The Sixers 34-point thumping of the Atlanta Hawks was a pleasant sight indeed for Sixers' fans as the team had their most complete outing of the season in a 117-83 win at Philips Arena.

But even more pleasing had to be the way the Sixers continued to play the game even though it was pretty much out of hand at halftime.

There were very few wasted possessions on the offensive end of the floor. The defense was strong throughout. Plays were run with crispness and never did the team seem to let their foot off the gas.

Why does this matter? Because with a team that is so young, so impressionable, it was important to coach Doug Collins that he get everything out of his team during the blowout. That meant presenting challenges throughout - winning the third quarter despite already having a huge lead; making stops at the defensive end; fighting for loose balls - to win the game inside the game.

Rarely in the NBA do you see a team play with the same type of intensity that the Sixers displayed last night with a big lead. Collins, though, is looking to the future. He knows that there is no time for this team to get lax. There is always lessons to be learned. It's not always easy to teach them during a blowout win, but Collins did. And the team should prosper.

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