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November 15 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“On Saturday night, no duo was more outdueled than the 76ers’ starting backcourt.
Second-year point guard Jrue Holiday and rookie Evan Turner, the Sixers’ young-gun starters, were dribbled around and shot over by the San Antonio Spurs’ veteran combo of point guard Tony Parker and shooting guard Manu Ginobili. By game’s end, the Spurs had beaten the Sixers, 116-93.
But the most accurate reflection of just how lopsided this game was – and just how uneven this matchup was – came at the end of the third quarter, when the game was ostensibly over and not yet tainted by garbage minutes.
At that time, the Sixers trailed, 96-64.
Through those three quarters, Turner and Holiday had combined to score two points on 1-for-12 shooting with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 5 turnovers between them. During that same time, Parker and Ginobili scored a combined 42 points on 16-for-23 shooting with 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals, and 4 turnovers between them.”
November 15 Philadelphia Daily News:
“If 76ers head coach Doug Collins were one of the Chilean miners, he would have found a ray of sunlight on each of his days underground. That’s just how positive he is.
His team has started the season 2-8. He has lost a bunch of players to injuries for various lengths of time, has been unable to coax them to find victories when they were painstakingly close, and is starting a backcourt that can do nothing but improve.
Yet, Collins is focusing on the things that eventually might help turn the organization around.
“You know, we’ve had a very, very difficult schedule to start the season,” said Collins. “That is not an excuse at all, it really is just reality. Just look at this past week. We played at Oklahoma City, at Dallas and at San Antonio. Those are three of the top five teams in the Western Conference. We played very well against Oklahoma City, lost by six but had a chance to take the lead late in the game but just couldn’t get over that hump. In Dallas, we again got close in the third [tied with 1 minute remaining], but let them get out on us in the fourth.
“We lost to Miami big in the first game and have lost to some of the top teams in the West. I’m not going to take credence in those losses. I know that just about every coach we’ve faced has told me that we were very competitive and we had a chance to win.”
The main problem is, they can’t find a way to get that done. When the Sixers are able to make the game competitive in the second half, they just can’t seem to find a way to get a lead. It’s as if they use all their energy to get back into the game, only to falter late.
Frustration should be oozing from Collins’ pores, but he just won’t let that happen.
“I don’t want our team to get too high or get too low, no matter our record,” Collins said. “If you look at us offensively, we were shooting 47 percent before [Saturday’s game against] the Spurs. We’re averaging close to 23 assists a game. We’ve been moving the ball better on the offensive end, find open shooters. We’re scoring very well from inside the paint.”
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