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Does Doug Collins Excite You?

I posted this elsewhere (X2) but its woth the read:

Collins is a lot like LB. If you want LB, you probably will be happy with Collins. Both are detail oriented, defense mionded, slow pace, play vets guys who rapidly turn bad teams into respectable ones... but wear out there welcome within 3 years.

Here is a good article that highlights his strengths and weaknesses as a coach:



[quote]Collins’ track record of immediate improvement is tough to ignore. In his past three coaching stops, his teams have improved by 10, 18 and 18 games in his first season on the bench. With the talent Chicago has on hand, plus the first overall pick, there’s a good chance he’ll have a fourth straight double-figure victory improvement.

Collins brings a lot of strengths to the table. He’s a master of details, and one of the ways he got his teams to turn around so quickly was by fine-tuning all the little things — his teams were among the league’s best-prepared.

That carried over to the hustle side, too. Collins got his teams to compete and defend, as can be seen by the improvements in defensive efficiency at each stop.

By an odd coincidence, each team Collins took over was the worst defensive team in the NBA the year before he arrived, based on defensive efficiency. Unbelievably, Collins got two of those three teams into the top half of the league in his first year, with Chicago jumping from 23rd (last) to 11th and Detroit motoring from 29th to a shocking seventh. The effect wasn’t quite as strong with Washington — 29th to 21st — but it was there.

So, obviously the problem isn’t that Collins can’t coach. He can. The problem is that his strengths and weaknesses are a terrible match for the team he’s taking over.

[u][b]Those strengths would make him a great fit for a lot of teams, especially teams that are struggling to defend.[/b][/u][/quote]


[quote]Problem No. 1: Pace

Collins might be the most extreme slow-pace coach in the past quarter century. I’m amazed nobody has brought this up yet — the guy makes Jeff Van Gundy look like Paul Westhead.[/quote]
[quote]Problem No. 2: Youth

Collins’ history is that he gets an immediate jump from his team — then things level off in subsequent seasons.
There’s a reason for that. Few coaches in recent history have trusted young players less than Collins has.[/quote]
[quote]Problem No. 3: Temperament
At each of his previous three stops, Collins’ constant harping wore out his players within three years.[/quote]

I'm lukewarm on Collins. I do think he can coach and he has very good knowledge of the game in general but his style (on offense) might not mesh with the team's strength (running). That said, I have no doubt he'd improve the team D tremendously. I also have seen / heard he does lose the team after a few years.

He's sort of like a basketball version of Larry Bowa.

deepsixersuede on Apr 29 at 1:41

I hope having a running team doesn!t stop us from hiring a quality coach. Jrue and Elton will be fine in a 1/2 court game. Iggy, I believe, will adapt to any style as long as he has scorers around him. Thad may not even be here in 2 years. I hope they become a solid team that can run and not a running team that struggles otherwise.

Doug may not having a winning record after he takes this job. What are we doing, are we trying to win now or are we rebulding? Are we going to Iggy for cap space, young pieces and draft picks, or are we going to trade Lou, Young, and speights for veterans that can help us make a playoff run?

by the way, Philly has the hottest female journalists hands down.

smh1980 on Apr 29 at 3:50

I think that Doug Collins would be a good coach to have for the next 3 years. I think with the youth on this team they need to have a task master like Collins, especially since there is no true leader on this team. If he leaves in 3 years because he was too tough on the players then atleast the young guys learned how to play defense when they are 19, 20, & 21 years old. That will pay huge dividends for years to come.

The pace that he plays is slow but with the atheticism on this team I don't think he will stop them from running. He will teach them how to play a half court game, play great defense, and hopefully push the ball up after turnovers/rebounds.

I'm good with Collins. He gives us a lot of what Brown does, without as much melodrama. Like Brown and Skiles, he can wear out his welcome. The chances that he stays more than 3 seasons are slim.

With that said, the key is to have his heir on staff(like Phil Jackson in Chicago). Someone who can continue the positives that Collins establishes(defense, smart play etc), while reduces any negatives. Given that McKie played for him, that might be a possibility.

