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Maurice Cheeks could spell end of Joe Dumars era

If all goes according to plan, Maurice Cheeks will become the Pistons’ eighth coach under Joe Dumars.

Cheeks will also likely be the last.

Tom Gores has set misguided goals, and Dumars – with no other option if he wants to keep his job – has indulged the owner. The result is another stale move for an organization that’s swimming in place until it drowns next summer.

The admittedly impatient Gores said the Pistons “better” make the playoffs this season, and though an 0-8 start quickly lowered expectations, Gores promised swift action after the season. Lawrence Frank was fired and Dumars was spared, but  we’re headed into year three of what was reported to be a three-year window for Dumars to prove himself.

It’s in this environment the Pistons chose Cheeks as their next coach.

Cursed to hire a coach in the same offseason it seems six playoff teams will also choose new coaches, the Pistons probably struggled to garner interest from good coaches with proven track records. So instead of rolling the dice on a promising assistant as they should have if that were the case, the Pistons settled for proven mediocrity.

The Pistons aren’t daring to be great. They’re settling for a perceived guarantee of mediocrity, but they’re not even getting that.

The Bucks made the playoffs this season with a 38-44 record, and Cheeks could get the Piston there – a majority of his teams have gone 38-44 or better – but Detroit’s roster might not stack up with the 2005-06 76ers, a Cheeks-coached team that started Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Korver and Samuel Dalembert and went 38-44. Hiring Cheeks doesn’t exactly inspire confidence Dumars will wisely use his cap space to upgrade considerably the team this summer.

But a playoff berth in 2014 shouldn’t be the Pistons’ ultimate goal, anyway.

Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond could be the centerpieces of a very good team down the road if the Pistons show patience, continue to obtain and play young players and get one more high draft pick. But another lottery season will likely cost Dumars his job, and he knows it, so he can’t sit idly and let the Pistons take the ideal, patient route.

Not only did that lead to Detroit planning to hire Cheeks, it contributed to trading a first-round pick to the Charlotte Bobcats just so the Pistons could have cap space a season sooner. The Pistons, at the expense of their future, are going all in for the 2013-14 season.

The draft choice they owe Charlotte is top eight-protected next year, and Cheeks, moderate improvement from the current roster, the No. 8 pick and a free agent or two could very well push the Pistons out of the league’s bottom eight. Cheeks is not a bad coach, at least not to the depths an unproven coach could have sunk, but moderate gains are not enough thanks to the Gordon trade.

The Pistons landing a pick between No. 9 and No. 14 would be a disaster, and Detroit sneaking into the playoffs might be only marginally better. The postseason berth would probably save Dumars’ job for another year, but as the standard rises in future seasons – even after dumping a pick in the loaded 2014 draft – can Cheeks really deliver?

Dumars is still around, in part, because Gores overruled Dumars’ preference of Mike Woodson when the Pistons hired Frank. It’s not as clear which members of the organization pushed hardest for Cheeks – though Nate McMillan was the early reported frontrunner, Dumars wanted to hire a coach weeks ago, and then Gores put his stamp on the search and hired Phil Jackson, so you do the math – but that distinction won’t save Dumars this time.

I don’t think there’s a general manager on thinner ice right now than Dumars, and whether or not the hire was completely his choice, Dumars needing Cheeks to save him bodes poorly for Dumars.

Whether Gores or Dumars deserves more of the blame for the uglier situation the Pistons are headed toward is inconsequential. Gores is the owner and holds the power, so Dumars will be the one who falls if and when Cheeks falters.

Dumars’ end might not be inevitable, but it’s close.

104 Comments

  • Jun 7, 20131:49 pm
    by Todd

    Reply

    I would love to hear Phil Jackson’s take on the potential Mo Cheeks signing! While I think many of the coaches in the NBA are often over-ruled by the players on the team, the best coaches and worst coaches are quickly noticeable. It would have been nice to make a run at George Karl or Lionel Hollins or even throw out the idea of a retread coach and go after a strong up and comer or current NCAA coach. The solidification of Mo Cheeks, as Dan points out, has to spell DOOM for Dumars as he has now turned over more coaches in his tenure as President/GM than any of the other colleagues in the NBA (or at least that was the best count I could reach). Since Joe D. started as President of Basketball Operations in the 2000-01 season, we have enjoyed the greatest turnstile of coaches in the 4 major sports leagues: George Irvine, Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown, Flip Saunders, Michael Curry, John Kuester, Lawrence Frank, and now most likely – Mo Cheeks. Our coaches average about 2 years on the team, with 580 total wins and 494 losses (thank the trio of Carlisle, Brown, and Saunders for that – heck even Michael Curry was close to .500 even though he was clueless!) Something has to change, and it has to change QUICKLY! 

  • Jun 7, 20131:50 pm
    by XstreamINsanity

    Reply

    “Not only did that lead to Detroit hiring Cheeks, it…”  Another typo?  Did you mean Frank?

    • Jun 7, 20132:10 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Nope, meant Cheeks. Updated it to “planning to hire” to be more accurate.

      • Jun 7, 20132:32 pm
        by XstreamINsanity

        Reply

        Ok, wasn’t sure.  After reading that, I ran around the Internet looking for news of the hiring.  :)

  • Jun 7, 20131:54 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    I find it funny how fast you write off the Pistons and their “new” coach who is not even hired yet. Haven’t even been through the draft or free agency..heck haven’t even played the first game of the season.

    • Jun 7, 20132:04 pm
      by GEORGIO

      Reply

      You shouldn’t be surprised Adam, consider the source, Feldman is the ultimate doom and gloom, anti Dumars, supposed fan Pistons writer that I have ever read. If Feldman writes it, it must be negative.

      • Jun 7, 20132:22 pm
        by deusXango

        Reply

        Georgio, I agree with you 100%.

      • Jun 7, 20132:31 pm
        by patrick the troll

        Reply

        When you’re right your right. The only person that comes close is Mike over at DBB. At least with Mike it seems like his negative attitude came from truly being a fan of the pistons and watching them fall from glory. Dan just seems to dislike the pistons. I have no idea where he’s from or what teams he likes, but if I had to guess he’s not a pistons fan and took the job because it was an open job. Nothing wrong with that mind you, it just come across like he really doesn’t like the pistons.

