He is so much better than Mo Cheeks its not even funny. 2 entirely different levels of coaching
LINKThe Philadelphia 76ers are struggling mightily to hold on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. At six games under .500, things have gotten so bad that certain execution at the hands of Detroit is a welcome alternative to missing the postseason altogether.
Wednesday's loss to Detroit dropped Maurice Cheeks' Sixers to 4-10 this March. (AP)
New Orleans/Oklahoma City is in even worse shape, simply trying to creep back in after surrendering its hold on a playoff spot.
Not surprisingly, coaches Maurice Cheeks and Byron Scott sound similarly flabbergasted. Everything has fallen apart. But why?
How does a Sixers team with future Hall of Famers Allen Iverson and Chris Webber manage to slip from two games out of the Atlantic lead to 10 back, and two games from being out of the playoff picture? Cheeks is pointing the finger inward.
"Anything that happens with the team is a reflection of myself," Cheeks said following Detroit's completion of a season sweep Wednesday night. "Any coach puts it on his shoulders when a team comes in and beats your team, regardless of whether you lost by one or 20."
Cheeks is hoping his veterans can help him spread the message and elevate the play of the others. It's here where many critics believe he's too much of a players' coach, too soft on them.
The Hornets' Scott, armed with an extremely young squad, is the polar opposite. For veteran leadership, he basically has only P.J. Brown to provide an example. So through most of the season, Scott has cracked down on the young guys -- but it seems that in getting them to overachieve before the break, he has exhausted them mentally for a stretch run.
"I think a few of those guys in that locker room have quit," Scott told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "It's disappointing to me; (those guys) won't be here, it's as simple as that. We have no mental or physical toughness on this team right now. It's just hard to watch that; it's hard to watch these young guys that don't understand and don't get it."
If only the two organizations could work out a swap for the rest of the season. Heard of that Wife Swap show? It has worked wonders for some.
Clearly, several members of each team are burned out, and quite frankly there may not be enough talent to compensate. The 76ers utilize the likes of Shavlik Randolph, Matt Barnes and Michael Bradley to spell their big men, and all are unproven and young. The Hornets added a new core of reserves in picking up Marc Jackson, Linton Johnson and Moochie Norris in mid-February.
With David West, Speedy Claxton and Desmond Mason all banged up, the new acquisitions are seeing major minutes. Have you watched NO-OKC operate in the halfcourt set? It's often painful, breaking down and relying solely on Chris Paul's improvisation.
Maybe these are just lost causes, like the Rockets' inability to win without Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, or the debacles in New York and Portland, losers of a combined 15 in a row.
Since we're trying to give the Sixers and Hornets hope, let's continue to explore the swapping of motivational tactics; teams falling into extended funks have more to do with mental and chemistry-related conditions than sheer skill.
"Anytime you lose and continue to lose -- you take it. You have to have something good happen to you to turn your mental state over, and the only way to do that is to win a game," said Cheeks. "As you continue to lose games, you obviously feel it. We have to endure it. We lost 10 out of 12 games and we have to somehow find a way to change it. We do not play the way we should in terms of the urgency that we're in."
There's that dreaded urgency word, thrown around freely this time of year when things are going wrong. Webber used it too, saying the Sixers are sending a message "that we don't really give a damn sometimes."
"I don't care anymore about being a nice guy," he added, promising what would amount to a swift kick for his younger teammates. Indeed, fingers are starting to be pointed, a sure sign the end is near.
Really, WHAT?Sixerfanforlife said:One can coach in the fourth quarter and develop our talent. Ever since the Jason Kidd ERA, this guy has a good focus on the guard position I trust him with Louis Williamns. The other well, he can blow games, manage to make me look like Bill Belichick and at the same time, give March Maddness a probable career high in attendance and television apperances.