My Christmas Wish List for Doug Collins

Dear Santa,

1) This one should be easy, because Doug loves him. Give Thad at least 30 minutes/game and allow his role in the half court offense inflate so that his trade value does not decrease substantially following the contract signing....whether starting or off the bench doesn't matter. If Doug resists, tell him it that he will have more opportunities to hug Thad as he walks off the court or comes to a timeout after a nice series of plays. Doug likes hugs.

2) Allow Thad Young to shoot more catch and shoot jumpers...maybe even a rare 3 pointer from the corner if he shows he can hit it... With Thad's quickness, and all of our willing passers, he should be able to take advantage of his position for at least a couple of open catch and shoot jumpers from the mid range every game. This would be a great way to get him more involved in the half court offense. Once he makes a couple, the opposing PF will jump out on him on the perimeter. Then Thad has a 250lb defender's momentum coming at him away from the paint as he catches the ball. That will make it easier for Thad to occasionally take a couple quick dribbles to the hoop with a fancy high percentage lefty half hook off a spin, and with the ball less likely to bounce off his toes out of bounds.

3) Stop the nonsense about developing Thad's drive/pull up game. He'll hit the catch and shoot at a higher percentage than a pull up, and if one of our 3 to 5 players on the roster who can iso more effectively than Thad have the opportunity instead of him, there will be a few more assists and a few less turnovers. Thad is a natural off the ball scorer. Collins should instead be developing that part of his game instead of squeezing a square peg into a round hole. <2 iso's per game for Thad on average. If in his love for Thad, he refuses, please remind Doug that if he allows Thad to ISO then it becomes harder to tell the other players "Stop that, dammit!"

4) Less of Lou as a point guard! Please. Please. Oh Lord, please. I get the fact that he doesn't turn it over and is a veteran, so he deserves to start off the offense with the ball in his hands on occasion. But please, against back ups, take the ball out of his hands more often early in the shot clock and instead give it to a more true and complete generator of offense off the dribble, named Evan Turner. I realize ET put in the work with Magee as an off the ball shooter, but lets not get things twisted. The guy has to have the ball in his hands more often so he can work some magic off the dribble. It can't be justified for ET to happen a lot against first teamers when he's on the floor with all the vets. And against the backups, it won't happen enough if Lou always has the ball in his hands. So please, take it out of Lou's hands and instead force Lou to play more off the ball (where he's actually probably the 3rd most effective on the team after Thad and Meeks). Lou can hit that corner 3 at a high percentage in the clutch, and can slash baseline when the defense over-commits. He's naturally better in the corner or off the ball than ET. ET is naturally better at the top of the key with the ball in his hands than Lou. So, please stop doing the opposite if they are on the court together. Actually stop doing the opposite if Lou is on the court with Jrue or Iguodala as well for that matter.

5) I know that Doug is proud and ecstatic that Iguodala lost 10lbs and worked on his mid-range game. But if Iguodala regains some of the effectiveness that he lost in the mid-range due to the bulk he put on going into the Eddie Jordan season, then that could be a hindrance....not a blessing. Iguodala does not need to be shooting a bunch of short to mid range jumpers. 3 on average per game tops, I'm ok with if he hits at a higher percentage than last year. And please, Santa, please please please, have Doug realize that even though Iguodala might add a few percentage points to his FG% due to weight loss, that does not mean he is suddenly a true go-to guy every possession of crunch time. Even though it by nature is harder to run plays during crunch time, that can't possibly mean that the only two plays that can be run is either an Iguodala or Boss ISO then pull-up. There has to be some other plays and other players who can make an impact there. In crunch time don't forget the following:

a) Jrue's ability to get a short to mid range pull up utilizing a Brand screen... (if he's told to go on the attack instead of set up the offense in this situation, maybe he's less likely to turn it over?)...we saw this play a lot during the first 3.5 quarters of the game when Iguodala was out around mid-season and Jrue averaged around 18-20.

b) Lou's ability to make a play off the ball from the corners or curling around a screen.

c) Thad's ability to hit a lefty half hook in the post with his back to the basket (against some defenders at least, although I guess a counter move might be needed here)

d) ET's ability to make high difficulty shots off the dribble against small to medium sized 2 guards look mundane if God forbid he is ever given the ball at the top of the key in crunch time instead of Iguodala or Lou.

e) If Iguodala or ET draw the defense for a last shot of the game situation driving to the hoop, Thad could simply sprint out of the paint to the top of the key and half the time be open for a catch and shoot jumper that is a higher percentage shot than a pull up jumper with the lane packed with bodies and a defender in their shorts.

d) We have this guy named Meeks. He can hit a catch and shoot 3 at the same or higher percentage as most of our guys can hit a pull up 15 foot jumper. If Jrue can't set up the half court offensive play in crunch time that ends up with Meeks getting a good look off a screen. then find someone else on the roster or off the FA scrapheap who can.

6) Don't let Spence play too many minutes. If he's still the starter this season at C, then please yank him early in the 3rd quarter before we give the game away. I don't care if he did yoga in the offseason or looks "bouncier", or if he makes passes in the half court offense that make Doug happy (during the 1st quarter when the oppositions' defense is at it's laziest). Even if he hits a couple shots early in the 3rd, it's fools gold. He'll follow it up by getting out-muscled at the hoop on the next possession, or by not taking advantage of an easy post opportunity on a switch against a player 6 inches shorter that Vucevic could probably convert in his sleep.

7) It's great that Doug forces young players to earn their time. But I'm going to clear something up real quick here.....Unless Spence actually did complete the p90x dvd and refueled with a daily creatine and steroid sandwich (less fattening than PB and J), Big Nik can finish at the rim or in the post better than Spence ever will. So if by some miracle, Big Nik shows himself to be at least equal to Spence as a rookie defensively, then please give Nik more minutes than Spence. Don't let Doug wait until next year just because Nik might make a couple mistakes. Also, don't forget that Lavoy Allen and Xavier Silas are on the roster (if in fact, they make the roster). Although limited NBA talents, they might surprise by providing an element or two off the bench that we lacked last year (scoring isn't the only way to contribute off the bench).

8) If we make the playoffs again, please have Doug remember it becomes more a game of match-ups as opposed to normal regular season rotations in a 7 game series. So, if Jrue and Iguodala suddenly become much more valuable on the defensive end of the floor in a playoffs match-up for their one on one defense, then make that their priority. Other guys on the roster can help us on the other end of the the floor get to 87 points and win the game if we just utilize the defensive gifts we've been given. No one not named Iguodala on the roster should defend Lebron. No one not named Jrue should ever defend Wade. It's possible that we have the two best wing defenders for those two players of any team in the league. Let's not forget that simple truth(apologies Meeks, but I will kick the television if you ever defend Wade again on anything other than a switch). Dear Santa, if Doug doesn't understand this, then tell him he will win more in the post season, and then his post season record might match his wonderful ability to motivate and teach young players the basics of pro ball.

Now Santa, I've paid my taxes for years. I've mostly been a good boy. I'm diligent about earning my paycheck at work. I've watched the Sixers through many seasons of mediocre to flat out bad head coaching, and equally bad GMing. This coach, Collins, he actually has half a clue. Please make him use the other half. Please give me my Christmas wish. I promise I'll wish for world peace and no more hunger next year if that helps.

ps: no more milk and cookies for you until we get out of the 1st round!

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