Sixers Notes: Doug Collins coaches first game for 76ers

Posted: October 06, 2010

ROANOKE, Va. - When asked about his first game as an NBA head coach, Doug Collins rattled off the exact location, opposing coach, points scored, result, and successive outcomes.

That was 1986.

When asked how coaches recall such details, Collins replied, "I think we're all a little crazy, probably."

On Tuesday, the 76ers' new coach officially began the next phase of his career as his team played the New Jersey Nets in a preseason game at the Roanoke Civic Center.

The game was the Sixers' first of the preseason. On Wednesday, the Sixers will play the Boston Celtics in Manchester, N.H.

Tuesday's game marked the debut of the 2010-11 Sixers, a team that Collins is attempting to make more precise and tightly knit.

"I'm curious," Collins said. "I'm waiting to see how we're going to do."

Collins said the team had its most difficult practices of the season on Sunday and Monday, the two days after training camp ended.

"I told them, 'This has to be the rule, not the exception,' " Collins explained. "That has to be our calling card: When we play, we play hard all the time."

"We feel like one group," said backup guard Lou Williams. "That's the main thing: The camaraderie has been great thus far, and I think he has a lot to do with that."

Top of the draft

Tuesday's game featured the Nos. 2 and 3 overall picks in the NBA draft in Sixers guard Evan Turner and New Jersey big man Derrick Favors.

"We love our guy," said Nets coach Avery Johnson. "I'm sure they love their guy. . . . Favors has just been getting better and better every day."

The breakdown

In the preseason opener, Collins started point guard Jrue Holiday, shooting guard Andre Iguodala, small forward Thaddeus Young, power forward Elton Brand, and center Spencer Hawes. Collins said he'd use a second unit of Turner at point guard, Williams at shooting guard, small forward Jason Kapono, power forward Craig Brackins, and center Marreese Speights.

Collins said that Iguodala and Brand would not play in Wednesday's exhibition game against Boston.

No go

Big man Tony Battie (right knee inflammation), forward Andres Nocioni (left ankle sprain), and guard James Florence (hamstring) did not play.


Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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