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Spike Eskin: It Doesn’t Matter What Doug Collins Says, It Matters What He Does

Doug Collins

By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Sixers fans are outraged at the idea of a starting frontcourt of Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes. That makes sense.

The notion of Spencer Hawes having to chase quicker, more athletic power forwards around the court is a scary one. The notion of Kwame Brown starting is, well, you know, it’s Kwame Brown starting.

Sixers fans have this crazy idea because the coach said it was going to happen.

Doug Collins has a plan.

During an informal gathering with the media Tuesday, Collins discussed how he wants to move Spencer Hawes to power forward with the idea of starting free agent Kwame Brown at center.

Collins said his goal is to begin training camp in late September with a first five of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Hawes and Brown.

via Collins eyes pairing Hawes, Brown in frontcourt by Tom Moore on PhillyBurbs.com

Here’s the thing though; it just doesn’t matter what Doug Collins says. It matters what Doug Collins does.

Proof? Remember when Collins said that Marreese Speights would start last season in the Sixers big man rotation? He never saw the court for the Sixers and was traded shortly after. How about when he said that Evan Turner was a point guard? Surely you remember where that went. As well as several less publicized differences between what Collins said publicly and his true intentions.

Let’s take a look over to the Eagles. I know you rememeber “Donovan McNabb is my quarterback.” Perhaps you recall “Kevin Kolb is my quarterback.”

Or think about everything Ruben Amaro Jr. has ever said. Ever.

There must be reasons why Collins would suggest who his starters are in July, but I doubt it’s to inform us what his exact intentions are.

Perhaps it’s a motivational tactic. If Spencer Hawes thinks he’s going to cover power forwards, he comes into camp in good shape again. If Lavoy Allen thinks he’s got to earn that starting power forward spot, maybe he’s motivated to prove people wrong once again. Maybe Collins is telling Kwame Brown, “I know everyone is saying you suck, but I believe in you.”

I certainly don’t think Collins has made all the right moves here in his time in Philadelphia. That said, he’s no idiot, and he knows basketball. He sees the same Spencer Hawes we do. He saw Hawes struggle with Kevin Garnett in the playoffs. I would gather he genuinely believes that Brown can contribute to this team, but is probably not contributing a lot of minutes to a winning team.

It’s the off-season, and all we’ve got is what they say, so it’s hard to not read too much into comments from Collins, Rod Thorn or Adam Aron. We’ve got so much free time.

But as we’ve seen, what they say and what they do can be very different things, and it’s important to remember that.

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