        • Jun 7, 20134:33 pm
          by Roscoe

          Reply

          Any chance you’re jumping the gun before we see what Dumars does this offseason with personnel? Couple of crafty moves could turn them into a .500+ team, and I’d guess that it would be enough for him to keep his job despite how you feel about the head coaching hire.

        • Jun 7, 20134:35 pm
          by Faraz1013

          Reply

          If you guys prefer positivity, go to Pistons.com and read Keith Langlois. He feeds us bullshit optimism and positivity all day long (mostly cuz he works for the Pistons). At least with Dan, Patrick, and Co. you get a realistic opinion.

          And there is no reason to get excited about Mo Cheeks. At best, hes gonna get us to 35 wins, maybe a playoff berth as the 8th seed. whoop dee-doo. ppl keep saying “let cheeks coach a game before judging him.” We’ve already seen his work in Portland and Philly. Its not that great. Maybe if we hired Brian Shaw and then there was negativity going around, it would make sense to feel angry about that considering we haven’t seen Shaw as Head Coach yet, so it would be unfair to judge him negatively.

          • Jun 7, 20134:37 pm
            by Faraz1013

            Im sorry, i meant to write “B.S.” instead of the whole word. I didnt realize what i actually typed out until i posted it.

      • Jun 7, 20134:35 pm
        by Crispus

        Reply

        Hear hear. Even Dan’s stat pieces are gloomy and unpleasant. What will it look like then the Pistons organization “Drowns next summer”? If Dan starts writing positive, hopeful articles after the draft and free agency I’m going to troll hard.

        • Jun 7, 20134:57 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          Why would you “troll so hard”? I’m writing about how I see their situation currently based on the likely outcomes. If something surprising happens in the draft (a top player falling to them) or free agency (a quality player signing with them for a reasonable contract), I’ll write positive things about that. This isn’t that hard to understand.

          • Jun 7, 20135:08 pm
            by Shawn

            “Dumars is still around, in part, because Gores overruled Dumars’ preference of Mike Woodson when the Pistons hired Frank.”
             
            could you elaborate on why you believe this to be the case?  Is this based on something you have heard, current NBA trends or is it conjecture?
             
            thanks

          • Jun 7, 20135:17 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Dumars is clearly less-than-secure in his job. Any small reason could have swung Gores into firing him by now. If Dumars had chosen another failed coach, that could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

             

        • Jun 8, 201310:40 pm
          by Crispus

          Reply

          You even misquoted me in the comments! It’s “troll hard”
          This post paints a comprehensively negative outlook for Joe Dumars, the organization as a whole and the team in general. I understand the last few years have been painful, but to doomsay so thoroughly on Dumars, especially before the draft and free agency is little more than ESPN-style drama generation. Yes we understand he’s on thin ice. Yes Maurice Cheeks is not a fan favorite or a bold choice. But why steer the whole Piston Powered blog toward feeling crummy and hopeless gong into the draft and an offseason loaded with flexibility?
          Things could all go wrong, the Pistons could lose 65 games, Joe D could get fired (then you can scrutinize the GM hire!) and Monroe could jump ship, but even if all that happens, will you be happy to be the one to say I told you so, I prophesied this? I’ve said it before – as an observer with some authority, for you to exercise a moderate amount of justified optimism costs less than nothing. Find something to like about what the Pistons are doing and post the good along with the bad.
           

          • Jun 10, 20133:20 am
            by Dan Feldman

            How would you know when I’m feigning optimism for commenters like you and when I’m genuinely optimistic? Isn’t the latter much more meaningful?

          • Jun 10, 201310:30 am
            by Crispus

            I think our BS detectors are pretty well calibrated here. You don’t have to be a cheerleader. But, instead of multiple speculative posts about how Cheeks’ hire will destroy Joe Dumars and cast us into interminable years of heartrending sorrow, why not a post about how much money JD has to play with, and what he can do with it? Why not a balanced analysis of the 2001 Blazers-Lakers series in which Cheeks’ Blazers were drubbed by the eventual champions? Even a Westbrook then-and-now (stats and eye test) would be timely.

    • Jun 10, 20131:22 pm
      by Jim

      Reply

      I am not the biggest fan of Maurice Cheeks as a Head Coach. I do think that he was very much a part of Russell Westbrook’s growth in OKC. However, Westbrook is also a supreme talent, so his rise to stardom seems like it was inevitable. I don’t see that kind of talent in Brandon Knight, nor did I when he was drafted so high. I am hoping that his time under Scott Brooks, who is a top 5 coach in the NBA, helped him. Although, resigning Calderon is a horrible, horrible decision. If they want to keep Monroe and Drummond together, Detroit needs a pick n’ roll PG, not a 32 yr old never was. They need to be thinking about Burke and no one else in this draft. This young core needs a LEADER on the court. Sorry, but wishy washy Monroe doesn’t cut it. Burke is a proven leader and winner. Both are traits that would help this team not look so lost every time they are on the court.

  • Jun 7, 20132:18 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    Positivity! Yes!!

  • Jun 7, 20132:30 pm
    by piston moribund

    Reply

    Some things which I would like to point out to the half empty crowd.  There have been numerous coaches who have an unsteady track record.  Larry Brown, Flip Saunders, Don Chaney(coach of the year? Anyone), Mike Brown, Scott Skiles,…..etc, this does not even begin to touch on the number of coaches who have been good, great, and awful.  Point is, the players make the coaches either look like gods or men.  With a few exceptions, the coaching business is quite fickle and who knows how many coaching seats Pop would have been going through had it not been for Duncan.  The past record of good or bad coaches doesn’t seem to figure much.  For every example of a good coach in a bad situation, there is probably a good coach in a bad situation.  Where would Mike Brown be now had it not been for Lebron leaving?  In the case of the pistons, the road to past glory starts at the bottom and ends at the top.  Hell, I would be more then happy with mediocre and build from there.  The Lakers are toast, the Spurs are over soon, Miami outside of Lebron, is not what the hype was made out to be and in a few years that will be over too, forget about the Celtics.  Its probably a good time to bottom feed for a while and restock.  Think process.
     

