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Monday, April 8, 2013

Doug Collins, on whether mathematically eliminated Sixers will tank: "No"

(Associated Press)
At first, Doug Collins didn't hear the verb being lobbed in his direction. Then, when it was repeated, the Sixers coach's head looked to be on a swivel, shaking back and forth.


Defiantly and confidently, the Sixers will not tank. There are several definitions for that word. The Sixers won't embrace any of them. They won't lose games intentionally. They won't sit veterans or play rookies for any more minutes than they'd earned. They won't accept defeat for the chance at a better spot in the NBA Draft lottery.

Collins offered a few reasons why.

  • Professionalism: “First of all, you're asking your guys every day to come in and work hard and then go out there and not try to win,” Collins said after Monday's practice at PCOM. “I'm not sure that's the essence of competition.”
  • Karma: “I've seen a lot of teams that are sliding in for those ping-pong balls. I'm not sure karma ever rewards that. I'm not sure.”
  • Draft quality: “You look at the draft this year – is there a knockout difference between one and eight? I mean, is there that one guy everybody would be tanking for?”

The Sixers (31-45) have six games to go, beginning with Tuesday night's date in Brooklyn, before their season comes to a close. They were mathematically ousted from the Eastern Conference playoff race Saturday night, with the combination of their loss to Miami and Milwaukee's victory.

Not much will change down the stretch, Collins said. Guys like Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thad Young and Spencer Hawes still will garner big minutes, based on how well they've played. Arnett Moultrie, who Collins admitted he'd like to play more, might get some run, but … Collins said he still wants to win.

“What I find myself doing is Arnett will get a run early in the game, seven or eight minutes, and in the second half we're in every one of these games,” Collins said. “Your instincts come over to win the game. I want to win the game. I'd like to get him some minutes.”

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