Transcript: Doug Collins goes off on Sixers after loss

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Transcript: Doug Collins goes off on Sixers after loss

After the Sixers' 98-84 loss to the lowly Orlando Magic on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center (see story), a clearly frustrated Doug Collins held a memorable press conference. Here's the transcript:

On his team's lack of effort:

"Well I sure didn't see this effort coming. I thought we played incredibly hard against Miami. I thought we played incredibly hard in New York on Sunday. And this is mind-numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn't even tell you what occurred.

"[Pat Summitt] is one of the all-time great coaches, and she spoke at my clinic when I was in Chicago, and she was incredible. And I'll never forget what she said. She said when she goes into young ladies' homes to recruit them, she said there are three things that you have to bring in my program: energy, effort and execution. And I'm in charge of one of them: execution."

On if they don't realize how desperate they should be playing? (Bob Cooney of Daily News)

"Bob, you know what man, I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I really do. I gotta tell you. I'm sitting there. I gave my body to this franchise. I was never booed as a player. Never. I ran through my sneakers."

On if it's a bad mix: (by John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com)

"I think the team that we've tried to put together, Gonzo, we've never seen. And so I think what happens is, when you take a huge piece away from it, your warts show."

On leaving the court before the buzzer:

"I thought the clock was going to wind down. I didn't realize they were going to take a shot clock violation."

Wasn't out of frustration?

"Oh no no no no no. I thought the clock was going to wind down. I didn't realize there was a differential. I've done that before."

On if his players have become comfortable losing:

"You would have to ask them that. I don't know. I do not know. The thing about it is, I can't speak for others. Damien Wilkins -- I mean he's been one of our best players since coming back from break. I told you, I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break to come back to play."

On if there's anything he can do:

"Can I tell you something? If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan. OK? I mean, believe me, there's not two days go by that I don't to go Rod [Thorn], I don't go to Tony [DiLeo] -- what can I do? Can I do anything different? How can I be a better coach? How can I be a better leader? How can I help these guys? Sometimes you've gotta help yourself. You know? Sometimes you've gotta help yourself. Youth is a very blaming thing."

On if his players ever go to him and ask how they can get better:

"No. I usually go to them.

"And, you know what, after a while, the talk gets old. Man, it gets old. It just does.

"At some point and time, you just gotta play. I told them at halftime, the game's not about X's and O's. We went up 29-20 -- it wasn't about X's and O's. [The Magic] scored 14 out of 20 possessions going into half. We came out, we were going to be all fired up, and it was a 7-0 run before we could blink. It was almost identical to New York. We were down 12 and we gave them an 8-0 run.

"And it's incredibly frustrating, yes, it is. But my job is to not put that kind of product on the floor. I'm incredibly hard on myself. I love it when the fans start yelling at me -- I'm not playing. You didn't yell at me when I played. Why are you yelling at me when I'm coaching?

On whether he has leaders:

"I think we have some guys who have some capability. I say all the time ... they say it's a players' league, well then take ownership. Take ownership. That's all I'm asking: Take ownership of what you're putting out there.

"To me, I'm a day's work for a day's pay kind of guy. That all I've ever been taught. And the one thing I have to understand is -- from me staying up, working harder, not sleeping -- that's not going to help anything. There's nothing wrong with our preparation.

"I looked out there to start the game and three guys weren't even sweating when we started the game. They're going to ease themselves into the game. You've gotta get sweaty, you've gotta get ready to go. So we started out at the break, and we come over to the bench and we're 6-for-18 [shooting] to start the game.

Media relations official says only a couple more questions:

"Yeah, go ahead, I don't mind. Hey, I'm having fun. I feel like I'm at the State of the Union."

On why Andrew Bynum wasn't on the bench:

"Does he sit out there all the time? I don't know. I mean, I don't even know. A lot of times he sits back there and gets treatment. I know he's going to talk to you guys tomorrow.

"You know guys, it's been hard. I think there's a part of this group wondering, 'Are you gonna play? Aren't you gonna play?' And it's been a tough year.

On why he had four starters on the bench early in the fourth quarter:

"Hey, you know what? They weren't getting it done. What were we down, 17? We went from seven to 17. And I go back to [coach Hank Iba], that voice I always here, 'Hey son, if you don't want to play, your substitute does. Give somebody else a chance.' We did and we cut it to five. It wasn't anything other than getting some stops, push the ball, play with some aggression. Basketball is a simple sport. The game is usually going to go to the aggressor. That's just the way it is.

"I'm disappointed. I really, really am, because there was so much this season that we were looking forward to. And it just seems like every time we turn around it's been something else.

On how much injuries have dragged down this team:

“We made a huge deal and we have nobody playing a part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome. That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any outs. That’s a fact. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer [Hawes] had one, I think Lavoy [Allen] had two.”

On playing better before Thad got hurt:

“We are a team, I told you, that least little change affects us. You know, all of a sudden the starting lineup changes again. We have guys that don’t deal well with that. We’re not a team that rolls with that easily. We had Thad, we’re use to him. I thought Thad didn’t have the energy tonight that he had in New York. Sometimes that’s what happens, second game back. You know, the first game, running on adrenalin and that second game you just don’t have the juice. I just didn’t see that pop with Thad tonight but he had been out three weeks.

"We put so much on Jrue and Thad, if those two guys play well we have a chance. We got a chance because we’ll find three or four guys during the course of the game, but those two guys are critical for us. Thad gives us that speed and what he brings with the glue and Jrue is our all-star. I just don’t want you to think I’m up here blaming. I don’t want you to think I’m making excuses. That’s not what this is about. I’m not a blamer; I’m not an excuse kind of guy. No one takes this harder than I do. Nobody and I am a guy who, when I have coached, I’ve always been able to find some answers and I’ve not been able to find answers.

