Andy Reid Should Watch Collins and Laviolette (Part 1)

Andy Reid is one of the most disliked sportsmen in Philadelphia. Is it really hatred or just exhaustion?  Hatred for his cooperation and energy during national interviews but the opposite towards local media (Disclaimer: I can’t be held responsible for what I do next time he starts an answer with “Uhm, listen…”) and his self-depricating fat jokes to circle his way around answering questions. Or is it from exhaustion with the “broken record” like approach he has every.single.year.? Andy Reid supporters would say, “But look at his wins! Look at how good his teams are ever year!” Yes, I understand that he is 2nd only to Bill Belichick (who is a top 5 coach all time) in wins for active coaches.  However, those wins only count for the regular season, where we get fooled into thinking alot of things (like the Chiefs being good).  I also understand how consistent he’s been.  BUT, his lack of adjustments and clock management skills have led him to be outcoached in situations to where fans are just tired of it. 1-4 in NFC championship games is unacceptable. What Andy Reid (it just doesn’t seem fit to call him just Reid, it’s like a sub-conscious tick that makes me have to identify him everytime) needs to do is look across the street towards the Wells Fargo Center where two coaches are doing what we have wanted Andy Reid to do for a long time. Adjust to the game and get better.  In part one of this, I look at Doug Collins and the job he’s doing with the 76ers.

Collins took over a dismal team with not much talent.  His best player is Andre Iguodala, who can’t cut it as a number 1.  Their big man, Elton Brand, was another terrible signing by the Sixers front office (Chris Weber comes to mind).  He had the 2nd overall pick and took Evan Turner, who was determined to be a bust during the summer league.  And yet, the Sixers are only 3 games under .500 (which is great in the East apparently) seeded 7th and only one game behind the Knicks for 6th (who have coooooled off very quickly. Amare still MVP? I’m not sure now).  So what’s with the turnaround?  It’s because of Collins intensity, his passion for his system and his players are buying in to it. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen him run onto the court, screaming, praising/criticizing players, talking to refs.  It’s got to be reassuring knowing your coach has your back like that.  Even after the blowout of the Hawks, Collins was seen post game talking to refs about a missed call.   Next time you watch a Sixers game notice the teams hustle.  Against Orlando, the Magic had a 2 on 1 break, Iguodala broke the play up, stole the ball, and led a fast break back the other way for the Sixers.  Doug Collins deserves some of the credit for that.

Elton Brand, who wasn’t a factor until Collins came is finally the player the Sixers hoped he would be when they signed him to that 5 year 80 million dollar deal. Brand is now averaging 15 and 8 and has become one of the most stable and solid players on the Sixers. He finished with 12 and 17 on Friday night when the Sixers beat the Spurs (on that note, the Sixers won 77-71.  Holding the best team in the league to just 71 points is an improvement if I’ve ever seen one). Collins needs to be given his due, his props for this turn around.  Throughout the whole league, teams finish each game (usually) with the same starting five.  Collins doesn’t (because his talent won’t allowe him to, I know) because he’s about adjusting to the matchups.  There have been games where he’s ended with Evan Turner (Evan Burner as I call him) and games where he’s ended with him on the bench. 

It is achievements like these that just make me a Collins guy.  It makes me think the Sixers are only one post player away from being a solid team in the East.  I just hope Andy Reid listens this year. (Final note: Stop worrying about the Eagles saying they should run the ball.  They won’t.) Next post shows the job done by Peter Laviolette and his Philadelphia Flyers.

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