In Doug Collins eyes, his 76ers team should be 26-24 instead of 22-28. That doesn’t make the current record any easier to take.
Collins understands the Sixers are still fortunate to even be chasing a potential playoff berth. They are currently three games out of the No. 8 and final Eastern Conference seed and visit the team that occupies that spot, the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
This is the third game between the two teams. Milwaukee has already won two of the first four games. A win on Wednesday would give the Bucks the all-important head-to-head edge, which would give them the tiebreaker.
Anyway, Collins reasons the Sixers should have four more wins due to his theory of stolen wins.
“We have not stolen any games this year but left a few slip away and those hurt,” he said.
He mentioned four games in particular.
The first was a 92-83 loss on Nov. 21 at Cleveland when the Cavaliers were playing without injured point guard Kyrie Irving. In fact current Sixer Jeremy Pargo had a game-high 28 points for the Cavs.
The second loss was a 95-89 loss at Phoenix on Jan. 2, one night after the Sixers earned a 103-99 win at the Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers. The victory snapped Phoenix’s six-game losing streak.
Collins also felt the Sixers let two home games slip away in January, losing 90-85 to San Antonio and 103-100 to Memphis.
Against the Spurs, the Sixers led 82-75 with under six minutes left before being outscored 15-3 the rest of the way.
In the loss to the Grizzlies, the Sixers led by as many as 17 points in the first half.
He said the Sixers had a mental letdown in the losses to Cleveland and Phoenix and the team allowed games against San Antonio and Memphis to simply slip away.
“We’d be 26-24 and you are in the playoffs,” Collins said. “That is how fragile it is. We haven’t been able to win any of those games.”
The Sixers have 32 games remaining and still have a chance to steal a few. Collins isn’t so sure these things even out.
“You have to make those things happen,” he said. “We haven’t made those things happen.”
So on a year when little has gone right, beginning with the knee injury that has sidelined Andrew Bynum, to the recent hamstring injury to Thaddeus Young, Collins is hoping to steal a win or two down the stretch. If the Sixers are able to do that, they may be able to steal something else – a playoff berth.