Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cheeks was his own worst enemy

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - There's a few rules out there we all have to follow.

You know, real common sense stuff.

Don't spit in the wind...don't tug on Superman's cape...or in the case of Maurice Cheeks, how about don't emasculate your boss.

I'm not saying Ed Stefanski doesn't deserve it. It's just a bad business decision.

Mo Cheeks isn't exactly a type-A personality . In fact he might be the last person you would peg as passive aggressive. Cheeks might be the nicest guy in Philadelphia sports judging by how quickly the locals jumped on their swords to defend him despite an embarrassing coaching performance this season.

If you listen to Mo's apologists, all the Sixers problems laid at the feet of someone else, be it Stefanski, Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala or Samuel Dalembert.

I, for one, am not buying it.

There's no question we all over-evaluated the talent Stefanski put together. Elton Brand looks like the proverbial square peg being forced into the round hole. Andre Iguodala should be embarrassed that his talent level translates to so little on the floor. Samuel Dalembert may be the first player in the history of the NBA, whose basketball IQ shrinks every time he hits the floor and Lou Williams looks like the stereotypical prima donna who mailed it in when he got the big contract.

Mo could have used all that as an excuse if he actually used the players assembled by Stefanski the way his GM envisioned.

Instead, Cheeks played hard-head, coaching with little imagination or vision and stayed status-quo no matter how badly his "guys" performed.

The coach clearly didn't believe Brand was cut out for the running game and he stopped pushing the ball like the team did last year when they overachieved.

Meanwhile, a few more minutes for Donyell Marshall or Kareem Rush when Iguodala and Willie Green were throwing up brick after brick in the half court set would have went a long way.

If we all saw Brand look bad running up and down the floor, Marshall looking his age and Rush looking like he should be playing in Turkey, Cheeks would have indicted Stefanski and put this team's faults on the shoulders of the GM.

Instead, Stefanski's vision is the unknown.

And the unknown is a hell of a lot better than 9-14.

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