Sixers lose to T’Wolves, extend Cheeks !!!
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on February 20, 2008
Who said that the All Star break was coming in one of the worst moment for the emerging Sixers was right.
The 88-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves put an end to two 5 games streaks: winning for us (now at 23-31, .426), losing for them.
But the big news came after the ugly night in Minneapolis: Sixers just extended Cheeks’ contract for one more year. Wow !!!
Few points to cover last night’s game, that Sixers lost because:
1) overall didn’t put enough effort, maybe thinking that just looking at T’Wolves record would have been enough to come out with a W
2) gave up too many second chance points, mainly off offensive rebounds, not doing their usual job under the boards
3) didn’t make free throws, as usual (Iguodala was 1/6 at one point…)
4) couldn’t knock some threes down, as usual
5) gave up too many “and one” plays, field goals with the shot clock winding down and open threes
6) couldn’t complete the comeback in the third quarter, when we came close many times (two, three, four points) but always allowed them to extend the lead again, until the 62-74 that ended the period.
Of the Minnesota game I would save just Andre Miller’s first half (15 points, but zero in the second) and Thaddeus Young’s activity.
So it’s curious that the new deal with Cheeks comes after this kind of game, in which Sixers never did what the coach pushed his players to do for the whole season: play hard for 48 minutes.
Readers of this blog know that I was never a fan of Mo Cheeks as a coach, but I respect what he did this year with a modest (and I’m being kind) roster. As sad as it can sound given our record, Sixers overachieved so far and I think you have to give Mo credit for that.
Remember how last summer everybody predicted that Sixers would have fought to avoid the last place in the conference? Here is an example (excerpt: “Philadelphia is one of the most popular picks to finish with the NBA’s worst record”…) , but there were dozens of similar articles around the Web before the season started.
Cheeks is not a great basketball mind in my opinion, his rotations and adjustments have been more than suspect many times, but players love him, respect him and showed that like to play for him. That’s saying something in nowadays NBA, a
players’ egoes’ league.
To his credit, he also developed the young guys (starting from… Young, but also Lou Williams and Jason Smith, to an extent) and cretead a cohesive, tough group with a real team attitude, where selfishness is not allowed. That was clearly appreciated by Stefanski and ownership.
Am I jumping on Cheeks’ bandwagon? No, I would have still liked more another kind of coach (Popovich/Sloan-type… a hard nosed general, I mean) but, guess what, nobody was available. Carlisle, Fratello, Doug Collins? No thanks.
And I wouldn’t have put a college coach or a debutant on the Sixers bench either, honestly. To sum it up, I am not screaming of joy but I can live with this decision.
And at least we avoided Larry Brown’s comeback. Yeah, I am always your “half full” type of fan…