Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

The Sixers have won five of their past seven games and aren’t even comparable to the team that started the season 3-13. The reasons have been many - better defense, Jodie Meeks, a slew of home games - but the biggest might be that coach Doug Collins has shortened his bench.

Benefiting from Collins’ decision are Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams. Suffering from it are Andres Nocioni, Evan Turner and Marreese Speights.

The reasoning is pretty plain and simple. Young and Williams have been terrific off the bench, both playing as well as anyone could have expected. Still, the coach agonizes over keeping his players happy.

“I’m as sensitive as anybody,” Collins said after yesterday’s practice at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “After the game is over, I always tell [assistant coaches] to make sure everyone is OK. I know what it’s all about. I try to stay on top of it as much as I can.”