I was very much in favor of bringing in Doug Collins to coach the team. He had a lot of good qualities that I thought would work well with the young, athletic Sixers. He understands the game and offensive and defensive theory. He's really a decent X and O coach. He has a concept of what it takes to win ball games and how to assemble a team.
My problem is that he's not a good strategic thinker. He doesn't seem to be able to identify and exploit weaknesses on the other team. He doesn't work to create match-ups that favor his players or seem concerned with floor balance, between rebounders/inside players and outside players. I think it is a strength of the Sixers that they have a number of different style players and that they can find favorable match-ups most night that take advantage of their superior athleticism.
Right now there is a disagreement over whether to take a dive this season in order to get a better draft pick, or try to see if the team is capable of making the playoffs even if it would be a quick out. To my way of thinking, the draft pick is better, simply because I assume the team is incapable of making a deep playoff run as they are now.
All this brings me to how the team should be coached now: It is a bad thing to assume that your team can't compete without exhausting all possibilities. We have seen this with the Sixers over the course of the season. Thad Young and Jodi Meeks were bench players- deep on the bench. Spencer Hawes was getting 20 min. a night of less. Jason Kapono was starting. This wasn't working so Doug started searching for something else. He finally figured out that Young was a better choice than Kapono, Nocioni, or Turner. He figured out that Jodi Meeks was a better outside shot and could spread the floor. (A very important piece)
With all these improvements I now think the team is closer to it's potential, and there's really only one stone left to turn over: Mareese Speights. I have said this since the beginning and everyone's response is that Speights sucks. I say maybe he does, and maybe he doesn't. I'm not the only one who seems to think he has real potential. All of this is irrelevant! What is relevant is that the Sixers are deficient when it comes to rebounding and inside scoring, and that the only player left on the roster who could make a difference is Speights.
If we do anything else this season, we have to determine if he can play and contribute or not! If he makes the team worse, that is good for Mission B.J. and if he makes the team better, it changes my view on whether we can really compete or not. In either case this is a no-brainer: You have to play him to know what you have. At worst you get the better draft pick and know to get rid of him. At best you find yourself in legitimate playoff contention. Both are better than where we are now. In between, we also create a FA market for Speights and get some value for him in a trade.