Professional and College Basketball Forums banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Retired From The Beat
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mark (Tacoma, WA): Should the Blazers fire Maurice Cheeks? The Blazers have enough talent to make them a playoff contender and they shouldn't have one of the worst records in the Western Conference. Cheeks has no authority and he can't even get his guys to run a play. Crybaby Cheeks might be the main problem with this team. What do you think?

Marc Stein: Cheeks ain't the problem. He ain't perfect, either, but you'll see how fast he gets snapped up someday when he leaves Portland.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
I actually agree with Marc Stein for once. I think the same way about Cheeks. He isn't the best but he is not the primary reason Portland is so bad this year. Cheeks would get nabbed by some team at the end of the season. The players are ultimately responsible for the win's and losses. Portland doesn't have the talent this year as compared with past Blazer teams...that's a fact. I also think Portland should be at least a playoff contender team with the talent on the current team.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
He ain't perfect, either, but you'll see how fast he gets snapped up someday when he leaves Portland.
What's that have to do with anything? Most coaches get recycled several times regardless of their track record.

The fact that someone else might go for him is no reason to keep him, unless you actually believe he's doing a good job here or will do so with a different cast.

As for other teams having interest in him, that's sort of a no-brainer. Similar to why we had interest in him in the first place and why almost no one is willing to be publicly critical of the guy. The Teflon Coach.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
It would be just plain stupid for Portland to fire Cheeks right now. He doesn't have the talent that Portland has had in the past so why expect him to have a team be just like those teams? I never did. Portland had more talent under Adelman and Dunleavy. Cheeks as an assistant under Larry Brown who is a very good coach. Firing Cheeks at this stage just doesn't make sense. Just like firing Byron Scott...stupid...stupid...stupid move. The Nets have been to the finals how many times in the last few years and they are currently 2nd in their division.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
I don't think anyone's claiming Cheeks has as much talent to work with as Dunleavy's squads, or even that he should have this group playing at that high of a level. Rather that what he does with the talent available reeks of terrible coaching. Substitution patterns, offensive sets, player relations, body language, etc.

Two very different things.

Dan
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,117 Posts
Originally posted by <b>dkap</b>!

......what he does with the talent available reeks of terrible coaching. Substitution patterns, offensive sets, player relations, body language, etc.
*sigh* Sad, but true.

As I metioned elsewhere, though, we're stuck with him - at least, until the end of this season.
 

·
Schilster Supreme
Joined
·
13,610 Posts
My biggest complaint about Cheeks is his substitution pattern. I will give him some benefit of the doubt though as I feel that outside of Zach and Patterson the players on this team are wildly inconsistent in effort and production, which can make it really hard to establish a solidified rotation.

Again I have said it a couple of times this week already, the prominant players on this team over the last 5-6 years IMO are the coaching problem, as in I feel they are not coachable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
That may be. Tough to say. But only Damon and Sheed are carry-overs from the good teams of recent memories. Everyone else is new. Sheed's problems have always been external, not internal (to the team). I've never seen any indication that he's difficult to coach or a bad teammate. Damon I'd be more inclined to agree with, but that's only one player among 15 or so.

Dunleavy was able to manage his players reasonably well, despite the distractions. With many of the problematic ones gone (Bonzi, Rider, Kemp), Cheeks is faring much worse.

If the players are the problem, then it seems to me it's the new players that are a bigger problem than the old ones, in which case this rebuilding effort is on a very shaky foundation.

I just don't think that's it, though. The pieces of that puzzle don't fit together without forcing them in and bending the edges...

Dan
 

·
Banned member
Joined
·
28,452 Posts
Think about the new vs old, in relation to their ability and coach-a-bility and whether or not they were +'s on the court:

old
C: Sabonis
PF: Sheed
SF: Pippen
SG: Smith
PG: Damon

new

C: Davis (worse)
PF: Zach (despite the double double, I'll take the Rasheed of the 00 WCF's)
SF: Sheed (worse)
SG: McInnis/Anderson (worse)
PG: Damon (worse)

old bench
Augmon
BGrant
J'Oneal (jermaine is sorta like woods on this team)
Anthony
Bonzi
Schrempf

new bench
Woods (worse)
Outlaw (worse)
Person (worse)
Miles (worse/incomplete)
Patterson (worse)
Stepania (worse)
McInnis/Bonzi (worse/worse)

It's no wonder cheeks can't get this team to compete, it's not nearly as good as the 2000 team, or the 2001..or 2002..or hell, even last years.

