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Doug Collins says 76ers were “maxed out,” had to evolve

Sep 12, 2012, 2:03 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers introduce Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson Getty Images

It’s going to be a very different 76ers team that takes the court this fall — and there is a lot of optimism in Philly that this is a better team.

It may be in the short term, but more importantly Philly has positioned itself well to improve in the years going forward with cap flexibility. This has brought a lot of hope to Philly fans who are probably three weeks from throwing in the towel on the Eagles (whether they deserve it or not) and will watch the 76ers with interest.

Coach Doug Collins was on 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia and talked about how the old roster needed to be changed if the Sixers were going to move forward (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“I personally thought we had maxed our team out I thought we were a team that every night played hard, we played terrific defense and if you looked at our team other than Andre Iguodala we really didn’t have a premier defensive player individual. Michael Curry, what he did with our defense was spectacular. We didn’t have a dominant rebounder or shot blocker so to do the things that we did on the defensive end to give us a chance we thought was really, really good but we knew if we were going to make a move that we were going to have to get better and unfortunately when you do that you’re going to lose good people.

So Andre Iguodala is gone, Elton Brand is gone, Jodie Meeks is gone…

And Andrew Bynum is the focus of the franchise. It’s exactly what Bynum has said he wanted… but be careful what you wish for. Now he has to live up to it. He has to be mature, he can’t take nights off and be petulant (or flatten guys like J.J. Barea), he has to lead. He can, but it’s on him.

Collins talked honestly about Bynum adjusting to his new role.

The day of the press conference we went back and he, I and Jason Richardson spent some time together along with some of the other people in the organization and I think for Drew, I think a big part of him is he’s excited to be coming home. He was out in LA and I don’t think he ever really fit into the LA scene. I talked to him the other day and he was ready to go over to Germany to have the little procedure, the little injection done in his knee, he’s gotten home in the country here and is excited to be back near his family and everything like that. I think he’s excited that he’s going to be the primary focus of us playing through the post rather than being the third option in LA. He’s a very smart and bright guy, he’s articulate, he knows the game and we talked a little bit about it. Sometimes you say things and I think even he would agree that some of the things that he said came across maybe being a little immature a couple of times. He knows the play on JJ Barea is going to be seen forever and he will always be a part of that but I just feel like he’s in a great place.

Bynum, your legacy really starts now. Yes, you’ll have the Lakers years and the rings, but now is when you prove what you can do. The training wheels are off. This is your team. This is how a lot of people will remember you.

  1. superseahawk - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I like Collins, but Iggy is the definition of a premier individual defender.

    • sasquash20 - Sep 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      He said that moron

  2. somekat - Sep 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Good that Collins saw that they were maxed out, would of been better if he saw it 2-3 years ago when everyone else did. But, hopefully for myself and other sixers fans, it all works out for the Best. If they did clear cap space a few years ago, they wouldn’t of got Wade, or Lebron, or Melo, etc. They would of had to settle for Amare or someone like that, if they were lucky.

    Even though they are a few years late, they brought in one of the best bigs in the NBA, with arguably the highest cieling of any big in the league. Plus they will have the ability to bring in another top tier talent over the next few seasons if the right guy comes up. They still have Holiday to worry about, and his mind boggling belief that he is a max player, but if I’m the sixers, I let him test FA. Nobody else is going to give him a max deal, and if they do, you match it and it is still less than what your max deal would of been. Unless they can find a replacement PG, which I wouldn’t rule out either. But hopefully, Jrue gets it through his head that while a good young player, he is nowhere near a max guy. Sign a 3 year deal around 20mil, and you are an UFA at 25.

    All in all, should be an intersting season. I don’t think they’ll make a serious run, the roster still needs to gel, guys like Holiday, Turner, and Young have to get used to a new system, Bynum has to get used to being the focal point, etc etc. But them going big while the rest of the conference is going small should be intersting to watch. Mainly becasue of that, although I don’t expect a serious run, if they made one, it wouldn’t surprise me. But I think this will be a scary team next year and looking forward. Especially if they can find another top tier talent to add to the mix.

    Either way, great to be a sixers fan and not be stuck in constant mediocrity. It’s been since Barkley was here that the sixers weren’t in that position. Even with AI, they had a great run to the finals on year, but nobody seriously thought they could be LA for the title, and they only made it past the 1st round 1 other time. I’ve always said, the way the NBA is set up, the worst thing you can be is average, it’s brings you average draft picks, and average FA, to keep you average. It’s nice to see the sixers get out of that, and straight to a positive direction, and not have to turn in to a terrible team for 3+ years to do it (the usual path in the NBA)

  3. tcclark - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    If Evan Turner can become that 20 point jack of all-trades that he was expected to be coming out of college, the Sixers could be scary good. He averaged 6 boards a game from the 2 spot only playing 26 minutes a night last year. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that if he improved he could average 20 -5-10 from the 3 spot. Having that next to Bynum would be insane. It’s probably unlikely, but it’s possible.

    • somekat - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      I don’t think it’s that unlikely. Turner is not a star type player, he is a player that is jus solid all around, and has very high bball IQ. Those type of guys tend to take a few years to get used tothe new league, new competition, etc. It was the same thing for him at OSU. He wasn’t on any national radars his freshman or sophmore years, but after being around a few years, getting used to the competition, and adjusting his game, he started getting it his Jr. year, and was NPOY his senior year.

      Add to that the fact that he was stuck behind Iggy, and no matter how much Collins tried to say they did, they did NOT mesh well on the court. You can’t have a 2 and 3 on the floor at the same time who can’t shoot a jumper. It allows defenders to crash at will, it’s a recipe for failure. It works great in the open court, but good teams prevent you from running, especially when they know you are terrible in the half court set.

  4. bledalotofgreen - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Iggy was a very good perimiter defender but he couldn’t score if u can get a rebounding and scoring big man like Bynum….. BYE IGGY!!!

  5. dysraw1 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Philly should expect big things this season, getting Bynum does change the dynamics of this team tremendously. like my Knicks good health & good attitude will mean a lot. its crazy because Philly got tougher an at the same time they made the Nuggets a problem in the west.

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