October 11 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Out of bad must come some good, and 76ers coach Doug Collins saw a very bad ending on Saturday, when his team lost its third straight exhibition game, 90-89, to the New Jersey Nets. The bad came at the end of the game, when the Nets erased a seven-point deficit in the final 15 seconds, ultimately winning on a three-pointer by Stephen Graham at the buzzer.
The sequence of events during those final seconds was a big part of Collins‘ practice yesterday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“We had seven teaching points today off the last 15 seconds of Saturday’s game,” Collins said. “If they had missed, that might not have happened. It’s better to happen now, so that we can make those points.
“Who were you guarding? What’s the rule on playing him? Communicating with one another. When a guy’s shooting a free throw and they put his man down the floor, do you let someone know you have his, and [he] has yours, instead of trying to switch on the run and then they throw ahead and they hit a three?”
When practice ended yesterday, Collins was visibly disturbed. His first team’s offense wasn’t performing the way he wanted.
“It was sloppy,” Collins said. “I’m always looking for us to be better every day. I was very happy [Saturday] even though we lost. The fact that we could have won the game shooting [only] 35 percent. The transition game was much better. We left about 20 points on the floor in transition. We’re not aware. We’re running on top of people and that kind of stuff. Our defense was terrific. Today, I wanted to come back and be better than we were [Saturday], and we didn’t do that. We got sloppy at the end.”
Besides the defense, there were some positives on the offense end. Andre Iguodala posted 20 points and seven rebounds in close to 40 minutes, and Thad Young collected 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. Lou Williams continued his strong scoring off the bench, chipping in with 15 points, and rookie Evan Turner, starting at shooting guard, had a very solid stat line with 14 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six steals.
Still, as it should have, yesterday’s practice concentrated mostly on those final 15 seconds.
“We couldn’t make those [teaching] points had those 15 seconds not occurred,” Collins said. “Sometimes it’s a good thing. Had Graham missed that shot, I’m not sure the teaching point would have been as good, either. Better you get your heart broken like that [Saturday] than having it happen in a regular-season game.””
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