    • Jun 7, 20132:59 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Their problem is that they are at the bottom, they always end up around 6-10 places from the bottom.  In doing that, they never truely get to draft the top players, only the good role players.

    • Jun 7, 20134:45 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I feel like you are ignoring the outside factors that determine team makeup. The fact that certain cities are more glamorous or have better weather which lures established superstars. Or the financial excess organizations like the Lakers and Nets are willing to go to. Detroit isn’t a “destination” city, which is why we had to win with a “team” team.

      Still, we’re not in as miserable shape as certain people would suggest. Our team has good character, we just have to flesh out the basketball part. We have the opposite of the problem that the Jailblazers had.

  • Jun 7, 20133:00 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    I’m just wondering how long it’s going to take for someone to change their name to “FIRE MO CHEEKS”.

    • Jun 7, 20134:46 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I saw Dan coming out of the courthouse today so I think he did already.

  • Jun 7, 20133:05 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    I don’t think its going to be that bad.

    Its a players game, but just like OKC, I think Mo Cheeks is going to be kind of like Scott Brooks where the Pistons improve as the talent improves, but cant get over the hump because of average coaching.

    I think at worst its going to be another 5-10 years of making the playoffs when you could literally win 3 or 4 championships with Monroe & Drummond. 

    But then again, if you get a true PG, the poor decisions of an average coach can be “hidden” somewhat 

    Here’s hoping for Burke or MCW 

  • Jun 7, 20133:06 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Should have just hired me

    • Jun 7, 20137:19 pm
      by Tony J

      Reply

      And change your name to I HATE MYSELF haha.

      No disrespect man. it was just one of those joke opportunities you can’t give up. But on a serious note can’t wait till you change your name to I HATE CHEEKS haha.   

  • Jun 7, 20133:10 pm
    by Pistons87

    Reply

    Some numbers on Cheeks to digest:

    1. Took over from Dunleavy in Portland in 01-02.  Won 1 less game (.598 v .610, -1.2% change).  Record essentially the same and almost the same team coming back if you look at top 6 in minutes only change was Steve Smith retiring and Derek Anderson and Bonzi Wells getting more playing time for Cheeks.
    2. Fired from Portland in 04-05 with a record of 22-33 (0.400). His replacement (K. Pritchard) that year went 5-22. Missed Randolph for 1st month of the season and then was shut down in March.  The following year hired McMillan who went 21-61 (0.256).  Roster was almost completely turned over other then Randolph who played the whole season.
    3. Took over from O’Brien in PHI in 05-06. Won 5 less games (0.463 v 0.524, -6.1% change).  Major change to the team was adding Webber in 05-06, in place of Center Marc Jackson’s minutes.
    4. Fired from PHI in 08-09 with a record of 9-14 (0.391).  His replacement (T. Dileo) that year went 32-27 (0.542).  The following year hired E. Jordan who went 27-55 (0.239).  Big change in lineup was losing Andre Miller and adding Elton Brand.  

    In Summary 
    1. Both the teams he took over got slightly worse with pretty similar rosters to the year before.  
    2. Both the teams he was fired from were worse the following year but roster changes were probably a significant reason.
    3. Was fired mid-season twice.  First time team was significantly worse the rest of the year, 2nd time team was significantly better.

    Bottom Line
    Unless our roster improves you can expect the same results next year, maybe slightly worse.  My feeling is that switching coaches is pretty much irrelevant to an increase in wins the following year.  If you want more wins get better players.  So why should I care that we hired retread like Cheeks? It’s all on Joe D to improve the roster this Summer.       
        

    • Jun 7, 20133:24 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      i agree there are to many good winning coaches aviable to settle for Cheeks.

      Even the current team he is on has nothing in common with the Pistons.

      Hollins could have brought the experience, he develop Mike Conley, he has found away to play two physical bigs together, team defense.

      George Karl , uptempo style of play, no superstar needed kinda of system

      Brian Shaw, sat under Phil Jackson for years, studied the triangle offense which would take pressure off of needing a true point guard

      Those type of coaches fit…

      I dont know what Cheeks has learned or if he has gotten better but it just seems uneventful

    • Jun 7, 20136:09 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Why should you care they’re hiring a retread? Well, a great coach is worth about 10 extra wins and will win you a playoff series or 2, depending on your team’s talent level. A good coach is worth about 5 and maybe 1 playoff series. A mediocre coach probably breaks even, but can’t win in the playoffs, and a bad coach costs you 5-10 games and probably doesn’t get you to the playoffs.

      Cheeks fits solidly in the mediocre category. Obviously talent is more crucial, but it’s up to the coach to galvanize the talent. In Cheeks’ previous jobs, he failed to do that most of the time. 

  • Jun 7, 20133:25 pm
    by okayyy

    Reply

    your negative tilt on every story has become droll.  is cheeks an inspired choice? no. but stop with all the one note articles…. turning me and many others off i think. 

    • Jun 7, 20133:32 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Nobody is making you read here

      • Jun 7, 20134:53 pm
        by GEORGIO

        Reply

        That’s exactly the attitude I would expect from Mr. Feldman, no surprise there.

        • Jun 7, 20135:12 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          You too. I don’t mean to be combative, but seriously, if you dislike my writing so much, why don’t you stop reading?

          • Jun 8, 20137:00 am
            by Georgio

            But that’s the point, you are combative, ALWAYS. I read ALL Pistons info from any source because I’m a Piston’s  fan. This site is a source of  Piston’s info and insight so that’s why I come here. I think your attitude is horrible and I think you have an anti Dumars agenda and it seeps into everything that you write. I see very few truly objective points in your writing, you are obviously very bias, but that being said, I read because i’m a Piston’s fan and unfortunately you write about the Pistons.   

          • Jun 10, 20133:24 am
            by Dan Feldman

            I’ve never claimed by writing is unbiased or objective. It’s very much subjective, and like every human being, I have biases.

