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Maurice Cheeks, in his fifth season as head coach, was still running Larry Brown’s plays

Howard Beck of The New York Times:

Even more troubling Tuesday was that the 76ers, coached by Maurice Cheeks, a Brown protégé, were running the same plays that Brown had been teaching the Knicks for two weeks.

"We even call it the same thing," Brown said. "And we practice against it, we talk about how to defend it. And then I watched last night, we didn’t defend any of that stuff. Maybe we’re not executing it ourselves, so that when we play against it, we’re not prepared to stop it."

Granted, this was a preseason game, and it’s possible Maurice Cheeks wasn’t using his full playbook. But this preceded his first season in Philadelphia, so if that were the case, I’d wonder why he wasn’t more aggressively teaching his schemes to his new team.

Cheeks has a reputation as a mediocre-at-best Xs-and-Os coach, and examples like these contribute to it. The Thunder while Cheeks worked for Scott Brooks didn’t excel in that area, either, but it’s unclear what role Cheeks played there.

Is this reputation fair? Tough to say from a distance. The 76ers in the season of this example posted their best offensive rating under Cheeks, but they still ranked just 13th.


  • Jun 12, 201311:47 am
    by Keith


    I would very much hope to think that since that was from years ago now, that Cheeks has grown as a coach. Of course, it’s difficult to see where that would have happened since OKC has a great offense more through great offensive talents than great X’s and O’s.

  • Jun 12, 201312:04 pm
    by Mel


    Please get us to 13th in offense this year we will then make the playoffs. I’m not looking for a championship from Mo. I’m looking for some consistency. He may have his faults but look at Scott Brooks he makes some questionable decisions as a coach but he still makes the playoffs. Just get Mo some players he’ll get us to the playoffs. Most player coaches aren’t great x’s and o’s guys. Look at Mark Jackson and listen to him in a huddle. He’s basically preaching to them but in a good way. The players listen to him. Some of these know it all Coaches ( Frank) with all this X’s and O’s jargon leave some players scratching there heads. Basketball is not complicated. These players have been playing along time. They want someone who has been in there shoes and can talk to them when things they don’t understand happen. Mo can do that. Something Flip, Curry, Kue, and Larry couldn’t do.

    • Jun 12, 201312:26 pm
      by tarsier


      If that’s all you need, hire a pep-talker for $100,000/yr and have him do that. But have a head coach who understands the game.

    • Jun 12, 201312:37 pm
      by Keith


      I don’t think you can really compare Cheeks here to Brooks in OKC. Durant and Westbrook both are top 10 players in the entire league. Nobody on our team even touches that good. OKC is also deep with near stars and great role players. That team would make the playoffs with me coaching them. Detroit hasn’t been even close the last two years, and the talent level overall is really low.

  • Jun 12, 201312:56 pm
    by sebastian


    Maurice Cheeks, in his 5th season as Head Coach , was still running Larry Brown’s plays and … Allen Iverson, who played under Larry Brown while at Philly; a player, who he himself admitted didn’t think much of practice was still on the team dominating the ball 3 1/2 of the 4 years that Cheeks coached the Sixers.
    This headline does not say much, to me.

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