impatient to go backwards…
c’est la vie…
Scenario B: Completely Clueless
They really liked Kwame Brown, Nick Young, and Arnett Moultrie,
They are hoping to re-signing Bynum, or some other other 2nd tier free agent (Millsap, Jefferson, Smith) and trying to regain playoff-fringe form.
They still think Evan Turner is any good at basketball
Doug left of his own free will, or they lay a chunk of this season’s failures at his feet… new coach, same game plan…
The lost decade continues…
And I don’t think there is much middle ground, I suspect we’ll no the answers before the commencement of next season.
But back to Collins…
He is a great and flawed basketball coach, and in the aggregate he was in the vicinity of Good to Very Good. He doesn’t run much of an offense, but is an excellent defensive coach. Which, contrary to popular opinion, is kind of important to winning basketball games. His teams gave effort, even when it would have been more expedient not to.
The result is his teams frequently look like shit, but win more games than the talent would indicate.
Player development is one of the areas where I think I Doug got a bad wrap. As for as his Sixers tenure was concerned, anybody who was any good, and the least bit coach-able, did well under Collins.
The young players who were any good ( basically Jrue and Thad) turned into valuable pieces, and figured out there roles despite tricky, tween-er, skill sets.
Veterans like Elton Brand, Lou Williams and Andre Igoudala all showed dramatic improvement in their games (though GM Collins shipped all three out of town… another conversation…)
The players who didn’t get any better were largely un-coachable (Turner, Speights, Nick Young, Lavoy Allen)
or just weren’t any damn good (Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown)
If he was willing ,with a strong front office and a plan, he could have been the coach to lead a young team. But the scenario remains a distant hypothetical. And as he departs these shores he (and his stormy but somehow perfect relationship with Andre Igoudala) will represent the noble failure of post Iverson Sixers.
The best moments of some bad years. A glimpse of basketball salvation, deferred…