            Considering i wrote a post called “Why the Pistons should keep Joe Dumars,” having an anti-Dumars agenda probably is not one of them.
             

    • Jun 7, 20135:25 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      You’re welcome to start your own website with a positive spin on everything.

      • Jun 8, 20137:02 am
        by Georgio

        Reply

        If I have the computer savy to do that then I would, but since I don’t I get my Pistons info from where I can.

  • Jun 7, 20133:30 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Just wondering if Phil had anything to do with the decision?  If so, he’s probably laughing thinking, well at least this is one team I don’t have to worry about if I get a GM job with another team.

    • Jun 8, 201311:41 am
      by Todd

      Reply

      I think your first question is a valuable one. A great deal of publicity and hopeful excitement was played out through the attachment to Phil Jackson, yet nothing has been mentioned about his role (or lack thereof) in the agreement between ownership and management to go with Mo Cheeks – though admittedly that word has been out for a few days now and no hire has been made. So did Phil do anything in this process, was he overruled, did “his guys” go elsewhere? What gives?

  • Jun 7, 20133:40 pm
    by Al

    Reply

    SMH man what is really going on here????!!!???? Do they really believe that Cheeks can get the best out of this group?? Or is it to just groom what we have now to attract a sexy hire in 2years or so? To me it seems that Cheeks is Frank 3.0 having played in the league being the only difference. Both had losing records as coaches so really, what gives? Fire a losing coach to hire a losing coach…. I guess.. Man, if he is the choice going forward I hope he proves us all wrong but just like the last hire, i’m all for NOT hiring Cheeks.. smh

  • Jun 7, 20133:46 pm
    by wilmer sanders

    Reply

    i think if cheeks gets good offensive coaches and good defensive coaches he should be ok OC AND DC MATTER

    • Jun 7, 20134:23 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Yeah, maybe he can hire George Karl, Brian Shaw & Mike Budenholzer as assistants.

    • Jun 7, 20134:26 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      Who is he going to bring onto his staff? We should have simply hired a good OC/DC to be head coach, that was the only real sweetener we had. Now, why would any good assistant want to become a part of a sinking ship under a middling head coach? That’s like saying Joe Dumars is a great GM as long as he lands the 1st overall pick two years in a row. If you aren’t sold on the head coach’s ability to run an offense or install a defense, don’t hold your breath waiting for assistants who can do just that. Cheeks MUST be able to do one of those things himself, otherwise he’s just a figurehead with no power and no reason to have been hired.

      • Jun 7, 20134:55 pm
        by MIKEYDE248

        Reply

        The only plus to being a good assistant under Cheeks would be the title NEW INTERIM HEAD COACH.

  • Jun 7, 20133:50 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I don’t get this hiring at all.  Sad day to be a Piston fan.  

  • Jun 7, 20134:24 pm
    by DTroyEveryThang

    Reply

    Before it all blow up in Dumars face, he might as well draft Zellar with 8 pick, because as soon as Monroe become a free agent, he is gone!

    • Jun 7, 20134:28 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      Monroe won’t become a free agent for another 5 years at least. RFA gives all the leverage to the team, and Joe will probably give him the max anyway (no one in the history of the NBA has turned down a max contract in RFA).

  • Jun 7, 20135:14 pm
    by Ryan Kelly

    Reply

    At this point both dumars and gores necks are on the line.   at least from perception.   If they fail to deliver a solid team with the 9th pick and 30 million in cap space ; they will look like clowns.  It’s not 20 mil.   It’s closer to 30 million if they amnesty CV.    So they have everything a team needs to make something good happen.  If they don’t the palace will be even emptier than it already is. 

  • Jun 7, 20135:15 pm
    by zeke

    Reply

    Looking at Cheeks history and biography, it’s not good. He had great team in Portland and Philadelphia, results were very bad. He will bring nothing new in the team.
    Bring some new, young coaches like Fizdale, Budenholze, Shaw, Bickerstaff, Tibbetts, Ewing
     

  • Jun 7, 20135:17 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    hasty predictions based on thin evidence undermines credibility. 

    shall we dig up your prediction re the drummond pick? 

    Headline: “Andre Drummond Great Pick and Probable Bust Makes Draft Night Memorable for Himself and Pistons”

    http://www.pistonpowered.com/2012/06/andre-drummond-great-pick-and-probable-bust-makes-draft-night-marvelous-for-himself-and-pistons/ 

    • Jun 7, 20135:24 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Please explain how the evidence is thin. It appears quite conclusive, in my opinion. Also, I think Dan summed up Andre Drummond pretty well in the article you mentioned. 

    • Jun 7, 20135:24 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Andre Drummond is a great draft pick.”

    • Jun 7, 20135:47 pm
      by CityofKlompton

      Reply

      Give Dan some credit for thinking objectively and not with homer glasses on.  Can anybody honestly be positive about this hire?  I don’t think we really had any better options (that were willing to accept the job), but that doesn’t make this a good move.  Poor decisions of the past put us in this position, and hopefully Cheeks turns out to be better than he appears to be.  Right now, though, I’d say the odds are against us. 

  • Jun 7, 20135:31 pm
    by mshansky

    Reply

    I  would like to emphasize that the Pistons are a BUSINESS, and as such, are commited only to making money. If they could fill the seats with retro-nostalgia halftime acts, they wouldnt mind a perennial last place team. The only motivation is the empty-seat look on TV piston broadcasts. If they make bad deciaions, they SHOULD pay a penalty, be it bad press, empty seats, or, the worst, apathy.
    They cannot upgrade their roste this offseason because their lottery slot is not high enough, decent free agents wont come here (why?), and trading “up” is a ridiculous notion, given our roster.
    The ultimate court product must be competitive, entertaining, and contain one or more individuals whose playing is worth seeing in person.
     

  • Jun 7, 20135:33 pm
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    I guess I can understand the negativity, but it’s not BS to have some hope.  Knight has been mercurial, not a complete failure.  If he could develop some consistency things could look pretty good.  Monroe is solid, and if he suffers by comparison to Andre’s startling athleticism, he makes up for it in workmanlike production.  Does no one here harbor hope that Andre playing a larger role with a year under his belt might make more significant contributions?  Then there’s the matter of another draft pick and the turnover brought about by the cap space.

