It didn’t take long for Larry Drew to earn his first NBA coaching win with the Atlanta Hawks.
Doug Collins hopes he doesn’t have to wait much longer for his first victory as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
That could come Friday night when the former colleagues meet in Philadelphia.
After spending 18 years as an NBA assistant, Drew remained in Atlanta and replaced the fired Mike Woodson in the offseason. On Wednesday, he won his first game, 119-104 at Memphis.
“I’ve got to enjoy it,” said Drew, who now looks to guide the Hawks to their third straight 2-0 start.
Next up is a meeting with Collins, whose staff Drew served on in Washington from 2001-03. Collins, the former 76ers’ star, lost his Philadelphia coaching debut, 97-87 to Miami on Wednesday.
Though the Hawks don’t have the likes of LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) on their roster, the challenge won’t be any easier for the 76ers, who have dropped three of five at home to Atlanta.
“That’s just the way we have to play,” Drew said. “We have to play with energy. We have to fly around.”
Philadelphia would like to do the same, but has averaged 90.6 points in its last five home games versus Atlanta.
Despite falling in their season-opener, the 76ers showed some offensive life by outscoring the star-studded Heat 33-17 in the fourth quarter to remain competitive.
Philadelphia, coming off a 27-win season, hasn’t started 0-2 since dropping its first three in 2005-06.
“If our guys will give this kind of effort every night then our fans will appreciate that, and it’s going to equate to some wins,” Collins told the 76ers’ official website.
Though starters Jason Kapono(notes), Spencer Hawes(notes) and Jrue Holiday(notes) combined for eight points, rookie Evan Turner(notes), Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young(notes) totaled 46 off the bench.
It’s uncertain if Collins will make a lineup change for Friday’s contest.
“My starters are not necessarily my best players, that’s why I said don’t get caught up in who’s starting,” Collins said.
Turner, the second overall pick in June out of Ohio State, could break into the starting lineup after recording 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes of his NBA debut.
“He’s a gamer, he really is,” Collins said. “I was so proud of him.”
Andre Iguodala(notes) was held to 10 points on 5 of 12 shooting in the opener, but went 9 of 12 from the field and finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Philadelphia’s 105-98 home win over Atlanta in the teams’ most recent meeting March 26.
Bibby averaged 19.0 points in two games at Philadelphia last season.