Philadelphia 76ers: Why 2012-13 Is Make or Break Year for Doug Collins

Rod Thorn is nearly out of the door as the Philadelphia 76ers‘ general manager. I have nothing more to say than “good riddance”, seeing as I am a vociferous critic of the team’s puzzling decisions from the last three offseasons.

But many people ask, “What about head coach Doug Collins?”, who has made it to the playoffs in both seasons he’s been here and gone 8-10 in playoff games, a respectable record. Even though the Chicago Bulls were missing Derrick Rose, it’s safe to say that the Sixers did something special by winning in the first round and then taking Boston to the brink in round two of last year’s playoffs.

Even though he’s led this team to a 76-72 regular season record, I still think Collins will need to do more to retain his job and the favor of the Philadelphia fanbase.

Collins is well-liked in Philadelphia, but he’s far from untouchable (photo via DepressedFan).

I’m in favor of a 76ers youth movement, which will almost definitely lead to a worse record in 2012-2013, but that doesn’t mean Collins can’t coach well. Many of his decisions in the past—sitting Evan Turner in favor of Jodie Meeks large among them—haven’t sat well with me, and the fallacy that the 76ers would be lost without him frustrates me.

It’s as if people forget that Andre Iguodala is an All-Star and Team USA member, Jrue Holiday made it onto the USA Select Team and All-Sophomore squad, Evan Turner is a former No. 2 pick and Elton Brand was once hailed as the best power forward in the league. Not to mention their bench was loaded with capable sixth men Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams.

Collins’ decisions, not the team’s success, will loom large in whether new owners Joshua Harris and Adam Aaron decide to retain him after this season. His contract expires after this season but has a club option for 2013-14, which just exacerbates the situation.

Decisions that would be a turn-off for many would be keeping Kwame Brown playing starters’ minutes, playing Dorell Wright in favor of Maurice Harkless and starting Nick Young over Evan Turner.

The Sixers, who will likely fall in the first round if they make the playoffs, should have one goal in mind in 2012-13: the development of their young players for a deep playoff run next season.

Collins is in control of at least part of his future, which is something not many coaches have the luxury of being: If he does what is best for the team—sitting guys like Brown in favor of younger, more talented players like Moultrie, even if it means a couple less wins—he will likely be re-upped and also have a squad that has the talent and maturity to make a deep playoff run two years in the future.

But first, he has to make it out of this season alive.

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Categories: 76ers, Editorial

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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4 Comments on “Philadelphia 76ers: Why 2012-13 Is Make or Break Year for Doug Collins”

  1. July 31, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Doug Collins is a great coach and has turned this team around, making us one of the top defensive powers in the league. He also is helping to mold the older players on the team to be leaders, and to be both offensive powers as well as defensive stars. Also I here more people saying, “lets build a team around Doug Collins” rather than “What about Doug Collins.” The youth movement also was there for the 2011-2012 playoffs and will be more experienced and ready to lead the even younger players. =

    • July 31, 2012 at 8:42 am #

      I’m not saying Collins is bad, just that he has something to prove in 2012-13. I think that if he simply does the right things and doesn’t give 30+ minutes to scrubs like Kwame Brown, he deserves a chance to coach again for one more year and see if he can lead the developed, more mature team to a deep playoff run.

      • Ryan Bowman
        July 31, 2012 at 9:43 am #

        He proved it when he made the playoffs last year, but I can see where you make this opinion. I just feel that he made this team rise to the playoffs from nothing.

        • August 3, 2012 at 7:29 am #

          That’s fair, but it’s not like the team is garbage. They had Lou Williams, a great sixth man, Andre Iguodala, an All-Star, Thad Young, an underrated bench presence and Jrue Holiday, a nice young point guard who made the USA Select Team.

          I think he’ a good coach as well, but the word “great” is thrown around pretty loosely.

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