Perhaps the most important stat that you’re not going to see in the box score as far as Doug Collins is concerned is deflections. Collins has someone on his coaching staff keeping track of every single deflection and he appears to know the total at the end of each and every quarter.
For example, following the Sixers’ 101-94 preseason victory over the Wizards – a performance coach was not please with for the most part – he pointed out that the team only had 11 deflections. He wants a minimum of 35 deflections per game. It doesn’t matter if they result in a turnover; Collins just wants his players jumping into the passing lanes as often as possible in order to get the fast break started whenever possible.
“We want to get 35 a night, which shows you the activity of our defense, although we did pick it up,” he said following the game.
When the Sixers defeated the Wizards in Washington last Friday Collins actually called a timeout in the first quarter at one point and pointed out to them that they hadn’t gotten their hands on one ball. This was about five minutes into the game. The Sixers came back with a concentrated effort and started getting their hands on just about every ball.
Collins credited the liveliness the team showed here for the Sixers getting up by as many as 40 points on the Wizards and winning going away, 103-78.