Frustrated Collins Threatens Lineup Changes

The starters have been put on hold. Doug Collins said he would give his starters one more chance before looking into making changes.

He referred to the 76ers slow starts in the first and third quarters of Saturday’s 88-82 loss to the Orlando Magic as evidence that the starting units aren’t cutting it.

So Collins has told the starters – perform in Boston, or else.

Actually if the Sixers team doesn’t perform well in Boston, they would fall three games behind the Celtics in the Atlantic Division with 10 to play.

Unlike last year when the Sixers played so well after a 3-13 start, they are floundering now with fewer than three weeks left in the regular season.

Collins said how much he likes Jodie Meeks and what he provides, so if there is a change, that will likely be the first one. And Evan Turner could go back to being a reserve.

Collins says that Lou Williams would remain a reserve, so how many other moves could he make?

One if anybody asked this reporter is find some minutes for Nik Vucevic, who has played 26 minutes in the past nine games, including five DNP – Coaches Decisions.

The problem is that Collins can’t make too many changes because his bench is among the best in the league with Williams and Thaddeus Young leading the way.

Young, like Williams, he is better suited coming off the bench.

So there aren’t a lot of moves to be made.

Against Orlando, the Magic started off with a 12-2 first quarter lead. The Magic also began the third quarter on a 15-7 run.

When asked if the poor starts were both at the offensive and defensive ends, Collins said, “That is just not a cohesive group. It’s just not, and the minute we put Jodie out there and we’ve got Thad, and we’ve got some movement and stuff, all of a sudden the game changed immediately.”

The Sixers clearly need a change because this lineup isn’t working. Yet what is not encouraging is that there aren’t many alternatives.

The starters can change, but if the team collectively doesn’t pick up its game, the Sixers will be the lowest of seeds, if they make the playoffs at all.