I think it's more about the players being not nearly as good, more so than Cheeks not being a good coach. Not even (the patron saint of all things right and pure) Jack Ramsay/Rick Adleman and (god knows why he seems to be put in this group) Dunleavy could coach this team better.

Face it, the *TEAM* itself isn't that good. Cheeks is coaching this rag tag fleet in their continuing flight from
Cylon tyranny in a search for the lost Thirteenth Tribe -- and planet Earth.

Oops, I mean, he's coaching them the best they can be coached.

and before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I'm not responding to anyone in particular.
 

·
Schilster Supreme
Joined
·
13,610 Posts
Originally posted by <b>dkap</b>!
That may be. Tough to say. But only Damon and Sheed are carry-overs from the good teams of recent memories. Everyone else is new. Sheed's problems have always been external, not internal (to the team). I've never seen any indication that he's difficult to coach or a bad teammate. Damon I'd be more inclined to agree with, but that's only one player among 15 or so.

Dunleavy was able to manage his players reasonably well, despite the distractions. With many of the problematic ones gone (Bonzi, Rider, Kemp), Cheeks is faring much worse.

If the players are the problem, then it seems to me it's the new players that are a bigger problem than the old ones, in which case this rebuilding effort is on a very shaky foundation.

I just don't think that's it, though. The pieces of that puzzle don't fit together without forcing them in and bending the edges...

Dan
I agree for the most part with your point. But the only carry overs IMO are the key players in the game.

Damon handles the ball more than anyone else, and Sheed (up til this season) has been the main target. So the 2 most influential players on the court remain the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,137 Posts
No, they're not as good...

But that doesn't mean that they couldn't be coached better. A better coach would establish a system and an identity with the team - Cheeks has failed to do this.

They shouldn't be contending with this squad like years past, but they also should not be bottom feeders like they currently are... it should definitely fall somewhere in between.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
Originally posted by <b>Blazer Ringbearer</b>!
No, they're not as good...

But that doesn't mean that they couldn't be coached better. A better coach would establish a system and an identity with the team - Cheeks has failed to do this.

They shouldn't be contending with this squad like years past, but they also should not be bottom feeders like they currently are... it should definitely fall somewhere in between.
They could sure be coaches a little better it appers but let's get real. The players have to perform as well and it's not happening on a consistent basis. Cheeks can't do everything for the players. I just see too much Cheeks bashing here. I think the players deserve some of the bashing as well. It's a joing effort here....Cheeks is not the main reason for the lackluster efforts out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
The players have to perform as well and it's not happening on a consistent basis.
How the players perform is exactly the coach's job! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The coach is there to make the players perform. If they aren't performing, then he isn't doing his job. It's really quite simple.

Whether or not a different coach could make the players perform better is another question, and one which is obviously difficult to answer. My money says yes. Easily.

I just see too much Cheeks bashing here. I think the players deserve some of the bashing as well.
I've seen no shortage of the latter. Even Zach -- clearly the team's best player this year -- has received his fair share of criticism here.

Dan
 

·
Retired From The Beat
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm sorry guys but I fall under the category of people who want Cheeks fired now.

My reasons are:

1) First and foremost I think Cheeks is a bad leader. I look at the coach of a sports team as the same thing as a military leader. One line from the movie U-571 sticks out in my mind. Matthew Mcconaughey has just assumed command of the captured German Submarine, the American sub has been sunk, and the remaining crew under his command is freaking out. They ask him what they're going to do next and he says "I don't know". His Chief pulls him aside and tells him "you're captain now, you NEVER say I don't know. You're captain. You're always right. You always know what to do, even when you don't." Cheeks is the same way. He doesn't exude complete control at all times. He shows weakness. His body language does not display confidence at all. That's fine for an assistant coach, but the head coach should be up on his feet barking out orders and running the team.

