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Sixers' struggles confound Collins

The SportsXchange

Philadelphia coach Doug Collins minced no words when it came to describing the effort of the 76ers after a loss to Orlando.

The 76ers have lost six straight games and all four games since the NBA All-Star break, prompting Collins to question the players' mind-set and saying he was baffled as to why the team is struggling.

"I gave my body to this franchise (as a player for the 76ers)," Collins said. "I was never booed as a player, never. I ran through my sneakers. There cannot be a game where you just go out and don't put your heart and soul into the game. We had an off-day, we've been on the All-Star break -- there's no reason for that, none."

Collins continued his candid assessment of his players.

"Sometimes you've got to help yourself," he said after Tuesday's loss. "Youth is a very blaming thing. ... I usually go to them. And after a while, the talk gets old. It just does -- at some point in time, you've just got to play. They say it's a players' league. Well, then, take ownership. That's all I'm asking -- take ownership of what you're putting out there."

After the 98-84 loss to Orlando, the Sixers (22-33) fell 11 games below .500 with a team expected to contend this season in the Atlantic Division.

Injuries has hurt the Sixers, including the absense of center Andrew Bynum, but Collins said that's not an excuse.

"I'm a guy who when I have coached, I've always been able to find some answers," he said. "And I have not been able to find answers, and from my standpoint that is very disappointing, because I'm paid to do that."
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