Under Collins, Minutes Must Be Earned

(We interrupt today's blog to include the three words that everybody's been waiting for - Kate returns Monday).


Doug Collins has to tread that difficult line of developing a young player while also attemping to win games.

And not surprisingly, the winning part has the greater emphasis. Collins has talked glowingly lately about how Evan Turner has handled a bumpy rookie season, one that has included two DNP - Coach's decision.

After Sunday's practice Collins explained why Turner only played a little more than 10 minutes in Friday's 95-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Evan is a great kid but he didn't play well the other night," Collins said. "We were trying to win that game."

Collins said that Andres Nocioni wouldn't play in Monday's game against visiting Charlotte, which means Turner could see more minutes.

This season Collins has sent a message by making Turner and others earn minutes. Turner was the overall No. 2 pick in the draft and there was the perception that he would be handed playing time.

Nobody wants him to succeed more than Collins, but he is also in the business of winning. Collins feels that games against Milwaukee, or Monday's against Charlotte are particularly important, because those are the teams the Sixers are battling for a playoff spot.

We know the skeptics out there will say, what's the big deal about getting a playoff spot and possibly being swept by the Celtics in the first round. Collins feels any additional games for a young team in such a pressurized setting is a good thing and he's coaching each game now with a playoff mindset.

And that is why the minutes will be earned.

"There are nights sometimes a guy's mintues will be down," Collins said. "It’s not because I don’t trust them in the long haul its just on that particular night we had to win game."

So some players may not like getting yanked and make no mistake about it, Turner hasn't been thrilled with his sporadic playing time, but he hasn't made any waves.

Turner has kept working hard, hoping that his minutes and production increase while realizing if that's the case, then anything he accomplishes will truly be earned. 

- Marc Narducci