Coach Doug Collins couldn’t have been more candid. The 76ers had just staged an impressive comeback win, beating the Toronto Raptors, 108-101 in overtime on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center and Collins was feeling pretty good about the effort (after halftime).
From a character standpoint, it was among the most impressive wins, simply because the Sixers appeared done on a number of occasions.
They trailed 60-43 at halftime and saw the deficit grow to 19 points early in the third quarter.
With just over five minutes left in regulation the Sixers were still down 10. They trailed by four points with 8.8 seconds left in regulation, yet despite their recent struggles, they never gave up.
Yet when asked after the game if the Sixers could feed of the momentum of this game, Collins replied, “I would like to think a game like this could really revitalize the guys, but we have not shown that.”
That is why this season has been so frustrating for Collins.
His team is 17-23 and he doesn’t know what he will get from many of the players on a nightly basis.
Just two players all season, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young, have provided consistent play. Evan Turner has had his moments, but he has been far from consistent.
Holiday had 33 points, 14 assists and scored all 12 of the Sixers points in overtime. Young had 27 points and 14 rebounds. Both each contributed three steals.
“Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young were brilliant,” Collins said.
For the Sixers to start putting together a run, the other players have to provide more assistance.
Even though Turner, Young, Holiday, Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes are the only holdovers from last season, the Sixers can’t use the excuse that they are still getting used to the new faces.
“That definitely should go out the window,” Jason Richardson said, referring to the excuse that the players were still getting accustomed to one another. “We definitely haven’t been playing up to the capabilities we’re supposed to and we know that.”
So Richardson said the team has no excuses for its inconsistency.
“This is on us,” he said.
So it will be interesting to see if the Sixers will gain some needed momentum by the win over the Raptors. What is known is that if they don’t feed off such a hard-fought victory, then it will be yet another wasted opportunity in a season that has had its share of them.