    Cheeks knows the game.  He was a fine floor general as a player.  You can point to the rosters he had while coaching and find his level of success understandable.  Find me examples of Cheeks making bonehead coaching decisions and I’ll write him off promptly.  Otherwise, he seems to have some good associations with player development and that’s something that’s timely given the state of the Pistons.  Given the modern duration of opportunity, being a great coach requires being in the right place at the right time.

    In many ways this season will also tell us a lot about Gores as an owner.  Dumars is in a perilous situation, but that’s been true since the death of Bill Davidson.  I expect a cascade of derisive cries at my suggestion that this is the primary factor in the rapid decline of a perennial contender, but sorry, it still seems to fit the timeline according to my memory.  Gores actions as owner will tell a lot.  A solid season and a playoff appearance would change a lot of tunes.  Crisis and opportunity, and the outcome can sometimes surprise. 

    • Jun 8, 20137:49 am
      by oats

      Reply

      I’d argue the way he handled Zach Randolph in Randolph’s second year is pretty much identical to how Drummond was handled this year. He was really good when given play time, but he rarely did because a mediocre veteran hogged those minutes. In Randoph’s case, it was an unwillingness to move Sheed to the 5, instead insisting on starting Dale Davis. In Detroit it was an unwillingness to move Monroe to the 4, instead insisting on starting Jason Maxiell. Davis was putting up 7.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 minutes a game. Randolph was putting up 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 17 minutes a game, which left him with per 36 numbers of 18 and 9.5. It seems pretty obvious that was the wrong decision.

      • Jun 8, 20138:36 am
        by acr

        Reply

        While I agree with your analysis of Randolph vs Davis stat wise (extended out to the per 36), there is a major difference between that situation and Drummond last year – that team won 50 games and made the playoffs.  That team also had Sabonis, who took a lot of the minutes in the rotation of bigs (Davis, Wallace, Randolph, and Sabonis). So I’m not sure if we can say that it was obviously the wrong decision, as they had a pretty successful season, despite losing in the first round of the playoffs in 7 games.

        • Jun 8, 201311:41 am
          by frankie d

          Reply

          Portland fans were dying to see randolph play more that year.  they didnt care where the minutes came from, they just felt that he should have been on the court more, and davis was the obvious guy to sit. the fact that the team won kept a lid on the fan discontent but there was a lot of rumbling about randolph getting more minutes.  
          the feeling was that thr team could have been even better with him out there more. 

        • Jun 8, 201312:34 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Randolph’s 3rd year is often considered his breakout year because he averaged 20.1 points and 10.5 rebounds in 38 minutes a game. That gave him a per 36 of 19.1 and 10, or almost identical to year 2. It seems extremely likely that Randolph could have been really good in year 2 with more play time. I’d venture a guess that a 15 and 8 in the 30 minutes Davis was playing seems pretty likely. Davis was a decent defender and Randolph wasn’t, but Randolph would have almost certainly made that team quite a bit better. Considering that year they took Dallas to game 7, it seems pretty reasonable to think that Randolph could have given them the edge in that series. Even if that isn’t the case, I’d still say the right decision was to play Randolph. The goal of a coach should be to make the team as good as possible, and Randolph was the better player.

  • Jun 7, 20135:37 pm
    by Brian

    Reply

    I think @pistons87 had a good analysis. I could see a really bad coach costing the team a significant amount of wins. But the difference between an average coach/retread and getting a “good” coach isn’t going to account for that many incremental wins next year. So whatever, get someone who likes to work with young guys and maybe can help the backcourt develop. No great coach is coming to the pistons right now. anyway. So, personally I like the fact that at least they have a coach who was a great player and won a championship. I know that in itself doesn’t translate into a good coach. But honestly, I don’t know how NBA players even listen to a guy like Frank who was never even a college player. I think the guys will like playing for Cheeks. Failure is a good way to learn, so he should be a better coach now than in the past. In sum, I am not pumped about signing Cheeks, but I’m fine with it. I don’t see him being the one that holds the organization back any further. 

  • Jun 7, 20135:41 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    “Probable Bust”

  • Jun 7, 20135:42 pm
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Cheeks wasn’t on the top of my list, oh well, not even on my list…so to me it’s not good news at all. Another mediocre coach with a more than mediocre team….the outcome can’t be very good I guess. Up to Dumars to improve the roster. Hey, wait…he hasn’t been that good in the past at that if you take draft picks apart…oh my. Don’t want to be pesimist but with that premises what can one expect? Maybe a big surprise coming draft day? Maybe a surprising move in the free agency?
    No doubt it’s all in for Dumars this season
     

  • Jun 7, 20135:42 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    I’m wondering wtf is taking so long to negotiate a contract if they are in fact hiring Cheeks?

    I mean, it seems as simple as Gores just saying “hey, Mo…no one else wants you. Here’s 10 bucks to be our coach. Take it or leave it. 

    Mo: “I’ll take it!”

    Seriously, if this is true that he is the next coach, and they’ve been talking about it for weeks now, why isn’t the deal done? 

    • Jun 7, 20135:45 pm
      by MrBlockedShot

      Reply

      Agreed, we didn’t need that Phil Jackson’s circus to hire Mo…

      • Jun 8, 20138:52 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        If  we are lucky he is monitoring fan reaction and is aware of the overwhelmingly negative response.
        Perhaps it is making him think twice about doing something that is alienating his fan base. 

  • Jun 7, 20135:43 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Too many moronic comments on here. Seriously, what are you all expecting? PistonPowered on Molly? This team blows, has blown since ’09, and clearly has a dysfunctional ownership-management partnership that is costing this team majorly in the long-term at the expense of Dumars trying to hold on to his job based off stupid benchmarks/expectations set by Gores. If Dan and co. was speaking positively about this, they would lose all credibility in the eyes of anyone with an IQ above 100. 