I would definitely take Collins but my number 1 choice right now would be Vinny D(if he's fired). Young experienced coach who seems to motivate his players to play defense.

While I think bringing in Collins would be good for players like Thad and Speights and we would definetly have an improved record (45 wins?), when he wears out his welcome in 3 years would the franchise really be better off than today? I would rather bring in a younger assitant who preaches defense like Collins, but would also want to be here for the long haul and be willing to grow with this team.

Statman on Apr 29 at 9:17

I'm not sure why people are worried about Collins being around for longer than three years. Most coaches in the NBA do not last longer than that. In the NBA right now, only 8 of 30 coaches have been with their teams for longer than 3 years (3 more are at 3 years). Of those 8, three are on their first job (Woodson, Mike Brown, Popovich) and five have over 700 wins (Karl, Don Nelson, Phil Jackson, Popovich, Sloan). The model of hiring a young and inexperienced but enthusiastic/energetic coach who grows with the team doesn't work very often. One could argue that Popovich is the only recent success story (people are still skeptical about Woodson and Brown).

I'm not saying the Sixers shouldn't go the assistant coach route, just that it's unreasonable to do so because of the possibility that the coach will stay long-term. Odds are that the coach won't be staying long-term anyway.

The most important consideration for me in hiring a coach is to get someone who will enable the players on the Sixers' roster (whoever they may be next year) to play their best basketball. And we've talked about what that means for a good coach all this past year: (1) have a sound philosophy and scheme both on offense and defense, (2) be willing and able to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of his personnel, (3) be able to manage players effectively, including establishing roles and [player] rotations, (4) be able to motivate players effectively.

I personally like Collins as a coaching candidate, second only to Larry Brown among my preferences. From what I've seen of him in the past, he fits all 4 of the above criteria for a good coach. He may wear out his welcome in three years, but there's no doubt in my mind that the Sixers' young players will get better over those three years. Though he prefers a slow pace, I think he's intelligent enough to adapt if his personnel is better-suited to a fast pace. One thing that comes across in his announcing is that he's intelligent and articulate, which can only help in communicating with his players. In fact, there's a general correlation between good color commentators among NBA announcers and good coaches (Collins, Fratello, J. Van Gundy, Hubie Brown). Conversely, can you imagine Eddie Jordan trying to color commentate?

When you're hiring a coach, I think it's a good thing to be looking for that rare coach who sticks around, I don't think that's a bad thing. But when you get right down to it, the fact that he probably wouldn't be here for more than three years is a minor concern, my main concern is whether he'd have a mandate to win now, or if he'd be expected to develop the roster slowly and wisely.

Honestly, my concerns have more to do with Stefanski covering his ass and the franchise having realistic expectations. Either Brown or Collins could easily get this team back to the playoffs next season with the roster they have plus the draft pick and minor tinkering (meaning, without mortgaging the future), but would they be allowed to do that, and would they want to do that? Or would bringing in a high-profile coach lead to some stupid moves to win now?

If we were ready to contend a 3 year coach might be a good choice. get the most out of the vets and then blow things up when the roster is too old (Think Celtics and their 3 year window.)

The Sixers should be embarking on a longer term plan where they still need to find a superstar befoer they can even begin to rise towards contention. They might be 3 years away... but they could just as easily be 5-6 years.

That may sound painful- but its better to live in a painful reality than to continue down the road of band-aids and mediocrity. These win now with vets and slow down defense short term coaches are the same mentality that brought us CWebb, Bid Dog, Andre Miller and Elton Brand.

I don't really see developing the guys on the roster and adding some stability to a team that hasn't seen any since LB left as a bad path to follow. I absolutely do not think they should be going for any quick fixes from a personnel standpoint, but bringing in a good coach who carries some weight can only help, IMO. If you're saying you don't want a good coach because he may squeeze a few more wins out of this roster and hurt their chances at a top draft pick in the coming seasons, I don't agree with that logic.

