CLEVELAND - The 76ers won't receive too many style points for Sunday's 95-91 win in Cleveland against the Cavaliers, but afterwards everybody in the locker room made the same point.
Had this game been played in early November, the Sixers wouldn't have won.
One of the best traits of the Sixers is that they com to play virtually every night, showing great energy.
Against the Cavs, there was no energy and the Sixers quickly found themselves down by 12 points.
Collins admitted that he went to his bench earlier than usual because he didn't want the gane to slip away.
And Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner combined for 38 points and gave the team the needed spark.
Williams and Young have been doing this for much of the year and if Turner can become more consistent, then this bench is going to keep the Sixers in plenty of games.
It's interesting that the Sixers saw a 15 points third quarter lead evaporate to two points late in the fourth, but they held on.
Collins seemed relieved. He had been telling anybody who wanted to listed that the Cavs were playing well recently, having won three of their previous five games.
Still, there had to be natural letdown, especially since Cleveland had a 26-game losing streak this year and is getting minutes from the likes of Samardo Samuels, Alonzo Gee and Manny Harris.
We're guessing not too many people have this trio in their fantasy league.
Collins also pointed out that he didn't like seeing the Sixers commit 16 turnovers.
There was plenty to pick apart about the performance - Jody Meeks and Jrue Holiday going scoreless int he first half, but then combining for 27 in the second half.
Against top teams, like Tuesday's opponent the Dallas Mavericks, the Sixers can't afford such a lethargic start.
Still, they are winning now while not playing their best all the time, which sure beats the alternative.
Teams that have effective inside games can hurt the Sixers and for much of the game they had no anser for J.J. Hickson (22 points, 16 rebounds).
Still, they did what they had to, something that likely wouldn't have been acccomplished earlier this season but is now expected at this stage.