    This Mo Cheeks hiring is ridiculous. Not because it’s uninspired and not because people like me are ignoring the fact that better candidates such as Shaw, Budenholzer, Karl, Sloan may simply not want to coach in Detroit. But because:

    a) They’re hiring a retread instead of making a bold hire of an assistant coach a la Rick Carlise (see this article, there are complicated constructs like “numbers” and “data”, but hopefully some PP haters will follow the basic idea), entirely a result of the aforementioned dysfunction
    b) There is little to suggest the benefit of switching to Cheeks over Frank is going to net more positive than what the results would have been had we kept Frank and trusted in continuity in a consistent system leading to improvement with a young roster like this. 

    And, for those of you just waiting for selective bias to kick in in eight months if the Pistons have a good record under Cheeks, nobody is saying that Cheeks is necessarily going to fail. Just that the hire is indicative of a dysfunctional organization that has fallen far from Goin’ to Work days. And a lack of vision. If he’s hired, we’re all rooting equally for him to succeed. So get off your “Thou art a worse fan than thee” pedestals and accept we’re all fans with differences of opinion. 

  • Jun 7, 20136:07 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    I’m noticing a trend here since Larry Brown.

    Brown was a task master, disciplinarian. Then the players grew tired of it, and he was fired for an easy going players coach in Flip.

    The players then took advantage of Flip’s kindness, and the Pistons felt they needed someone who would stand up to them. Enter Michael Curry.

    Except Curry’s no nonsense approach quickly turned confrontational, and he was dismissed after a year for not being able to get along with the players. They decided they needed someone who could better relate to the players, and hired Kuester who came with a nice guy reputation, as well as a good relationship with Rip and Tayshaun. 

    However, Kuester’s friendly approach eventually led to the players treating him like a dog and laughing at him during games from the bench. Exit Kuester. Enter Frank – the next no-nonsense coach brought in to clean up after another failed players coach.

    And once again, that no-nonsense coach got tuned out by the players after a year, resulting in another firing, and yet another hiring of a players coach to come in and calm the waters in PistonLand.

    If you’re exhausted by this up and down roller-coaster, you should be. That’s the point. This team has exhausted this back/forth discliparian/players coach model to the nth degree, and its time the GM be held accountable instead.

    Lets recap

    Brown – No-nonsense coach

    Flip – Players coach

    Curry – No-nonsense coach

    Kuester - Players coach

    Frank - No-nonsense coach

    Cheeks – Players coach

     

    • Jun 7, 20136:12 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Uh, Flip was not a player’s coach. Soft, yes. Player’s coach, no.

      • Jun 7, 20136:51 pm
        by mike

        Reply

        uh, yes Flip was the definition of a players coach.

        • Jun 7, 20137:39 pm
          by G

          Reply

          If you mean that the players had zero respect for him and didn’t give a shit about what he said, then yes. If you mean he was friendly with the players, then no.

          • Jun 7, 20139:51 pm
            by mike

            huh? He was very  friendly with Chauncey, thats why they hired him

            I don’t think you know  what a players coach means.

            It just means a coach that is easy on the players  and he lets them do what they want. 

          • Jun 10, 20137:16 am
            by G

            Rasheed Wallace called him the “biggest fucking coward I’ve ever known” to his face, he had problems with Ben Wallace also, and then in Washington he had problems with almost everyone on the team. No, I would say he wasn’t friendly with the players.

        • Jun 7, 20138:42 pm
          by CityofKlompton

          Reply

          Also, Brown wasn’t fired because the players tuned him out. Brown pretty much walked out the door by openly discussing positions with other teams while still coaching the Pistons.

    • Jun 7, 20136:16 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Brown wasn’t fired because the player grew tired of him. It was entirely because of his unprofessionalism away from the court. Also, you left out Carlisle, who was also a “no-nonsense coach”. 

      • Jun 7, 20136:50 pm
        by mike

        Reply

        It was well documented that the players had grown tired of Brown micro managing them.

        Also, I didn’t leave out Carlisle. I started with Brown because that is where the trend began, smart guy. 

        • Jun 8, 201311:36 am
          by Desolation Row

          Reply

          “It was well documented that the players had grown tired of Brown micro managing them.”

          Uhhhhhhh…. where exactly is this documented? This is literally the first I’ve read or heard of the players growing tired of Brown. Considering the Pistons made it to game 7 of the NBA finals under Brown before he was fired and have made mention of things like if Brown had stayed the coach, they would’ve won out at least one more championship, I am skeptical of that claim. You have every right to be patronizing and call me stuff like “smart guy”, but at least back it up if you want to be taken seriously. 

  • Jun 7, 20136:11 pm
    by Filo Putz

    Reply

    look the pistons future is tied to the development of Drummond. I was not happy with the way he played when his minutes increased after returning from injury. First, he said he was going to pace himself after Frank told him his minutes were going to increase. Then he appeared complacent on the defensive end reacting slowly to help on the weakside, not contesting or fouling. He appeared more like the Drummond from Connecticut that scared other teams away in the previous draft.

  • Jun 7, 20136:12 pm
    by tim

    Reply

    Joe D is done.  He needs to recuse himself from the coaching hire.  He obviously is terrible at evaluating coaching talent. 

  • Jun 7, 20137:24 pm
    by acr

    Reply

    Agreed that this is make or break for Dumars (and Cheeks).  We need to hit with some players this summer (draft/trades/fa whatever) and add some good pieces to our young roster. If we don’t see a marked improvement next year at least, I’d guess they’ll both be gone – though, as others have said, Gores doesn’t appear to be too connected with things as an owner, so who knows?

