The Philadelphia 76ers were 3-13 at one point and signs were leading to yet another horrific season.
However, they made a huge rebound and finished the first half of the season by shocking just about every NBA fan out there with a 27-29 record.
The Sixers' current record resides at 34-33, as they have finally pulled it all together this season. They are making a possible run at the No. 5 seed and looking toward a positive playoff outlook (currently, they have the No. 7 seed and are trailing the Knicks by one game).
But this major turnaround this season is all because of head coach Doug Collins. His big focus on defense has brought great success to the team this year.
One major thing that Collins has done here, which for some reason no other recent Sixers coach could figure out (I'm talking to you, Eddie Jordan!)—assign each player a specific role.
Now the players aren't running around like chickens without their heads, but instead, they each have their own job.
Just take a look at Jodie Meeks, for example. He has developed a pedigree as a three-point threat and has a ton of potential to flourish in Collins' system.
Meeks' job is literally to sit on the three-point line and drain threes and he has done a great job of it. Not only has he played well, but simultaneously, he is spreading out the opposing defense.
What grade would you give Doug Collins?
Defenders need to watch out for Meeks along the perimeter, which expands the defense up to the three-point line because they don't want Meeks taking an uncontested shot. This has made Meeks 10 times more effective than last season.
Collins also helped Elton Brand rejuvenate himself into the player that he is right now and has helped Jrue Holiday improve on being a better point guard.
Another thing Collins has been known for this season is not starting the best five players every night. This has clearly proved it works a lot.
With this, any player on any given night can go all out and lead us to victory, whether it's Meeks, Thaddeus Young, Lou Williams or Andre Iguodala. Someone is leading the way, just not the same one every time.
Collins is the true blue collar guy that the Sixers needed to bring to turn this team around. The front office made its best move (yes, they can come through sometimes) ever since they drafted Allen Iverson.
He has done a tremendous job in developing the young players, making the team versatile and turning them into contenders.
No other coach could have made a bigger turnaround than Collins.
When he came here, he was working from scratch and somehow, someway, he turned it around into a playoff-caliber team and team who is ready to contend for years to come.