But Young picked up two fouls in the first 8 minutes, which forced Collins to go to his bench, and which also cooled off Young, who for some unknown reason got off just one more shot the rest of the game - and that didn't come until late in the fourth quarter.
Speaking of the fourth quarter, could there have been a worse 12 minutes to send the Sixers into the break?
For the first time this season, the Sixers lost a game when leading after three quarters, and it wasn't hard to see why. First, Milwaukee threw an extra defender at Jrue Holiday as soon as he crossed midcourt with the ball. Sometimes he would turn his back on the defenders, and also his teammates, and forced a bad pass. More often, he would try to beat the double team by penetrating to the basket and getting off a less-than-desirable shot. That led to an 0-for-6 shooting quarter.
In Collins' attempt to avoid making Holiday handle the double-team offensively and chase mercurial guard Brandon Jennings on the defensive end, he played Royal Ivey for most of the fourth, sprinkling Jeremy Pargo at times. Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that those two players would be relied on for important minutes? But that is the quandary that Collins faces every night because of inconsistent play and injuries.
After such a nice start, the Sixers finished the game by shooting just 6-for-23 in the final 12 minutes, and having six of their shots blocked. For the game, rookie Arnett Moultrie and Pargo played a combined 37 minutes. That says a lot right there.
Maybe the break is exactly what this team needed to reenergize and prepare for what is going to be a struggle of a push for a playoff spot - whether Andrew Bynum ever plays or not.
"Up until this point I think we've been playing better basketball," Spencer Hawes said before Wednesday's game. "I think when Thad [Young] comes back [from his hamstring injury] if we can build on what we were doing with him before he went down, I think we'll be fine. To get away for a little bit will do us well. We will get refocused and get ready to make a run. I always tell people, 'Once you make it to the All-Star break, it's downhill from there.' Whether you're making a push for the playoffs or just finishing out the season, that's kind of the breaking point you look at, even though it's past the midway point, where it doesn't seem like such a daunting task."
Oh, the task, if it is to reach the playoffs, is certainly daunting. Young may or may not be back in a couple of weeks; the Bynum situation is no more clear than it was at the beginning of the season; Jason Richardson is out for the season after knee surgery; Dorell Wright has seemingly fallen out of favor with the coaches, and thus mostly out of the rotation. Rookies are getting big minutes, Evan Turner is struggling, despite 20 points on Wednesday, and the front line is still one of the softest in the league. Throw in the fact that 19 of the final 31 games are on the road and you can see why the break was so welcomed.
"That takes a lot out of you, the fact that we're very inconsistent," Collins said. "I think the thing that takes the most out of a coach is inconsistent performances. From night to night when you don't know what you're getting, you're just grasping sometimes. It's hard on the players, too.
"Every coach needs it [the break], with all the time and the energy and effort that you expend every day. I'm managing 15 people. That's a tough job. There's a lot that goes with that. We've been through a lot this year. This has been a tough year for us. About the time we make a plan to make something good happen, we've been kicked. You never plan for that and it takes a lot out of you. I'm a competitor and I want to win. It's not easy to lose."
On Twitter: @BobCooney76