  • Jun 7, 20137:50 pm
    by Filo Putz

    Reply

    I agree with Dan the goal appears to be marginal improvement.The mid market teams that reach the top hierarchy in the NBA have fortuitous luck either in the draft or through trade or a combination of both. Becoming relevant is rare through free agency because the glamour destinations usually are more desirable..  While the trade of Gordon gave them cap relief it cost them a a first round pick.  I expect them to repeat the mistake they made when signing gordon and Villanueva because I just don’t see where they’ll find a trade market for the soon to be FA’s. And I certainly wouldn’t like them to trade Monroe who appears to be blossoming in to a young Zach Randolph 

  • Jun 7, 20138:19 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    My theory is that it’s a money thing- and thasuis on Gores more than Dumars. Cheeks wants another shot as a head coach. No one else wants him- so he’ll be cheap. To get an in-demand coach for the pistons currently would require paying top dollar.

    if CV isn’t amnestied, we’ll know for sure ownership cares more about expenses than team-building- and that would explain this hire perfectly. 

    • Jun 7, 201311:09 pm
      by Faraz1013

      Reply

      …Or CV wont be amnestied due to the fact that he has value on the trade market because of his expiring contract. 

      • Jun 7, 201311:14 pm
        by jacob

        Reply

        We should have just amnestied BG. This would have saved us a lot of heartbreak.

      • Jun 8, 20139:05 am
        by Corey

        Reply

        Empty cap space had more value than an expiring contract.

  • Jun 7, 201311:30 pm
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    I just don’t see the hate in this hire.  We have a young, developing team, and they can improve, but it will be a long, slow process.  Bringing in a high-profile coach, with a high-profile price tag will definitely cost the team money, but may not get the results so quickly.  I bet McMillan didn’t get the job due to money, Cheeks was cheaper and set a lower ceiling of expectation.  Monroe-Drummond and one key free agent could mean playoffs for us, and wouldn’t we all be thrilled with an 8th seed next year, honestly?  We can worry about the time beyond next season when we get there.  I just don’t see how this offseason was the “time” to pull the trigger on a big name coaching hire.  I also think Dumars wanted a proven game-manager, and first-time coaches are not proven in that regard.

    • Jun 8, 20131:28 am
      by mike

      Reply

      I don’t get the long slow process comment. That sounds like what loser franchises say to buy as much time as possible. I don’t care how young or inexeperienced our team is, they can still go all out every posession trying to win every game. Do that and you never know how things will play out. But if you automatically accept you arent going to win anytime soon, then you won’t for certain. Thats a losers mentality.

      Tell that to the Thunder who got to the Finals behind three 22 yr olds as their best players, or Magic Johnson who won a championship as a 20 yr old rookie. Anything is possible with this team. Drummond playing 30-35 mpg could be dominant next year. 

  • Jun 8, 20131:11 am
    by Reaction

    Reply

    I think if they hire Cheeks it means that either we are going to draft a PG and hope Cheeks can develop him into a quality starter or try to make Knight a quality point guard (which I doubt since it seems Dumars doesn’t believe he can be one anymore as seen by the move to shift him to SG).

  • Jun 8, 20138:14 am
    by Tony J

    Reply

    I’m willing to give Cheeks a chace before I start ripping him and Joe D and Gores but honestly… I would be happier if we just hired George Blaha and called it a day lol

  • Jun 8, 201310:08 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Somebody had a very bad day…

    Take a look at the roster and tell me who BK had to work with over the last two season.  I think this decision was to help Knight along as a major objective.   

    Who said Cheeks has to take this team to contention level?  Knight, Andre, and Monroe likely need 3-5 more seasons experience before they can take it to that level.  At that time, Cheeks can be replaced with a new “elite” coach who can elevate the team another notch.

    And who said Joe D’s head is on a chopping block?  It appears to me Joe works closely with Gores in all big decisions.  He likely talks through the positive and negatives of decisions and sets expectations.  If Gores wanted rid of Joe D, he’d give him the rope to hang himself with…but that’s not what’s happening here.  They are working together, win or lose.  It’s hard to can Joe D over decisions that were made jointly. 

    • Jun 8, 20132:50 pm
      by Tony J

      Reply

      If you wanted him to develop one person then why not just hire him as an assistant coach. Most rosters contain a HEAD COACH who’s duty is to put the best team out on the court and win. Then they have an offense and defense coach for specialty type of situations then they usually have player development coaches. Why waste your head coaching spot on a player development coach?

  • Jun 8, 20136:11 pm
    by Jegas

    Reply

    Nice writing, always informative. Don’t worry about the tone critiques, Dan, a lot of fans are only comfortable with delusional optimism. I read these articles consistently and find the insight and accuracy to beof strong credibility.   

       

  • Jun 8, 20136:12 pm
    by Jegas

    Reply

    Regarding my views on the Pistons future – the team has serious potential to become elite simply based on the presence of Drummond. Monroe is an above average front line player and shows signs of being a good influence for the team. We need scoring and massively heightened distribution from the top. I love Jose’s ability to dish and minimize mistakes, and don’t think we had any real indication of the team’s potential given the injuries to him and Drummond following the trade. In my estimation signing Calderon or drafting a PG is the only reliable way to take the next step. I love BK’s attitude but I think we now have enough data to determine he isn’t cut out for major minutes at PG – most teams struggle to succeed with a PG sporting those kind of A/T numbers impacting the game for 30 plus minutes. In the instance we can sign Calderon, I would love any scoring wing at #8. 

  • Jun 8, 20136:19 pm
    by Jegas

    Reply

    The main impact I think a coach can bring to a team is determination, a culture of team sacrifice (see Cameron Stauth’s The Franchise), and a driving work ethic. The rare coach can achieve consistently independent of the proper spread of talent. Even the greats (Pop, Auerbach, Jackson) have consistently had HOF players on their rosters. Cheeks coaching numbers don’t overwhelm, but his embodiment of those factors (PG on the best 76ers teams ever, numerous 1st-team all defense honors, his best attributes were in selfless categories, i.e., assists, steals) during his playing days give me some hope in his ability to lead. Despite the fact both of his teams achieved better following his exit, one could argue he was a part of that success or that evaluating him solely on pre/post data without control for extraneous factors is still not without flaws to the reliability of that metric.  

  • Jun 9, 20134:56 am
    by thegreat

    Reply

    Dan your such a idiot. Mo Cheeks is a good hire 

    • Jun 9, 20136:32 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      If *you’re* going to call someone an idiot, try using proper grammar. 