2) As many have mentioned, Cheeks' substitution pattern is terrible. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing someone like Wesley Person or Darius Miles pulled when they're just getting hot. Cheeks has too much loyalty to certain players. He feels like he HAS to play them a certain ammount of minutes. I also don't like how the young guys don't get enough burn on this team, but that might not be Cheeks' call. In my opinion we should be starting Miles, Woods, and Randolph together. This team has no playoff future so why should we waste our long term playing vets?

3) Team defense and offense as a whole. I don't buy that this is the players fault. I don't think our team is somehow dumber than the rest of the league. You can't possibly tell me that some of these guys are dumber than any football player, and those guys learn plays way more complicated than anything these guys run. I think it has a lot more to do with coaching than it does with players intelligence. And if the players aren't listening then sit them and play the guys that will listen.

I also think this team has no direction. We need to decide if we're a fast break team, which we now have the players to pull off, or if we're a half court team. This team really has no clear direction at all. This is something the coach needs to decide.

Overall I just feel Cheeks is too weak to be the head coach. He isn't the tactitioner of a Don Nelson, Jerry Sloan, or Jeff Van Gundy. Nor does he command the respect of his players like those types of coaches. I know he isn't THE problem with this team, but he certainly isn't the answer either. Why ignore one problem because another is more high profile? Fire Cheeks because he is the easiest to get rid of. Maybe another coach could inspire this team. It's worth a try I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Originally posted by <b>dkap</b>!

How the players perform is exactly the coach's job! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The coach is there to make the players perform. If they aren't performing, then he isn't doing his job. It's really quite simple.
I think there is more to it than just that. I think even great coaches have trouble making every players to respond to a challenge. Sometimes it is just up to the player to discipline himself and perform the way the coach ask of them. Some players aren't focus and/or discipline enough to respond to what the coach ask of them.

I don't think Cheeks is a good motivator. I also question his ability to utilize the players he has. But I also have to say that Cheeks is coaching one of the less disciplined teams in the league.

I agree with your second paraphraph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
I think even great coaches have trouble making every players to respond to a challenge.
Sure, but when nearly every player on the team looks like a chicken with its head cut off, that has to say something about the coaching. You're talking about the exception, I'm talking about the rule... The odds of stocking a roster full of uncoachable players is pretty slim. As Nate said, there are plenty of dumb players spread across pro sports that can run a play effectively.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
NateBishop3,

An excellent post. I agree with most everything except the part about wasting playing time on the vets because we have no playoffs future. I think this team is still very much in reach of making the playoffs for 22 straight years. That is quite an accomplishment to me. I believe in a winning mentality. We should aim for the playoffs while also making this team stronger to contend in 3 to 4 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Originally posted by <b>dkap</b>!

Sure, but when nearly every player on the team looks like a chicken with its head cut off, that has to say something about the coaching. You're talking about the exception, I'm talking about the rule... The odds of stocking a roster full of uncoachable players is pretty slim. As Nate said, there are plenty of dumb players spread across pro sports that can run a play effectively.

Dan
I see what you're saying. I think the point I was trying to make was that it isn't always the coach fault when a player doesn't respond to what the coach ask for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
Originally posted by <b>dkap</b>!

How the players perform is exactly the coach's job! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The coach is there to make the players perform. If they aren't performing, then he isn't doing his job. It's really quite simple.

Whether or not a different coach could make the players perform better is another question, and one which is obviously difficult to answer. My money says yes. Easily.


I've seen no shortage of the latter. Even Zach -- clearly the team's best player this year -- has received his fair share of criticism here.

Dan
Yes, there are a lot of if's and buts to go around with regards to coaching. One can be the best coach around and still have a team that doesn't perform. It might not be the right fit. The NBA and sports in general tend to fire the coach without hesitating these days...it doesn't matter if the players are shooting like crap and giving lackluster efforts. I just don't buy your stance here. The coaches are there to guide the team. I do think Cheeks can do a better job in a few areas...everybody and I mean everybody on the face of the planet can improve in one way or the other in their profession. But, it always comes down to the players in any sport. They make it happen not the coaches. I don't care how good of coach you are, you will not win if you don't have the right kind of talent around you. Portland is just not very good this year. I thought they would be a little better but that's the way it goes. Blaming Cheeks for everything is a joke. He didn't put this team together.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top