No, I'm not saying that. win as many games as you can with the young guys. But don't hide them. Let Thad play SF. Give Speights time at PF next to Sam. Give the #1 pick 20+ min/game.

I'm not for tanking. I'm against getting low upside vets to hide the team's flaws. If they win great. if they lose and end up with a high pick I'll be happy too.

Yeah, we're on the same page.

Nobody knows how much this years flop was due to coaching, Miller leaving or players giving up. So I don't know how many wins this current young, developing core is good for. I'm interested to find out.

Even a 30 win season can be enjoyable if you have the right expectations heading in and show signs of promise.

Guys like JVG, Collins and LB are good coaches. But that does not make them good coaches for a rebuilding Sixers team.

Part of EJ's failure was due to lousy coaching. But a big part was due to ES choosing the worst possible fit when you look at this teams strengths. And the vet oriented, slow down coaches listed above are equally bad fits for where the Sixers are right now. They might have been good for Miller/Brand/Iguodala- but the team should be past that quick fix mentality.

The Sixers should not be looking for the "best coach." They should be trying to find the coach best suited to get a rebuilding team turned in the right direction. The goal is not selling the farm to get the 6th seed in the East and never getting farther. The goal is getting a young core in place that will grow together playing sound basketball.

Three things.

First, Collins coached young teams in both Chicago and Detroit.

Second, good coaches adapt. Brown, Collins and Van Gundy are all extremely sharp basketball minds and if they take the job, I expect them to develop systems that play to the strength of their roster.

Third, this whole pace thing is a complete misnomer. People keep saying they want the Sixers to run, and they do run. They've run very effectively the past two seasons, and even this past year when they played little-to-no defense and ranked 2nd in fast-break points, they were still 23rd in the league in pace. Last year they were 21st, the year before that they were 20th.

This whole "defend to run" style I've been talking about is not about running really, it's about creating opportunities with your defense to run, and slowing the game down whenever you can't get out in transition. Grinding out possessions on the offensive end in the half court, and most importantly, making the other team do the same.

I think you are selling short the "pace" factor. Certain coaches intensionally try and take the air out of the ball in order to help their defense and limit chances for the other team. The Sixers need a Showtime Lakers type style (or a Cousy Celtics, 1983 Sixers.) Sure that means upgraded talent, but it also is an attack based offensive mindset. I do not feel LB, JVG or Collins brings that to the table.

Also, guys like Iguodala, Jrue, Thad and Lou really shine in early offense. They do not run plays well (although Jrue has potential.)

Man, Korver put up a Kapono line last night. 0/6 from the floor, 0/2 from three, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 0 turnovers, 1 foul. 0 points. Don't see that from him too often. Somehow, he was a +2, though.

deepsixersuede reply to Brian on Apr 29 at 11:40

Another center [Nene] went down; how many bigs DIDN!T miss time to injury this season? Sammy looks more attractive by the minute.

If you could pick one guy to be the coach, no matter if he is employed or not, who would it be?

Probably Sloan.

Interesting fact, only one team was top-ten in both pace and defensive efficiency this season, Utah.

Utah was also one of the slowest teams when he had Malone/Stockton, he coaches to the team's strengths.

Love how you pick another team's coach! I want Phil Jackson, Popovich but I do not think they are available.

I mentioned that I like the way Collins thinks and makes sense on TV. I think that would be a big change here in Sixerville! Both, thinking and making sense!

I really do not know enough about the coaches being considered BUT do not want someone that is not patient and willing to rebuild this team over time. And I would like someone that does not plan his rotations by the seat of his pants!

Tom Moore reply to DeanH on Apr 29 at 13:51

I agree, Brian. Sloan is a terrific coach. He adapts to whatever his team's strengths are. To last as long as he has and continued to win even after Stockton and Malone retired is amazing. He gets guys to play. He is still quite underrated -- inexplicably has never been voted NBA Coach of the Year!

