76ers coach Doug Collins focused on more than X's and O's

STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Doug Collins knows he has to worry about more than just what happens on the court and during ballgames.
STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Doug Collins knows he has to worry about more than just what happens on the court and during ballgames.
Posted: November 20, 2012

YOU HEAR coaches on all levels say it all the time: "If only coaching were just about the coaching."

Obviously, at the professional level, so many other variables are involved than only deciding what defense to play and deciphering what offensive sets may work best.

Sixers coach Doug Collins knows it and goes out of his way to ensure he is strong in other areas, too.

"It just seems like it's been something all the time," said Collins, who has seen injuries sideline Andrew Bynum (knees), Kwame Brown (calf) and Jason Richardson (ankle) so far this young season. "I told our guys that I learned something from Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] down at Duke a long time ago. When you win all the time, sometimes winning becomes more of a relief than a joy. I thought [Friday] night when we won, I thought it was more of a relief than a joy, and I told our guys that would never happen again. Every win is going to be joyous, not going to be a relief."

Among his players, Collins pointed out that Evan Turner, who posted 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds in Sunday's 86-79 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, is chief among those who needs to have fun in games.

"Evan is a perfectionist," Collins said. "He absolutely works harder than anybody on our team in the offseason. He comes into the season and he just puts such a ceiling on himself. I want Evan to have that kind of joy playing. When he plays a game [like Sunday's], I want it to be joyful."

Wins should be. But doing what needs to be done to get them might not go over all that well with players. That's where Collins walks the line between being a coach and a caring human being.

"It's not X's and O's, it's about managing people and trying to get the most out of people on a daily basis," Collins said. "When a guy doesn't have it, I let him know it's not personal and that I have to try to find somebody else. That's why you try to build relationships, because when you build relationships, hopefully, guys understand that. Everybody wants to play. Everybody. For me, night to night with this group, it could be a different group every night."

A halftime speech to reserve Spencer Hawes did wonders in helping him post 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in the win over Cleveland.

"Spencer finally calmed down, finally calmed down," Collins said. "I spoke to him at halftime and said, 'Spencer, you're playing in a frenzy. You can't play that way. You've got to slow down.' He did and he made some shots for us."

Sometimes it's as easy as that. Other times it's much harder. All the time it's not about only X's and O's.

Six shots

Nick Young could not play the fourth quarter in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers because of dizziness and light-headedness. Monday he had lab work done at Main Line Health and the results came back within normal limits. Young is expected to be available for Tuesday's home game against the Toronto Raptors . . . Heading into Monday's games, Jrue Holiday was fourth in the league in assists at 8.6 a game. He also led the league in turnovers per game at 4.9 . . . The Sixers are the third-worst scoring team in the NBA at 88.9 a game, but also allow the third fewest at 90.1 . . . They have 16 blocks in their past two games.

" @BobCooney76

Blog: philly.com/Sixerville

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