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Transcript: Doug Collins goes off on Sixers after loss

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Transcript: Doug Collins goes off on Sixers after loss

After the Sixers' 98-84 loss to the lowly Orlando Magic on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center (see story), a clearly frustrated Doug Collins held a memorable press conference. Here's the transcript:

On his team's lack of effort:

"Well I sure didn't see this effort coming. I thought we played incredibly hard against Miami. I thought we played incredibly hard in New York on Sunday. And this is mind-numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn't even tell you what occurred.

"[Pat Summitt] is one of the all-time great coaches, and she spoke at my clinic when I was in Chicago, and she was incredible. And I'll never forget what she said. She said when she goes into young ladies' homes to recruit them, she said there are three things that you have to bring in my program: energy, effort and execution. And I'm in charge of one of them: execution."

On if they don't realize how desperate they should be playing? (Bob Cooney of Daily News)

"Bob, you know what man, I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I really do. I gotta tell you. I'm sitting there. I gave my body to this franchise. I was never booed as a player. Never. I ran through my sneakers."

On if it's a bad mix: (by John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com)

"I think the team that we've tried to put together, Gonzo, we've never seen. And so I think what happens is, when you take a huge piece away from it, your warts show."

On leaving the court before the buzzer:

"I thought the clock was going to wind down. I didn't realize they were going to take a shot clock violation."

Wasn't out of frustration?

"Oh no no no no no. I thought the clock was going to wind down. I didn't realize there was a differential. I've done that before."

On if his players have become comfortable losing:

"You would have to ask them that. I don't know. I do not know. The thing about it is, I can't speak for others. Damien Wilkins -- I mean he's been one of our best players since coming back from break. I told you, I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break to come back to play."

On if there's anything he can do:

"Can I tell you something? If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan. OK? I mean, believe me, there's not two days go by that I don't to go Rod [Thorn], I don't go to Tony [DiLeo] -- what can I do? Can I do anything different? How can I be a better coach? How can I be a better leader? How can I help these guys? Sometimes you've gotta help yourself. You know? Sometimes you've gotta help yourself. Youth is a very blaming thing."

On if his players ever go to him and ask how they can get better:

"No. I usually go to them.

"And, you know what, after a while, the talk gets old. Man, it gets old. It just does.

"At some point and time, you just gotta play. I told them at halftime, the game's not about X's and O's. We went up 29-20 -- it wasn't about X's and O's. [The Magic] scored 14 out of 20 possessions going into half. We came out, we were going to be all fired up, and it was a 7-0 run before we could blink. It was almost identical to New York. We were down 12 and we gave them an 8-0 run.

"And it's incredibly frustrating, yes, it is. But my job is to not put that kind of product on the floor. I'm incredibly hard on myself. I love it when the fans start yelling at me -- I'm not playing. You didn't yell at me when I played. Why are you yelling at me when I'm coaching?

On whether he has leaders:

"I think we have some guys who have some capability. I say all the time ... they say it's a players' league, well then take ownership. Take ownership. That's all I'm asking: Take ownership of what you're putting out there.

"To me, I'm a day's work for a day's pay kind of guy. That all I've ever been taught. And the one thing I have to understand is -- from me staying up, working harder, not sleeping -- that's not going to help anything. There's nothing wrong with our preparation.

"I looked out there to start the game and three guys weren't even sweating when we started the game. They're going to ease themselves into the game. You've gotta get sweaty, you've gotta get ready to go. So we started out at the break, and we come over to the bench and we're 6-for-18 [shooting] to start the game.

Media relations official says only a couple more questions:

"Yeah, go ahead, I don't mind. Hey, I'm having fun. I feel like I'm at the State of the Union."

On why Andrew Bynum wasn't on the bench:

"Does he sit out there all the time? I don't know. I mean, I don't even know. A lot of times he sits back there and gets treatment. I know he's going to talk to you guys tomorrow.

"You know guys, it's been hard. I think there's a part of this group wondering, 'Are you gonna play? Aren't you gonna play?' And it's been a tough year.

On why he had four starters on the bench early in the fourth quarter:

"Hey, you know what? They weren't getting it done. What were we down, 17? We went from seven to 17. And I go back to [coach Hank Iba], that voice I always here, 'Hey son, if you don't want to play, your substitute does. Give somebody else a chance.' We did and we cut it to five. It wasn't anything other than getting some stops, push the ball, play with some aggression. Basketball is a simple sport. The game is usually going to go to the aggressor. That's just the way it is.

"I'm disappointed. I really, really am, because there was so much this season that we were looking forward to. And it just seems like every time we turn around it's been something else.

On how much injuries have dragged down this team:

“We made a huge deal and we have nobody playing a part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome. That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any outs. That’s a fact. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer [Hawes] had one, I think Lavoy [Allen] had two.”

