Sixers Notes: Collins says fans' support of Sixers is gratifying

Posted: February 04, 2012

Never one to lose an opportunity to motivate his team, 76ers coach Doug Collins told the Sixers before they played Miami on Friday night that there was one distinct difference between the Heat's visits this season and last season.

The Sixers opened the 2010-11 season with a home game against the Heat. They also hosted them twice in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, which the Heat won, four games to one.

All three of the games here were sold out, Collins pointed out. Friday's game was also sold out, but for a different reason, Collins said.

"Last year, the fans came out to see the Heat - LeBron [James], [Dwyane] Wade, and [Chris] Bosh," Collins said. "We played them again in the playoffs, and we were fortunate to play a great series against them, and we happened to beat them one time.

"So this building is filled up again tonight," Collins continued, "and I told my players that this building is filled tonight, and the fans are coming out here to watch them play, not the Heat.

"Those guys are an attraction wherever they go. But it makes me feel very good tonight that our fans are coming into our building to cheer for our team. I told them they have worked hard to have that kind of privilege."

On my team any day

Sixers rookie and Temple product Lavoy Allen has averaged 7.7 points and 5 rebounds in the six games before Friday's game with the Heat, very nice numbers for a player taken with the 50th pick in the draft.

Collins pointed out before the game that a report last summer on indicated that Allen, who has displaced fellow rookie Nick Vucevic in the rotation, was rated the worst roster player in the NBA.

"When I saw that I just laughed and said, 'He can be on my team any day,' " Collins said.

A few of his friends pointed it out to Allen, who said he thought very little of the report.

"I didn't think about it then, and I don't think about it now," Allen said. "Of course, I got some motivation from it. But at the very best, it was at the very back of my mind."

Faces in the crowd

Former Sixer Rick Mahorn sat courtside on Friday. A few seats down from Mahorn sat Philly rapper Meek Mill.

Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at Follow him on Twitter @deepsixer3.