More Mo ball (2)
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on September 9, 2008
My quick thought: good move again.
I have to be honest, I was a big critic of Cheeks in his first years. I used to like Jim O’Brian and I wouldn’t have fired him, just for the record.
I didn’t like Cheeks’ decisions, and God knows how many he made (example: leaving your best shotblocker on the bench for the last play of the game and lose it for a last second-lay up, it happened twice two years ago…).
Last season, I didn’t like how he started, leaving our young guys on the bench or giving them few playing time when the team’s record was already negative and it SEEMED TO ME we were out of playoffs contention. But clearly after newly arrived GM Stefanski “suggested” him to change his rotations, he did a wonderful job: I was wrong.
With a reshaped line up, Mo reached a completely unexpected goal, getting a team that everybody picked to finish from last to second last in the Conference, to the 2008 playoffs. Sixers’ second part of the season was simply fantastic and Cheeks was a serious candidate for COY, and deservely.
I mean, try to take to the post season a team with Willie Green and Reggie Evans as starters, and tell me how it works out…. Sixers were playing tough D for 48 minutes and an exciting uptempo offense based on fastbreaks and easy points: that made up for being the only team in the history of the NBA that lacked BOTH outside shooting and low post scoring… (seriously !).
Guess what, with those kind of results, I changed opinion on Cheeks after last season. I am ok with him on the bench now.
No big deal here: if a player plays like shit, you just write he sucks, if he starts performing, then you say he’s doing well. Keep the “bandwagon” comments for yourself, then, I’m not jumping on it, I’m calling like it is.
Now players know they will have the same coach until 2010 at least: no lame duck, no excuses, no BS. They will have to deal with Cheeks for a long time, they only have to focus on getting the job done on the court.
Hey, if Doc Rivers won a ring, I’m sure Mo Cheeks can do it too.