  • Jun 9, 20131:49 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    I think this is going to be a good hire.  Throughout the season there will be patches of highs and lows.  You are assembling a team with a new coach.  We all know we hava couple of picks and we will bring in a FA or two.  There might be a trade in the works throughout the season to fix a few pot holes.  First you let the team play and then you assess what is not working and tweak it. 

    I’m sure they have a five year plan for each player on the team.  Knights was to learn the in’s and out’s of the PG.  So by having calderon around for a couple months will do a lot for him.  Mo ran the point and can help contribute to his development.  Drummonds plan is to probably end up on the block with greg on the elbow.  This will take some time to develop and players need to get accustomed to others style.  

    Back to the portland thing, people neglect the fact that randolph did not play defense.  As a coach you can not give out starter mins on a “defensive minded team” to someone that doesn’t play d.  Another reason why he was not played is cause he would never pass the ball and would ball hog.  You guys just look at numbers and make judgements, not how people play as a unit.      

  • Jun 9, 20133:09 pm
    by shawn brown

    Reply

    i am a die hard pistons fan and longtime Joe D. fan.    (both as a player and G.M.)  he has done more for the franchise then people realize.  it was not his fault that the team he assembled during the championship run under achieved a bit.   his job is to build a team.  not coach them.   his is not g.m. of the lakers , or heat so he is not going to hit a home run every time he steps up to the plate.   yes some signings have been suspect ( gordon and CV) but you must remember that during that time davidson died  and his wife was trying to sell the team which put everything in a state of flux.    detroit doesnt attract stars so they have to be drafted instead of signed as free agents.   in this respect greg monroe and andre drummond could fit the bill perfectly. he also has drafted solid role players over the years. (tayshaun, affalo, jerebko)  yes he has made mistakes..name a g.m. who hasnt?    what i fear is happening here is that gores has no idea what the hell he is doing and cares more about style over substance. if gores is serious about winning let Joe d. do his job and stop getting in the way or mediocrity will become something we pistons fan look back on with fondness if this seemingly clueless owner doesnt show he knows what hes doing this summer. 

  • Jun 9, 20134:19 pm
    by Jerry

    Reply

    I love how these homers expect Dan to spin positivity out of this hire. Ridiculous. Keep telling the truth, Dan. Dumars has fired too many coaches at this point to attract decent candidates. This franchise is stuck in the mud until Dumars is gone, and possibly Gores, too. He appears to be clueless.

  • Jun 9, 20136:38 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    I was listening to Brain Windhorst on the BS report the other day, and he was talking about something that really caught my attention: an underrated aspect of the recent CBA is that there will be a lot of max-contract player movement this summer and the coming season by teams looking to stay under the luxury tax threshold. I would imagine a team like the Pistons with all their cap room — and even more room if they exercise the amnesty option on CV — are in a great position to capitalize. For those of you playing around with the ESPN trade machine and the like, this might be the Pistons’ best bet to land some marquee talent. Especially considering that Detroit is hardly a top free agent destination. I hope this is Joe D’s plan.

  • Jun 9, 201311:50 pm
    by Wolverines23

    Reply

    I think this paragraph in a article by Detroit Bad Boys sums it up for me, regarding coaching in Detroit:
     
    “So while we all struggle to identify which coach is the best fit for us, we skip over the real question: Which coach is willing to take a chance on Detroit? Regardless of success, Detroit coaches in recent history haven’t been able to keep their jobs. In fact, the average winning percentage of the last 7 coaches in their final seasons as head coach for our franchise is a better-than-average 51%. Since George Irvine was let go in favor of Rick Carlisle, head coaches in their final season have averaged a winning record. And yet the average tenure is still only 1.9 years over that same time period.
     
    George Karl and Lionel Hollins have earned a lot of credibility and respect in their previous jobs, that they probably would not downgrade their own resumes by taking a job with the Pistons. They are playoff coaches, and will be interviewing for jobs with the Clippers and/or Nets, who were both in the playoffs last year. Brian Shaw was really someone who I would have loved to have as our coach, a lot of people were also negative saying he has no experience, he is currently being interviewed by the Clippers, who have a roster that has won 50+ games, has 2 All Stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, great veterans, and had a good coach. However, if you read articles on Brian Shaw, and quotes from coaches who have worked with him, you will come to know that as a coach he will bring in much more then a triangle offense to the team. He also stated that he loves it in Indiana and his family agreed to move from LA to live out in the Midwest. Him being a family man, Detroit would have worked out for him in terms of destination. But whatever. I guess we will go with Cheeks instead.
     
    If Maurice Cheeks officially is hired by the Pistons, I will personally be disappointed as a fan, mainly because there are many other options available in the market right now. One name no one has mentioned for the Detroit coaching job is Vinny Del Negro? Who has done a fantastic job in the past with the Chicago Bulls in the beginning of Derrick Roses’ career and of course in L.A. However, I do believe we will be much better then the previous years here in Detroit under Frank and Kuester, simply because our players will improve and will hopefully be injury free for an entire season.
     
    Even if we keep the same roster, resign Calderon, draft a scoring wing in KCP or Shabazz, a line up of: Calderon, Knight, Shabazz/KCP, Monroe, Drummond is significantly better then Knight, Singler, Tayshaun Prince, Maxiel, and Monroe who started and played 55 to 60 percent of the season last year. However, I feel that we can make some simple changes in free agency by getting inexpensive players such as, Jarrett Jack and Corey Brewer. But the only reason those two guys who were on good playoff teams last year will even consider Detroit is simply because of money and an opportunity to start. If we go with a PG in this years draft I wouldn’t take anyone besides Trey Burke, who probably won’t be available at 8, unless we move up. The team definitely needs a good floor general who can shoot (and Jose Calderon can do that). Many people including myself, have complained about Calderon being too old, but shit look at Tony Parker being the best PG in the NBA right now competing for a championship. Dumars will probably keep Jose and groom a young PG under him, or just keep Stuckey (who can continue to be effective off the bench).
     
    We’ll be fine! Excited for the Detroit Pistons 2013-2014 season. Go Pistons! Hope Maurice Cheeks can turn things around.

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