On playing better before Thad got hurt:

“We are a team, I told you, that least little change affects us. You know, all of a sudden the starting lineup changes again. We have guys that don’t deal well with that. We’re not a team that rolls with that easily. We had Thad, we’re use to him. I thought Thad didn’t have the energy tonight that he had in New York. Sometimes that’s what happens, second game back. You know, the first game, running on adrenalin and that second game you just don’t have the juice. I just didn’t see that pop with Thad tonight but he had been out three weeks.

"We put so much on Jrue and Thad, if those two guys play well we have a chance. We got a chance because we’ll find three or four guys during the course of the game, but those two guys are critical for us. Thad gives us that speed and what he brings with the glue and Jrue is our all-star. I just don’t want you to think I’m up here blaming. I don’t want you to think I’m making excuses. That’s not what this is about. I’m not a blamer; I’m not an excuse kind of guy. No one takes this harder than I do. Nobody and I am a guy who, when I have coached, I’ve always been able to find some answers and I’ve not been able to find answers.

"And from my standpoint that is very disappointing because I’m paid to do that. I want you to know, that in no way am I casting dispersions on somebody else’s fault. We’re all in this together, but there cannot be a game that you just don’t go out and put your heart and soul into the game. Can’t do that. Had an off day, we’ve been on the all-star break. There’s no reason for that. None.”

On where do you go from here/is this a bottoming out:

“I sure hope so. I sure hope it can’t get any worse than this, but I mean, if you look at our schedule, 12 of our last 14 are on the road and look at the home games we’re playing: Atlanta, Golden State. Every one of them is a playoff team. But it’s interesting, the one thing my team has really never done is. I’ve always said ‘Beat the team you’re supposed to beat and let’s see where you are against the others.’ And it seems like for us we’ve laid some eggs in here against some teams we’ve had a chance to beat and then we’ve played pretty well -- San Antonio, Memphis, Miami -- played well, but they were still better than us and beat us, and that’s what you can’t do.”

Sixers-Celtics thoughts: Blockbuster trade subjects highlight home opener

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Sixers-Celtics thoughts: Blockbuster trade subjects highlight home opener

Sixers (0-1) vs. Celtics (0-2)
7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports app. Pregame Live at 6. 

The Sixers (0-1) lost their season opener to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday in a fashion that has become quite familiar in recent years.

The Sixers stood toe-to-toe with the Wiz for most of the night, fell behind late, and then made a run in the final minutes only to come up short in a 120-115 defeat.

While an admirable effort against one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams, JJ Redick made it clear that moral victories are no longer acceptable (see story).

Now the Sixers are ready to host the Boston Celtics in front of what is expected to be a raucous crowd for their home opener at the Wells Fargo Center (see story).

Let’s take a closer look at the matchup:

• What was all that chatter about a minutes restriction? Joel Embiid went well over what was expected to be his allotted time limit in the season opener when he played 26:57.

Afterward, both Embiid and Sixers head coach Brett Brown explained that this season, the center’s minutes will be within more of a “range” and follow a “plan.” Essentially, how much the big man plays will depend on his stamina and the flow of the game.

Embiid managed 18 points, 13 rebounds and three assists in the opener. However, he admitted there were areas that need improvement (he did commit four turnovers and was late on some defensive rotations).

• You had to like what you saw from Ben Simmons against the Wizards. He scored 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting to go along with 10 boards, five assists, two steals, one block and a single turnover.

More importantly, the point guard played with poise and conviction as he set up the Sixers’ offense.

Sixers fans might not like the fact that several of the team’s young players have missed what would have been their rookie seasons. However, there is something to be said about the advancement of a guy that has been around an NBA team for an entire year before playing a game.

• Before we get any further, let’s hope for a speedy and healthy recovery for Gordon Hayward.

By now you know the All-Star forward suffered a gruesome leg injury just minutes into his Celtics' debut.

The C’s will certainly miss his production and leadership this season.

• With Hayward now sidelined, there has been even more attention focused on Kyrie Irving’s transition to the Celtics. 

The star point guard started with a much-hyped return to face his former Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving played well in that one with a double-double of 22 points and 10 assists, but he couldn’t connect on a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.

Irving followed that effort up with a dud in a loss to the Bucks. He scored 17 points on a rough 7 of 25 shooting, in addition to just three assists and three turnovers.

The Sixers can expect the scoring machine to try and regain his offensive rhythm right from the opening tip.

• Hey, remember when the Sixers and Celtics made a blockbuster trade involving multiple first-round picks and it was all anyone could talk about? Yeah, seems like forever ago now.

Just before June’s draft, the Sixers sent the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder to the Celtics in exchange for the No. 1 selection. The Sixers took that opportunity to select Markelle Fultz while Boston snagged Jayson Tatum, and the rest is history.

