NBA Postseason Graveyard: Philadelphia 76ers
Welcome, to the NBA Postseason Graveyard on The 12th Man, the NBA Hoops feature for Technorati! During the postseason, when a team gets eliminated, we will take a look back at their season, and what do they do for the future to get better. There are 15 graves here, and Wednesday night, two more teams met their maker. We continue the series with the Philadelphia 76ers.
2010-11 Philadelphia 76ers
Record: 41-41 (7th, East)
Playoff Result: lost conference quarterfinal (Heat 4-1).
When the Philadelphia 76ers hired one of their own, Doug Collins at head coach, it was the perfect storm. Collins played his entire career with Sixers, from 1973-1981, played in four All-Star Games, before injuries ended his career early. He came to the Sixers after their 9-73 season, and helped bring the Sixers back to prominence, including an appearance in the 1977 NBA Championship, where they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers.
So Collins was brought in once again to revive the 76ers after a single season under Eddie Jordan, where the team went 27-55 and left players in a very sour mood and unhappy. With a young team, Collins had to face the task of motivating the young players, and renewing the commitment in veterans Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand. With the second pick in the NBA Draft, the Sixers selected Evan Turner. Now with all these new additions and changes, could Philadelphia actually engineer a turnaround and get back to the playoffs for the third time in four years.
After a 3-13 start, Collins and company turned the corner. Over the last 66 games, Philadelphia went 38-28 and was quietly one of the better teams in the NBA. Elton Brand had his best season since joining the Sixers, as his scoring average went up to 15 points per game (from 13.1), his rebounds went up as well (from 6.1 to 8.8), and his field goal percentage also went up (from .480 to .512), and although Iguodala's numbers went down in points (from 17.1 PPG to 14.1 PPG), his assists went up (from 5.8 to 6.3), and although he was the subject of numerous trade rumors, Philadelphia decided to keep him and the results paid dividends. The young guys took advantage of the tutelage of Collins, Jrue Holiday emerged as the teams starting point guard and played (and started) all 82 games, averaging 14 points and 6.5 assists per game. Lou Williams was fantastic off the bench, despite playing 47 games, averaging 13.4 points per game. Turner emerged towards the end of the season as he worked his way into Collins' rotation and was one of their stars of the playoffs.Continued on the next page