After starting out the season on fire as a potential four seed in the playoffs, the Sixers lost their momentum just as fast as they got—barely holding onto the eight seed and trying to fight their way back up. Many fans can point fingers at all areas, but it's safe to conclude that head coach Doug Collins just needs to take a step back.
Despite recovering the team from an Eddie Jordan depression, Collins may have gone a little over the line this year. Now, I'm not saying I dislike Collins, in fact, I don't think anyone does. It's just that maybe he's over-coached just a bit.
It was brought out by Kate Fagan, former Sixers beat writer, stating that Collins may have just intervened too much. She summarizes the issue with Collins perfectly: "... we also knew that he had (sometimes as early as the second season) a history of over-coaching... his players tend to become frustrated and tune him out. The Sixers have been struggling with this for at least a month, if not longer."
This explains why the Sixers have been out of sync during the final stretch of the season.
Collins has been inconsistent with enforcing on the small things, and Fagan points out that it's the reason for the interactions during games and also for players "tuning him out."
Although a coach who enforced the fundamentals and sparked a motor was needed to turn the team around, perhaps it isn't the same philosophy that should still be implemented. These players are maturing and he needs to loosen up a bit.
In addition to this, Collins needs to stop experimenting with the lineup. This team has been together for over a year now and there are seven games left in the regular season. Now is not the time to make last-minute changes to a lineup.
For starters, he needs to play Evan Turner more. Now, apparently Collins wanted the starting lineup to be the players that work best together, which is fine. However, 26 minutes per game isn't the investment the Sixers made in a No. 2 overall pick. At least it shouldn't be.
A lot of people are quick to attack the lack of talent on the team as the reason for a slump, however, other aspects need to be looked at as well.
In short, Collins just needs to slow down and and be a little less hard on the players as a whole. Is it important to enforce things to younger players? Yes, but there's a fine line between enforcing something and then taking it to the next level.
It appears Collins just may have crossed the line and gone a little too far.