"And from my standpoint that is very disappointing because I’m paid to do that. I want you to know, that in no way am I casting dispersions on somebody else’s fault. We’re all in this together, but there cannot be a game that you just don’t go out and put your heart and soul into the game. Can’t do that. Had an off day, we’ve been on the all-star break. There’s no reason for that. None.”

On where do you go from here/is this a bottoming out:

“I sure hope so. I sure hope it can’t get any worse than this, but I mean, if you look at our schedule, 12 of our last 14 are on the road and look at the home games we’re playing: Atlanta, Golden State. Every one of them is a playoff team. But it’s interesting, the one thing my team has really never done is. I’ve always said ‘Beat the team you’re supposed to beat and let’s see where you are against the others.’ And it seems like for us we’ve laid some eggs in here against some teams we’ve had a chance to beat and then we’ve played pretty well -- San Antonio, Memphis, Miami -- played well, but they were still better than us and beat us, and that’s what you can’t do.”

Brett Brown wants Sixers to focus on turnovers, transition defense in next 10 games

Brett Brown wants Sixers to focus on turnovers, transition defense in next 10 games

NEW ORLEANS — The Sixers take a pause after each set of 10 games over the course of the 82-game season to identify areas they want to improve in the next increment.
 
They are now 22 games into the season and two into the current grouping. Brett Brown has targeted two aspects, one on each end of the floor, to hone in on: turnovers and transition defense.
 
“Our turnovers continue to haunt us and we can’t let it go,” Brown said earlier this week. 
 
Turnover problems are nothing new to the Sixers. As a young team, they struggled heavily last season and ranked 29th with 16.4 per game. This season the number is higher. The Sixers currently are at the bottom of the NBA with 17.3 turnovers per game.*
 
They are running into problems late in games. The Sixers average 3.6 turnovers in the first quarter (tied for 22nd with the Clippers) compared to 5.0 in the fourth (also 30th in the NBA for that quarter). 
 
Brown frequently highlights points allowed off turnovers when assessing a loss. The Sixers are tied with the Timberwolves for 25th with 18.2 points in that category.

Rather than just looking at turnovers as a whole, Brown is delving into the who’s and why’s of the problem. Joel Embiid leads the team with 3.7 turnovers per game. The Sixers look to him as the focal point of the offense. As a rookie, he is adjusting to NBA defenses, especially double teams, while being the go-to at the basket. 

Sergio Rodriguez is behind Embiid with 2.7, not counting Jerryd Bayless (3.0) who only has played three games. Rodriguez has said he “takes risks” at the point but is trying to be more secure with the ball in his hand (see story)

“We’ve got repetitive examples of people either too much in a crowd,” Brown said. “Examples of people not handling pick and rolls when they come out and hedge. Post players dribbling too much and not reacting to double teams and to pass outs.”
 
On the opposite end of the court, the Sixers are last in the league with 18.5 fast break points scored by opponents. Their defense fluctuates when Embiid is on the sideline, based on his 28-minute restriction. However Brown does not want the rest of the team to lapse without their big man. Brown has been emphasizing the need for pace and has been stressing all season the importance of career-best fitness to get up and down the floor.

“We still don’t get back the way I want to in transition defense,” Brown said. “We do see differences in our defense dramatically when Joel is in the game or not. But it still doesn’t camouflage the fact that we have to get back on defense.”

The Sixers will have to tackle these issues in a 10-game period in which they are shorthanded with a slew of injuries and illnesses. 

"The good thing is, we’ve selected two things that have hurt us and we need to claim them again," Brown said. 

*All stats according to NBA.com

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

WASHINGTON -- Elfrid Payton scored 22 of his season-high 25 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic overcame John Wall's 52-point performance to beat the Washington Wizards, 124-116 on Tuesday night.

Wall had the highest-scoring game of his career and kept Washington in it with 33 points in the second half as the Wizards cut the lead below 10 in the fourth quarter. The guard made 18 of 31 from the field and added eight assists.

Payton went 8 for 8 from the field and 3 for 3 from the line off the bench in that first half, nearly matching his previous season best of 23 points in the first two quarters alone. Payton finished 9 for 12 and handed out nine assists.

Orlando won its third straight game and its 124 points were a season high (see full recap).

Spurs trounce Timberwolves to reach 13-0 on the road
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs improved to 13-0 on the road this season with a 105-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Leonard hit 11 of 15 shots after not scoring at all in the first quarter and Patty Mills scored 15 points off the bench for the Spurs (18-4), who played without Tony Parker after he bruised his left knee against Milwaukee on Wednesday night. San Antonio overcame a slow start to shoot 52.7 percent.

The Spurs moved past the 1969-70 New York Knicks to take sole possession of the second-best road start to begin a season in NBA history. The Golden State Warriors started 14-0 last year.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 11 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 3 of 16 (see full recap).

Anthony, Knicks blow past depleted Heat
MIAMI -- Carmelo Anthony matched a season high with 35 points, and the New York Knicks beat the injury-ravaged Miami Heat 114-103 on Tuesday night.

Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for New York, which is three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season. The Knicks lost Derrick Rose to back spasms in the third quarter.

Goran Dragic scored 29 points and Hassan Whiteside finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who fell to 2-8 at home.

The teams were tied at 68 late in the third quarter, when the Knicks went on a 27-13 run over the next eight minutes to take control. Anthony finished 13 for 27 from the field, and Porzingis and Joakim Noah combined for 22 rebounds (see full recap).