So during the timeout, Collins looked to his 12-year veteran - 33-year-old Elton Brand - to lead his young team. Just like that, Brand took over.
The 254-pound power forward out of Duke scored eight of the next 10 Sixers points over a five-minute span as the Sixers went on an 8-3 run to remain within striking distance.
But Brand's leadership and post presence disappeared in the second and third quarters - 1 point, 3 rebounds in 14 minutes of play - and the Sixers dug themselves another hole before being eliminated from the playoffs by the Celtics.
In that first quarter, Brand shot 3 for 5 from the floor for eight points. The other eight Sixers combined for 12 points on 3-for-16 shooting.
Brand did everything Collins could have asked early. But next to nothing went right for the big man from there.
He struggled covering the versatile Kevin Garnett, who had a double-double by the time the third quarter finished.
On offense, Brand had trouble getting in a rhythm down low and couldn't make it to loose-ball rebounds.
With the Sixers down, 64-59, with seven minutes to play, Garnett tripped over the baseline, setting up Brand for an easy layup to cut the Boston lead to three.
On the ensuing trip down the court to play defense, Brand tried to spark one last run, yelling at teammates and encouraging Lou Williams to play tighter defense in the corner.
But the Sixers never got closer than three after Brand's shot and Brand played tired on defense before fouling out, though his fourth-quarter effort (6 points, 2 rebounds) was certainly an improvement over the previous two quarters.
But just as in the first quarter, that effort only kept the Sixers within striking distance. And in Game 7s, striking distance earns you a trip home.