UPON FURTHER review . . .
After Wednesday's disappointing fourth-quarter meltdown against the Oklahoma City Thunder, 76ers coach Doug Collins did his best Andy Reid impression, blaming himself for the Sixers' 11 straight missed shots late in the fourth quarter after gaining a seven-point lead.
But the video showed different.
Yesterday, the coaches and team gathered for about 90 minutes to look at video from the 92-88 loss to the Thunder and to shoot the ball a little bit. The video was the focal point of the gathering, as Collins and his coaches wanted to point out the various mistakes made.
"The coaches and me got here and spent about 2 hours together and talked about the game," Collins said. "And what we thought what we'd do is put on about the last 6 minutes and 45 seconds of the game and just sort of walked through. In the fourth quarter, we had nine wide-open shots that we missed. As a coach, you beat yourself up at the press conference, which I always do. But you go back, and we had nine open shots that we missed. We had three bad possessions in the last 6 minutes. What hurt us, I think, was they had two field goals in the last 6 minutes. What hurt us was they got to the foul line and [got] offensive rebounds. We gave them a couple possessions where they had two or three shots at the basket.
"So we basically just walked our guys through the offensive side of it, the defensive side of it. I guarantee you, there will be teams, when they get ready to play Oklahoma City in the playoffs, that will take our film and watch and see how we tried to guard them. I thought our coaches did a masterful job defensively to give ourselves a chance to win that game. I thought Dre [Andre Iguodala] played Durant as well as you could play him."
Durant did score only 23 points on 7-for-18 shooting. And the Sixers did everything they possibly could do defensively to win the game - limiting the Thunder to less than 39 percent shooting from the floor and forcing 17 turnovers.
It was the offensive struggles that dominated this loss, which gave the Sixers (21-15) their sixth loss in seven games.
"Today in film, it was an eye-opener," said guard Lou Williams, who missed six of seven shots in the final quarter. "Just to know how many small mistakes we made. The fans, they only see the big mistakes, the missed shots and those types of things. But we didn't screen, we didn't execute. Most of the things we did was to ourselves to not win that game.
"We were getting good looks. We had a stretch where Jodie [Meeks] misses two threes, I missed a three, Jrue [Holiday] misses one, Thad [Young] misses a couple of layups. These are all shots that we make routinely. In the last 5 minutes, the ball dried up, and Kevin Durant starts to get going a little bit, and it's a different game."
The Sixers will try to right the ship tonight when they host the Golden State Warriors.
Today is the 50th anniversary of when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in a 169-147 victory at Hershey Sports Arena. Doug Collins was asked yesterday about Chamberlain's feat.
"We scored 88 [Wednesday], that's all you need to know," said Collins, whose team has not reached 100 points in 19 games. "I remember watching Wilt, and it seemed like every Sunday I turned on the TV and the Sixers-Celtics were playing either in Philadelphia or Boston Garden. It seemed like him and Bill Russell [all the time]. How phenomenally talented he was.
"I remember the first time I met him. I was drafted by the Sixers. I remember Wilt coming up, and it was one of the most amazing moments of my life, meeting Wilt Chamberlain and shaking his hand. He knew I was drafted by the Sixers, and he wished me a lot of luck."
Having coached and formed a bond with Michael Jordan, Collins has repeatedly said he thinks Jordan is the best ever to play the game. But was Wilt the most dominant?
"I don't like to get into those superlatives," he said. "There have been so many guys that have had an incredible mark on the game. It would be hard to find a guy that was more dominant in terms of scoring and rebounding. And the one year he led the league in assists, because he wanted to.
"My old roommate, Clyde Lee, used to tell me horror stories. When he was a rookie at Golden State, his coach would send him in to foul Wilt at the end of quarters. About the third or fourth time doing it, Wilt looked at him and said, 'You foul me and I'm going to break your arm.' Clyde was begging with him and said, 'Coach said I have to do this.' So he gave the foul, and I think Wilt smiled at him."
Center Francisco Elson's second 10-day contract expired, and he was not re-signed for the rest of the season.