What Did He Just Say?!

Did anyone else watch Sixers’ Head Coach Doug Collins’ press conference last night after the Sixers defeated the NBA’s best team, the San Antonio Spurs? Was it me or did he use the F-word last night on television? He certainly did. He had the audacity to use the word “Finals” when talking about the Sixers and it was a good thing that he did.

Last night after the game, Collins was talking about what he said to Spurs’ Head Coach Greg Popovich during the customary post game exchange. “I want to give you a call and see how we can continue to get better over the last part of the season. Because we don’t see you again until we play each other in the Finals” said Collins.

Of course some would say that Collins should hold back on the finals talk, at least until his team reaches .500 but it is indeed all apart of Collins’ plan. He truly believes that his team is a good one and he is slowly but surely instilling confidence into the minds of his players. A few weeks ago Collins started referencing the playoffs over and over again and low and behold, they started playing like a playoff team. Perhaps Collins is trying to see if he can capture lightning in a bottle twice. Maybe if he mentions the finals enough, they’ll start playing like a finals team.

Perhaps he was just joking. Regardless, most of the things that he said since he came to Philadelphia have happened so there is not too much reason to doubt him. He said he was going to get Elton Brand back to playing like the old Elton Brand and he is playing much better. He said Iguodala would have to get away from shooting so many threes and begin being more aggressive which he is. He also said that Jrue Holiday could be one of the NBA’s best point guards and he is really starting to make a name for himself. He promised better defense and a better quality team and he has delivered that.

Are the Sixers a finals team this year? Who knows? When they were 3-13, no one thought they were a playoff team but they certainly have put those notions to rest. My suggestion would be to not bet against this team. They are too young and too hungry to absolutely count out of any game against any team. They proved that last night.

Sure, it may be premature for Collins to mention the finals, but it cannot hurt. Why not make your players extremely confident. Tell them they can beat any team in the league and maybe, just maybe, they’ll do it. Collins seems to be trying that strategy. The crowds are looking better and better at the Wells Fargo Center every night and that has a lot to do with a city that may be doing exactly what the Sixers’ players have and that is buying into what Collins is selling.

It all makes you wonder what could have been had the Sixers hired Collins one year sooner instead of wasting a year on Eddie Jordan. It was nice to see the crowd going nuts for their team. It was good to see the boss, Ed Snider sitting court side watching his second favorite team beat the league’s best team and then going over to the bench to shake the player’s hands. It had a nice playoff atmosphere to it, or perhaps it was more of a finals atmosphere being that we played the Spurs.

Either way, it seems that basketball is once again relevant in the City of Brotherly Love. The Sixers are relevant again and that has a lot to do with what Doug Collins is instilling in their minds. So if Doug Collins is saying finals maybe we should get the Wells Fargo Center ready for a lot of playoff games this year, just in case.

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