The Sixers were literally the best team in the NBA to start the season. And now, without any big injuries or other evident cause, they have lost at home by 20 to the Raptors and appear to be slipping at precisely the wrong time.
Former Sixers beat writer, and current ESPN.com contributor, Kate Fagan recently wrote about the team on her personal blog. And the news is not good for a fanbase that has swooned for a coach:
Since around early March, guys on the team have struggled with Doug Collins’ coaching style. Look, we all knew at the beginning of last year, when Collins took over this young team, that he had a history of turning around young squads. And we also knew that he had (sometimes as early as the second season) a history of over-coaching, at which point his players tend to become frustrated and tune him out.
The Sixers have been struggling with this for at least a month, if not longer. This has led to heated interactions, sometimes even in the middle of games. On more than one occasion, players have let Collins know — during a game — that they’re sick of the relentless nitpicking. This incessant nagging (or even the perception of it) leads to fractured relationships. The Sixers have reached the point where, at least some of them, have addressed this issue with Collins.
Has it reached the point of tuning him out? At times.