Inexplicably, the fast-paced offense of the preseason has vanished, along with open jump shots, courageous forays to the basket and a scoring average that was more toward to the top of the NBA, not dragging near the bottom, as their 85.3 points are doing now.
"I thought in the first half [of Monday's loss], we had some good movement, especially because our defense created some things for us," Collins told reporters after the team's short workout Tuesday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "And then I thought, as the game wore on, we bogged down and did a little too much dribbling. That was my fault, so I got here really early this morning and went through all of the things we've been doing to try and do some things to get more player movement and ball movement. We have to mix in the screen/rolls with that, and I think it will help everybody.
"We got away from doing some things, so we've got to get back. I think it will help everybody."
As perhaps will going on the road, where many of the players feel it's a good time to get to know one another better. And with nine new faces on the roster, that can't be underestimated.
"We're going out on the road, and New Orleans is a hard-playing team," Collins said. "They defend well, they execute, they grind you out, and we're going to have to go in there and play well. And then you've got Boston waiting on you, and then you've got Toronto waiting on you. The one thing you can't do is, you can't be day-to-day like this. We have to keep getting better. The word I used is connected. We've got to be connected. When teams get into you sometimes and you get down a little bit in the game, guys have a tendency - and it's human nature, it's not being selfish - to try and do more. That's when you really have to trust your teammate. But we haven't played together; we're trying to learn to trust each other. All these things now, we're trying to grow and do and win at the same time, while battling through some injuries."
Kwame Brown aggravated his calf injury Monday and is out indefinitely. Jason Richardson is still nursing a sprained left ankle and might not be able to play at all this week. So if there is a bonding session on and off the court while the team is on the road, the players will have to do it without a few guys when they hit the floor.
"We have a lot of depth," said Dorell Wright, who started for Richardson on Monday. "We have a lot of guys on the bench who would be starters on other teams. But we all sacrifice for one thing and that's winning. We all take our roles seriously, and guys just have to step up."
Contact Bob Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. For more Sixers coverage, read his blog at philly.com/Sixerville.