76ers Back to their Old Habits, losing 90-87 to the Wizards

John Wall celebrates making a shot at the end of the Washington Wizards win over the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday night.Old habits die hard and so it is with the hometown Philadelphia 76ers. They fall behind, fight back, and just don’t have enough to complete the comeback and taste victory. A day after doing just that to the Golden State Warriors and snapping a seven game losing streak in the process, the 76ers (23-35) fell to the Washington Wizards (19-39) by a score of 90-87 on Sunday night.

John Wall single-handedly beat the 76ers in the end, scoring the final six points of the game, including blocking Evan Turner’s final shot and hitting a 20 foot jumper with 4.9 seconds to go.  What it really comes down to in consistency from your players and Jrue Holiday finished with 14 points on 4 of 19 shooting. Evan Turner was 4 -13 from the floor, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but his last three shots of the game were all blocked.  Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young each had 14 points, while Hawes also grabbed 11 rebounds, just one night after getting zero points against the Warriors. Dorell Wright came off the bench  with 15 points and there was another Arnett Moultrie sighting where he played just under 6 minutes, finished 3-3 from the field and had 6 points.

In the battle of the top two picks from the 2010 NBA Draft, Turner may have outplayed Wall on the stat sheet, finishing with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists compared to Wall who finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, but it was Wall who had the last laugh, swatting away Turner’s last shot and scoring the final 6 points of the game to secure the victory for the Wizards. All five starters for the Wizards finished in double figures scoring, while Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 16 rebounds and Nene Hilario returned for 15 points and 9 rebounds. It’s another nights where an opposing teams big men outplayed the 76ers.

This 76ers team is lost as it’s void of any sort of veteran leadership. Collins has lost the team and is at a loss to come up with ways to get them to play better. He’s said as much himself. The real problem is that they’re just not talented enough to compete. There’s a reason that players like Nick Young, Jeremy Pargo, Damien Wilkins and Royal Ivey are available and it’s because they’re just not that good. Lavoy Allen shouldn’t be allowed on the floors, yet he’s playing over 20 minutes per night and a talented, young, and big man in Arnett Moultrie doesn’t see but 6 minutes on the floor.

It’s the old habits that Doug Collins can’t seem to break. He doesn’t play rookies. He takes talented players like Turner and Holiday that can penetrate and makes them jump shooters. He refuses to change and he’s lost this whole team. If he were a good coach he’d be able to evaluate the talent that he has and how to use them properly. A good coach will adapt his system to the style that best fits his players or he has a GM go out and get the players that match his system. Collins has done neither.

Let’s hope that the 76ers and their hierarchy get this thing straightened out this off season  because this season is gone and there’s nothing that they can do about it. Give the young players, like Moultrie, time on the floor to develop and chalk this season up to experience. We’ll continue to wait on the Bynum experiment to see the floor, have surgery, go bowling, or buy some more Corona, then we’ll be disgusted when the 76ers have no choice to re-sign him to a big money contract.

The Sixers next play Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics (31-27) in Philadelphia at 7:00 pm.

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Tim Sullivan

Born and raised in Fishtown. Bleeds Philly sports. You can follow him on Twitter @IrishTim74.