Perhaps my last post left the impression that I’m of the belief that the 76ers players are the sole custodians of this rapidly disintegrating season that at one point set you aflutter with visions of basketball at Wells Fargo Center weeks and maybe even a month after the conclusion of the regular season.
Oh, no. Quite to the contrary. This continuously evolving tragedy includes more than a few mistakes by coach Doug Collins as well, the biggest being the handling/mishandling of Evan Turner.
In an effort to salvage the season, Collins last Saturday openly speculated on the possibility of changing the starting lineup after the starters shot 13-for-44 from the field to help Orlando end a five-game losing streak.
Who knows what that means right now? Does that mean sending Spencer Hawes to the bench (I don’t think so; he’s a veteran and Collins loves that) in favor of Nik Vucevic? Or could it mean - benching Turner again and reinserting Jodie “The Glue” Meeks back in the starting lineup?
Maybe he’ll stand pat, but who really knows? However, now is not the time to reverse field on Turner, especially after saying a few weeks ago that “Evan Turner is a point guard.” Especially not now after saying, the same night Collins delivered the aforementioned quote that he has to find out how well Turner, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday play together.
I was completely on board with the decision to start Meeks opposite Holiday in the backcourt at the start of the season. Dangle a carrot in front of the 2010 number two overall draft pick and keep him hungry for that starting position.
I get that.
And as the team got off to a great start – mostly because of the continuity carried over from the end of last season – I considered myself among the more erudite in the media who also got that you needed Meeks on the floor to spread it with his ability to snipe from outside.
But it’s not working anymore. In fact, Meeks’ ability to spread the floor hasn’t risen above an empty threat in back-to-back games all season long, and it’s not likely to happen over the final 10 games of the regular season.
Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.