The Magnificent Playbook Of Doug Collins

Photo from Jon Ragnarsson via Flickr’s wonderful Zach Lowe sat down with the Philadelphia 76ers’ wonderful Thaddeus Young for a fascinating interview over at The Point Forward. Young is coming off a career year that saw him cut down on those pesky outside jumpers and emerge as a sparkplug off the 76er bench with his athletic rim-attacking ways, playing a huge part on a defensively-oriented team that needed any offense it could get. This doesn’t stop Young from seeming very down to earth throughout the entire interview. Young covers a vast array of topics, from his impending restricted free agency and the chances it leads him to China, training with John Lucas as he strives to improve his mid-range and long-range shooting, and his first year under coach Doug Collins.

The interview should immediately be regarded as a must-read, a far cry from the depressing NBA lockout rhetoric that has dominated most talk with NBA players lately. However, the best part of the interview comes on the very last question. I have to say, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player more committed to the 2-for-1 concept at the end of quarters than your teammate Lou Williams.

Young: We actually have a play called “Go Lou.” It works every time. We run it when we’re taking the ball out under our own basket, on the other side of the court, and it’s pretty much just giving the ball to Lou, setting a screen and just watching him go. Sometimes we’ll discuss it at the last minute, and he’ll tell me that instead of shooting, he’ll drive inside the three-point line, bring the ball back out and have me set a screen for him so he can run a screen-and-roll.But, yeah, it’s known around the league that he loves the 2-for-1. If there are 35 seconds left, he’s getting it. Everyone knows that.

via The Point Forward » Posts Q&A with 76ers forward Thaddeus Young «.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that Go Lou is now officially the best basketball play of all time. In general, most of what revolves around Lou Williams is the best of all time – after all, Lou is basically Monta Ellis if Monta Ellis played on a team that thought he should chillax a bit, and you can’t hate anything about a chillaxed Monta Ellis. Though I would be hesitant to run Go Lou for the likes of Lou Amundson, this play is tailor made for the entertaining Williams, a bumbling pile of energy in a compressed body of insane athleticism and major tattoo work. With Lou having gained quite the reputation as a 2 for 1 enthusiast, it warms one’s heart to see that Philly plays to these strengths. As Thaddeus himself says about the play – “it always works”.

While on first thought a play such as Go Lou doesn’t fit with the notoriously uptight Collins, the opposite is true. Collins’ coaching career has revolved around taking the best players on his teams and driving them to ground, demanding that they shoulder entire offenses for seasons on end. Since these Sixers don’t have anyone nearly as dominant as Jordan on the late 80s Bulls or Grant Hill on the mid-90s Pistons, it makes perfect sense that Collins would replace his 1-on-5 offense with an ensemble of 1-on-5 offensive plays, each one of them seeing a different player take over the role of “1”.

Luckily, we at HP managed to get a hold of Doug Collins’ playbook from the past year, enabling us to discover even more hilarious isolation plays for hilarious isolation players.

Go Elton

Elton Brand gets the ball and makes an awkward mid-range jumper with a release that looks as though he’s trying to reach a really high shelf. Then everybody reminisces about how good he was before he was injured.

Go Dre

Basically, this.


Go Jrue

Jrue Holiday sets up on the right side, while everybody else goes left. Jrue jribbles around, jrags his defender into a jrowse, jrives to the basket, and jraws the foul. Afterwards, everybody celebrates with a jrink.

Go Jodie

The ball goes to Jodie Meeks. Jodie Meeks dribbles around aimlessly for approximately two years, convincing everybody that he isn’t an NBA caliber player. Then he buries a 3 in their face.

Go Marreese

Ironically, this play doesn’t actually involve Marreese Speights at all. This play also doesn’t involve passes, ball screens, or player movement. It has no guidelines, and it has no rules. But you can be 100% sure that even though it should, on paper, be a fantastic play, it won’t reach its potential.

Go Noc

Whenever Andres Nocioni walks onto the court, everybody kindly asks him to leave.

Go Spencer

The Sixers try to run “Go Noc” for Spencer Hawes, only to realize he’s the only center on their roster. Spencer Hawes turns the ball over. Everybody becomes sad.

Noam Schiller

Noam Schiller lives in Jerusalem, where he sifts through League Pass Broadband delay and insomnia in a misguided effort to watch as much basketball as possible. He usually fails miserably, but is entertained nonetheless. He prefers passing big men to rebounding guards but sees no reason why he should have to compromise on any of them.