Meeting with captains helps 76ers end slump

Doug Collins hopes his players will recharge after long road trip.    YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Doug Collins hopes his players will recharge after long road trip.    YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Posted: January 15, 2013

The 76ers are at the point in their season when the rumors start to swirl about how coach Doug Collins has lost his team.

That, however, would be directly contradicted by what happened Friday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, one day before the Sixers ended their five-game losing streak with a 107-100 victory over the Houston Rockets.

After the optional practice, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young wandered into a room in the facility where they found Collins and 11-year veteran Jason Richardson talking about the rough stretch of games they had just come through.

"They had been in there for about an hour," said Young, who brought his double-double total to 10 this season after notching 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Rockets.

Rather than leave, Young and Holiday pulled up chairs and joined in. The coach and the three captains were in a meeting they said lasted about another 11/2 hours. They didn't linger long on the 16 losses in their last 21 games. Instead, they focused on the captains being more vocal and more accountable for the remainder of the season.

"The only thing you can do is learn from that" Collins said of the team's rough stretch. "You can't do anything about it."

Richardson scored 16 points, the most he had scored since going for 17 against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 21. Holiday led all scorers with 30 points and added nine assists, and the Sixers, struggling to score lately, scored 58 points in the first half, the most in any game this season.

Starting with Tuesday's game against the New Orleans Hornets, the Sixers will play 11 of their next 12 games at the Wells Fargo Center. It is a crucial stretch, and the captains think the Friday meeting was a good place to start.

"It was very beneficial," Young said. "We had a lot of time to talk amongst ourselves and with Coach. We know what we have to do and we talked about those things. The bottom line is we know that we have to go out there, keep fighting and hopefully we can get this thing turned around."


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow @JmitchInquirer on Twitter.

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