Sixers spending a lot of time on the practice court

Ever since training camp started back on Septembe 28th, Doug Collins has been doing an awful lot of teaching and tinkering - and it has meant for some long practices.

Today, Collins got the players on the floor a little after 11 and didn't dismiss them for close to 2 and a half hours later.

This has been the norm lately, and understandably so. The team has lost all three exhibition games, including a loss Saturday at New Jersey in which they blew a 7-point lead with 15 seconds to go.

Collins has been happy with his defense of late, but it appears to be the offense that is taking more time to come around. Part of the problem is that Collins will think up something that he thinks might work, but once he gets the players on the court, he realizes that it doesn't, then it's back to the drawing board again.

Collins' mind never stops working. He says he often wakes up at night and starts thinking and diagraming ways for this team to succeed on offense. One area of concern that he talked about on Sunday was the team's three-point shooting. So far in the three games, they have made just 6-for-46 from beyond the arc. Collins didn't like the fact that many of the treys are coming from the furthest spot on the court. If the team takes three's - and it's not one of their strong points - Collins wants them to be from the corner. Ultimately, though, Collins wants the offense to be scoring on slashes and cuts toward the basket.

It's still a work in progress. Which probably means many more long practices.