Well, much-scrutinized history. The two rookies will forever be linked and their production compared.

After an injury-filled offseason and camp, Fultz acquitted himself well in his debut. He shot 5 for 9 from the field for 10 points with three rebounds, an assist and a highlight block. Of course, there were also those awkward looking free throws (see story).

On the other side, Tatum has had it about as rough as possible in his first pair of NBA games when it comes to matchups. He started off with LeBron James in the Celtics’ opener before coming back the next night and facing Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

That hasn’t been the best experience defensively, as both James and Antetokounmpo went off. But few men on the planet can handle those players.

Tatum has been productive in his first two games, particularly on the backboard. He’s gobbled up an impressive 22 rebounds to pair with 22 points in two games.

With Fultz playing limited minutes off the bench, it would appear Tatum has the upper hand when it comes to opportunity. But we’ll see what the No. 1 pick has in store for his first regular-season game in front of the home fans.

• Robert Covington made sure that you won’t forget about him this season.

In search of a contract extension, Covington opened the 2017-18 season with a 29-point outburst against the Wizards that included seven threes. 

We’ll see what he can do for an encore.

• The Sixers took one of the four matchups last season with the top-seeded Celtics. Their lone win came in the final meeting, a 105-99 victory on March 19. Dario Saric led the way in that one with 23 points.

Best of NBA: Clippers spoil Lonzo Ball's debut in rout of Lakers

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Best of NBA: Clippers spoil Lonzo Ball's debut in rout of Lakers

LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin scored 29 points, DeAndre Jordan added 14 points and 24 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Lonzo Ball's quiet NBA debut with a 108-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

Lou Williams added 12 points in the Clippers' first game since Chris Paul spurned the perennial playoff team after six years and forced an offseason trade to Houston. The Clippers will have a new look this season, but they were still miles ahead of their Staples Center co-tenants in both teams' season openers.

Ball had three points, four assists and nine rebounds in 29 minutes during the first game for the No. 2 overall pick from UCLA.

The Los Angeles-area native is expected to revitalize his hometown team this season, but the rookie started out with all the nerves and mistakes that might be expected from any 19-year-old point guard with the weight of a 16-time NBA champion franchise on his slender shoulders. Along with a handful of good-looking passes and a 3-pointer late in the first half, he went 1 for 6 from the field and committed two turnovers.

Brook Lopez scored 20 points in his debut for the Lakers, and Jordan Clarkson added 18.

Patrick Beverley, acquired in Paul's trade to the Rockets, had 10 points in his Clippers debut while introducing Ball to high-level NBA defense (see full recap).

Thunder debut new Big 3 in win over Knicks
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook had a triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 105-84 on Thursday night in their first regular-season game with All-Star additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony

Westbrook, the NBA MVP last season when he averaged a triple-double, had with 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds.

Paul George, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Indiana Pacers, led the Thunder with 28 points. Anthony, who was traded from the Knicks to the Thunder right before training camp began, had 22 points against his former team.

Kristaps Porzingis had 31 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks. Enes Kanter, who joined the Knicks in the deal that sent Anthony to the Thunder, finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. No other New York players scored in double figures.

George broke away for a dunk as time expired in the first half to give the Thunder a 53-42 lead. Porzingis scored 19 points before the break to keep the Knicks in it.

Kanter made three buckets early in the third quarter to keep the Knicks in it, but Westbrook found Steven Adams and Andre Roberson for back-to-back alley-oop dunks to give the Thunder a 69-52 lead.

After that, it was time for the Westbrook triple-double watch. He reached double digits in points and assists midway through the third quarter. He grabbed his 10th rebound with about four minutes remaining in the game (see full recap).

Raptors cruise past Bulls in season opener
TORONTO -- Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds, C.J. Miles scored 22 points in his Toronto debut and the Raptors beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 117-101 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

Norman Powell added 15 points, Delon Wright had 13, and Kyle Lowry 12.

The Raptors, who intend to shoot more 3-pointers and move the ball more this season, were 13 of 29 from long range and had 26 assists on 39 baskets. Lowry had nine assists, and DeMar DeRozan and Wright each had five.

Miles was 6 for 9 from 3-point range and had five rebounds.

Playmaking proved an effective avenue for DeRozan on a night when he made just two of nine field goals and did not attempt a 3-pointer. DeRozan finished with 11 points, going 7 for 8 at the free throw line, and had six rebounds.

Chicago center Robin Lopez scored 18 points, rookie Lauri Markkanen had 17 in his NBA debut, and Justin Holiday added 15.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said forward Nikola Mirotic is doing OK but is still sore two days after suffering facial fractures and a concussion in a practice fight with teammate Bobby Portis. Chicago suspended Portis for eight games following the altercation. Mirotic is expected to be out from four to six weeks (see full recap).