Call it escape from Cleveland.
After taking care of the Cavaliers, 97-87, for their second straight victory on Friday night, the Sixers had a bit of a delay in getting out of town.
“The plane broke,” center Spencer Hawes explained.
Trouble with the Sixers’ chartered plane kept them in Cleveland for three extra hours. With the second half of a back-to-back scheduled against Charlotte on Saturday night, the Sixers didn’t get home to Philadelphia until approximately 2 a.m. Who knows how long it took some of the guys to get to sleep.
Head coach Doug Collins was blamed for the delayed flight. The reason?
Duke was playing Michigan State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament on Friday night where Collins’ son, Chris, is winding down his career as an assistant for coach Mike Krzyzewski. The elder Collins said he hopes to be in Indianapolis in time to see the regional final game against Louisville on Sunday.
When the season ends, Chris Collins will move on to become the head coach for Northwestern University, not far from where he grew up in Northbrook, Ill.
Still, would Collins monkey wrench a plane in order to watch Duke play?
“The guys are all over me because they thought I sabotaged the plane so I could stay back and watch the Duke game. So I’m going to have to do my best Knute Rockne tonight to get the guys ready to play,” Collins said before the game against Charlotte.
“I didn’t have anything to do with it, but the concern was, they were on the bus and I wasn’t. It just seemed too convenient and I had nothing to do with it. I came clean.”
Who knows if Collins’ explanation would hold up in court or even in front of Judge Judy -- or another one of those courtroom television shows that Collins loves to watch during the afternoons.
Lavoy finding his motor?
It’s been an up-and-down season for Lavoy Allen to say the least. Though he began the season as a starter, the undersized center from Temple and Pennsbury High has been relegated to bench duty for a majority of the season.
In the best illustration of his season, Allen scored 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting in a win in Sacramento on March 24 only to follow it up with a 3-for-14 shooting performance the next night in Utah.
However, Collins has been pleased with the effort Allen has put onto the floor over the past few games. Not normally known for his “motor,” Allen has gotten the coach's attention.
Let’s see if he can keep it going.
“He’s been better, but I think I expected more out of Lavoy this year because of the way he finished [last season],” Collins said. “Lavoy can do it. He has to get that motor going and that’s what I talk to Arnett (Moultrie) about. I tell them to watch a guy like (Kenneth) Faried from Denver and look at a tape of him and how he runs the floor every possession … every possession. He does it so that it becomes a habit.”
Simply by running the floor, a player can change the game, Collins says. For instance, Allen could drag a defender away from a three-point shooter on the perimeter. He might not get the digits in the stat column, but the points still go on the board for the Sixers.
That’s what it’s all about.
“I was a guy who ran the floor 10 times and didn’t get the ball, but then I got it three times in a row,” Collins said. “That’s the thing with Lavoy and Arnett that has to become more consistent.”