Collins calls Sixers play "sensitive" and "fragile"


Collins calls Sixers play "sensitive" and "fragile"

After a 20-9 start, owning the top spot in the Atlantic Division for a majority of the season and boasting one of the best defenses in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers are very close to missing the playoffs.

The currently seventh-seeded Sixers fell into a tie with the eighth-seeded New York Knicks after losing to Boston on Sunday and are just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, who sit ninth in the Eastern Conference.

As quoted by CSNPhilly's Dei Lynam, Sixers Coach Doug Collins has been unable to properly respond to his teams recent struggle because of their youth and sensitivity.

"The one thing about players today is that theyre very sensitive, and very fragile, Collins said before his teams game against the Boston Celtics on Easter Sunday. They didnt grow up with tough coaches. You know, I had my ass kicked since I was six. Its a different time, and so I treat this team very much with kid gloves. I really do, and Im still looked at as an ogre

Its terrible, I mean, its hard. It really is hard, he said. I honestly find myself during the games looking at the coach and asking, Was I alright with those guys during that timeout? Did I hurt anybodys feelings? Was I OK? Coach, youre fine, youre fine I said OK, OK, I just wanted to make sure I didnt hurt anybodys feelings. Thats the sensitivity, and the younger the guys, it seems like the more sensitive. And thats what youre wrestling with.

If Collins feels that way about his team, it doesnt make much sense to publicly make those feelings known as what started out as such a promising season in Philadelphia could be ending in the lottery.

Collins has a reputation for wearing on players after a while and with him voicing his frustrations with his roster while still competing for a playoff spot, it might be best if both parties part ways after the season.

With several high-profiled coaches looking for work and a promising core of young players that defend, Philadelphia is an intriguing destination and definitely a team on the rise.

Robin Lopez on when he knew he'd be suspended: 'When I threw a punch'

Robin Lopez on when he knew he'd be suspended: 'When I threw a punch'

Most NBA players have to let their adrenaline come down before the reality of what's coming next begins to hit them, but Robin Lopez had his moment of clarity at the oddest time during his altercation with Toronto's Serge Ibaka on Tuesday night.

When asked when he knew he would be serving at least a one-game suspension for his missed punch in the fourth quarter of their loss to the Raptors, Lopez said, "When I threw a punch."

The process from the NBA to Lopez was pretty straightforward, and Lopez called the one-game suspension "fair."

Ditching the caveman look for a clean shaven appearance at Friday morning's shootaround, Lopez seemed at ease with what happened and wasn't going to contest the one-game decision, especially since the NBA could've gone with two or three games as no precedent has been set for fighting this season.

"I mean, that's what the league gave. I'm going to stick with it," Lopez said, adding, "I didn't change my story."

The multiple camera angles would've made it impossible to believe a different recollection of the events had Lopez attempted to finagle himself out of the one-game suspension that stopped his 71-game starting streak with the Bulls this season.

[BULLS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

His matter-of-fact statement after an emotionally charged incident didn't hurt the Bulls. They beat the Pistons by 20 as Lopez was serving a banishment that ended his streak of 187 consecutive games played. But he was happy Joffrey Lauvergne got a chance to prove his worth.

Lauvergne had 17 points and seven rebounds Wednesday night, and he'll be behind Lopez against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night as Cristiano Felicio is recovering from a hard fall late in the Raptors game.

"He's very versatile. He's a playmaker, he can score from a lot of different spots on the floor. He's a really smart basketball player," Lopez said of Lauvergne. "I always want to be out there with the guys. But they took care of business and did their thing. So I was pleased to see them pick up the win."

Picking up two in a row shouldn't be a monumental task against the 76ers, though they are 3-3 in their last six games and the Bulls haven't won two in a row in nearly a month as their grip on a playoff spot has loosened.

For the moment, the Bulls sit ninth in the East, a full game behind the surging Miami Heat, with a 34-38 record. Teams with nothing to lose can be playoff spoilers, and the Bulls have lost more than their share of games to lesser teams this season.

"Those teams do play loose," Lopez said. "They kind of just go out there to play basketball, and that can be a bit dangerous. But we've got something to play for, so we've got to be more motivated. The Sixers especially, they play really well, they have a lot of energy. So we've got to go out there, we've got to play motivated."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will the Bulls make the postseason?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will the Bulls make the postseason?

Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000), Brian Hedger ( and Jason Goch (SB Nation Radio) join Kap on the panel.  The Bulls beat the Pistons in a game with huge playoff implication.  So could they actually make the postseason?

The Blackhawks are closing in one division title but what’s their biggest weakness?

Plus Theo Epstein’s a really great leader, Kyle Hendricks is going to have to wait a while to pitch plus DeShone Kizer loves the band “Chicago” but will he play here?