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Doug Collins Knows Miami Heat Are Superior to 76ers

Don’t accuse Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins of being unrealistic because the man is not stupid. After watching his team get outclassed in Miami Monday evening 94-73 by the Heat, he spoke in a matter-of-fact tone to the media.

“If they’re playing great, they’re a better team. OK? If they’re playing on top of their game, they’re a better team,” Collins stated. “They won 58 we won 41. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to play, compete and fight. But when they come out and defend they way they did, and Bosh and LeBron play the way they did, and Joel Anthony gives them the lift off the bench defensively that he did, it’s going to be very difficult for us to beat them.”

Just because the Heat were on top of their game Monday doesn’t mean they’re going to win the Finals, and it certainly doesn’t mean they’ve already won this series. Games are completely different at home compared to on the road, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves just because the Heat have played well. But like Collins said, the Heat are simply better when they’re on.

The question is can the Sixers disrupt Miami somewhat when the series goes to Philly for the next two games. I think so, and we’ll likely see close games like Game 1 of the series.

Here’s the video clip of Collins speaking after the loss.

When Did the 76ers Become This Good?

Lost in the winning streak by the Houston Rockets spanning the past six weeks is the success of the Philadelphia 76ers. Sure, it’s a bit ironic to call a 31-34 team successful, but they have been playing well lately. Initially I took notice when I cracked on the Suns for losing at home to Philly a few weeks ago. But that was until Wednesday night, when the Sixers beat the Pistons in Detroit despite shooting barely over 40% from the field. At this point, the Sixers have won 13 of their past 17 games. Sure, they’ve beaten their share of the Knicks and Heat during the stretch of games, but they’ve also registered wins against the Mavs and Magic, in addition to the Pistons and Suns. So how did it all happen?

This is a team that doesn’t have many superstars in name. They have guys like Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Reggie Evans, Samuel Dalembert, and Thaddeus Young on the floor most of the time. Young is a guy you should get to know since he’s a rookie and performing well. If Kevin Durant weren’t taking over 15 shots a game for Seattle, Thaddeus would have a great case for rookie of the year. So what makes this group of mostly no-namers good? I took a look at their post-All-Star break splits to see and found out that they are excelling in quite a few categories.

Though only Iguodala’s averaging nearly 20ppg, they’re shooting 48.5% as a team, good for 7th in the NBA. At 11.8 turnovers a game, they’re 8th best since the break, with the Sonics turning it over the most, and the Pistons the least. Not only do they not turn the ball over much, but they also take it away the most — leading the league with 9.6 steals a game since the break. And there’s one other factor that has made the Sixers good — they’re committing the fewest fouls in the league. So what’s their formula for success? It’s not having superstars on the roster. It’s about not giving away points at the line or via turnovers, and by taking the ball away yourself. They’re almost like a conservative football team that takes care of the ball well. You might have to start paying attention to the Sixers, because they’re playing some solid ball.

Larry Brown ‘Doesn’t Do Anything’ as Sixers VP, Wants Back into Coaching

Yeah, I realize I’m phasing out my own google-ability with such a post, but I really can’t help but not pass on the monster tip sent over by The Wiz. There have been lots of rumors floating lately that my namesake could end up going back to coaching, most notably the Chicago Bulls. Turns out the guy is interested in coaching because, well, he’s bored:

“I desperately miss the teaching.”

The previous night in Philadelphia, where he now lives while serving as executive vice-president of the NBA’s 76ers (“That means I don’t do anything,” he said)

“Yeah, I want to badly,” said the man who has spent 33 years coaching at the pro or college level. “I know I’m 67, but I don’t feel old until I look in the mirror. Every place I go, people ask how I am. Maybe they thought I’d broken down. I feel great.”

“I still have a passion to coach,” Brown added. “I feel I still have something to offer. I don’t want it to end the way my last year went.”

Just as many of the “Bobby Knight back to Indiana” rumors have resurfaced, could Larry Brown return to coaching? Would anyone want him? How many years could he give you? Wouldn’t he just leave you high and dry? And wouldn’t it have to be the ideal situation? Could he really deal with a clown like Joakim Noah? I guess these are all worries for another time. Bottom line: LB’s back on the market, baby. And that mofo don’t do jack ish in his current job! At least many of us can relate to the basketball coach — that’s a good sign.