SOMETIMES, particularly after tough losses, as was the case in Tuesday's 103-88 thumping by the Minnesota Timberwolves, 76ers coach Doug Collins will just let his thoughts roll out of his mouth for a long period of time.
Quite frankly, adding anything to what he says just wouldn't do these sessions justice. Wednesday was one of those days at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine after his team watched some film then had a voluntary shooting session. So here's a look at what the coach had to say about his 10-8 team.
* On the poor start by his team against the Timberwolves:
"If you look at our guys, really the most energetic games and the intense games that we've played have been against the Bostons and the Chicagos and the Oklahoma Cities. We have to come out every single night and have that kind of edge. I think we're still trying to carve out an identity, who are we? We've got a lot new faces and a lot of times it takes you 20 games to figure that out. We're at 18.
"We broke our schedule down into six-game bites. We've been 3-3, 4-2 and whatever and very close to getting another win in each of those six frames. So we look at it at 10-8 and obviously we'd like to have a couple more wins but we've got to get a consistency and right now we don't have that level of consistency. It's so important for our starters to get off to a good start. Without Swaggy P [Nick Young] coming off our bench right now and with Spencer [Hawes] not scoring we bleed coming off that bench to score. When we put our bench in a position to fail, when we sub down 10 or 13, because we just don't have that firepower.
"Last year we could go to our bench and come in with Lou [Williams] and Thad [Young] and Evan [Turner] and Lavoy [Allen] and score 40 to 50 points off our bench and win games. Last year one of the keys was winning that bench battle. We have to do a better job starting games for our bench as we continue to try to figure out who we are."
* On whether he might split Hawes and Dorell Wright coming off the bench since both are struggling right now:
"I've always felt that Spencer could be a real help to Dorell and Swaggy because Spencer you can run splits through him, dribble handoffs, he can slide out, he can make shots. So you can play through him a little bit. I always felt that he could help both of those guys. That's been a very inconsistent part of what we're doing."
* On how the injuries (Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson and now Nick Young with turf toe) have hurt the team:
"There's no question, but the one thing I've tried to stay away from is the moment you do that you're making excuses as to why the team is not doing this or is not doing that. I've never been one to do that. This is who your team is. My feeling has always been to take the guys you have and coach them up and get the most out of them. There's no question when you make the move for Andrew and you lose Dre [Andre Iguodala] and you lose Mo Harkless, two of your most athletic guys, and you lose Nik [Vucevic] who's a young post guy. That's three losses right now because Andrew is not playing.
"I mean, we'd have three other guys coming off of our bench. I don't know who they would be, but sure that has an effect. Andrew is going to get guys other shots. Jrue [Holiday] is going to get it through penetration and Andrew is going to get it through the post. Your points in the paint are going to be up. You're going to shoot more free throws. But I can't go there because it's not fair to these guys if they feel in any way that I'm distracted by what's not here and what could have been. We have to go on the reality of what is. Our guys are committed to being good. We have the kind of team where we've had a couple clunkers."
* On playing time and slumping players and how they all best fit:
"It's something I continue to try and figure out, how the pieces do fit. How we can get the most out of guys? For the most part of my career I've done a pretty decent job with that. With this team I'm still trying to figure it out."
Evan Turner scored 19 on Tuesday, giving him 10 straight games in double figures, the longest stretch of his career. So far this season Turner is 13-for-30 from three-point range, after going 11-for-49 from there in 65 games last season . . . Jrue Holiday's nine assists Tuesday marked the 15th time this season he has posted more than seven dishes in a game. He did so only 11 times last year . . . Over the past six games the Sixers are allowing 101.8 points after giving up just 90.9 in the first 12 games.