JohnEMagee on Apr 29 at 14:20

Collins - plus side - he's not larry brown
OTOH - he is doug collins

Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 15:05

Love what Brown said maybe five years ago about Jackson: "Jackson only does roofs. I do basements."

In other words, Jackson only wants to work with talented teams, while Brown typically starts from scratch (except with the Pistons, who won a title in his first year there).

johnrosz reply to Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 15:11

I think I remember hearing him call Jackson out in a radio interview too. Something along the lines of "you'll never see Phil coaching in Memphis..."

No, basements implies LB builds a lasting foundation. I see LB as doing refacing and drywall. he can make a hovel look pretty for a few years.

JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 15:28

True - I mean Brown was instrumental in building that championship team in Detroit right?

Brown is very much like a contractor - he'll vanish when the job is partly finished - or ignore the original plans and do it 'his way' and not care

He's like the guy who will add fancy brick pavers and slate steps to your old house without fixing the unstable foundation.

Things look better than they ever did for a few years, but when everything starts to settle, crack and collapse you are left no better than when you started and are stuck paying the mortgage your re-financed for years to come.

JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Apr 29 at 15:54

I have never owned a house or hired a contractor :)

Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 15:53

All good points, guys.

I see Brown as an excellent super, terrible contractor/architect, if that makes sense. Coaching the team only, he's one of the best. Building the team, he's going to leave a mess behind.

JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 29 at 16:04

So he's not a contractor, he's a line cook - he's very good at preparing the dishes when given the ingredients - he's horrible at planning menus or new dishes

Yeah, that's fair. A conductor, not a composer.

johnrosz reply to Brian on Apr 29 at 18:22

you guys are forgetting what LB did for your own franhise. He's the only guy that ever got AI to buy into anything. LB was basically the architect of that team that went to the finals.

He built a winner out of the biggest enigma in league history and some parts he found at the junkyard...

I give him credit for being the only guy capable of building a contender around Iverson. I think if you give him any superstar he could probably do the same. But even in the Sixers' case, he left the team a mess, that's the point. If the Sixers were closer, I'd say yeah, give him the keys to the castle and let him squeeze us over the top, but that's not where we are right now.

JohnMagee reply to johnrosz on Apr 29 at 23:41

He got AI to buy into a team that was all about him, an offense that revolved around him - with four guys who wouldn't and some who were terrifed to shoot...those same guys allowing him to play his over reaching over gambling defense and cover for him.

AI didn't buy into a damn thing, he made brown his bitch and brown built a team to best maximize the uniqueness of allen iverson...which coincidentally without tim duncan involves four guys who can play defense and do little else, which brown loved.

It's also a roster that probably wouldn't win in the NBA that has evolved since 2001.

This whole iverson bought into it nonsense is asinine and has to stop - iverson fit in one kind of system and it's the kind of system brown loved...iverson bought into nothing and brown changed nothing...it was basketball kismet...and then brown tried to futz with it, the rules changed, and the sixers were fucked

Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 16:30

Understand Stefanski hasn't reached out to anybody else today about interviewing after contacting Collins' agent and Avery Johnson on Wednesday. If the Mavs lose tonight, they're eliminated and Dwane Casey's schedule would open up considerably.

Mike P reply to Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 20:18

Out of all the guys mentioned so far, I want Dwayne Casey.

I'd take Avery too, but he seems to want a higher profile job.

JohnMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 29 at 23:42

Thank god he's leaving no stone unturned assuming stones are metaphors for the biggest names out there all who you weren't interested in (or vice versa) last summer.

Fratello and Budenholzer are new names. Yay.

I have not heard a single shred of evidence that the person I am about to mention wants to coach, but with that said I think he is someone I would want to see coaching my team: Reggie Miller. As a sixers fan I hated him until he retired. Now that he can't torture my team, I can appreciate how great a player he was. He also has a good head on his shoulders, a great basketball IQ, and would command great respect in the locker room. Don't know if he wants to coach, but I'd be calling him anyway.

JohnMagee reply to Sean on Apr 29 at 23:43

Doesn't reggie miller have as much nba coaching experience as mark jackson?

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