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Pistons make Maurice Cheeks hire official

Here are the key quotes from the Pistons’ official release:

“We’re pleased to welcome Maurice Cheeks to the Pistons organization,” Dumars said. “The leadership and player development qualities he brings as a former player and coach blends nicely with the roster we are building for the future. He’s won an NBA championship, coached in two NBA Finals as an assistant coach and mentored some of the top young players in the NBA.”

“After spending some time with Maurice, I was very impressed not only with his basketball knowledge but his communication and leadership skills,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “We are very excited to have someone of his experience and talent help take this franchise into the future.”

We’ll get a lot more than these canned statements when the Pistons introduce Cheeks later this week.


  • Jun 10, 20139:41 pm
    by Detroit P


    Call me crazy but I like it?  The blazers had too many left over bad attitudes.  They also competed at a strong level.  my roommmates from Philly and he liked cheeks.  The 76ers didn’t have the roster by any means.  And Philly is one of the hardest places to win.  I think e will be able to reach out to the youth

    • Jun 11, 20132:58 am
      by frankie d


      Ok.  I will satisfy your request:  you are crazy if you like the hire.

  • Jun 10, 20139:44 pm
    by Detroit P


    I hate the phone version for this site.  But he did have a part with the youth in thunder.  We get some random good free agents.  And we develop, we can be a drop five team.  We are soooo young.  I’m 22 and am older than a lot of these guys

  • Jun 10, 201310:00 pm
    by Black_Magic


    you are one negative son of a bitch lol. I think people overvalue the importance of a head coach too much. IMO Erik Spoelstra, Mike Brown, and Doc Rivers are all incompetant idiots, but all succeed because of their hefty rosters. A head coach can only be as good as his roster. 

    • Jun 10, 201310:06 pm
      by Vegeta


      I agree, especially about Mike Brown.  He is more prissy than Zarbon during gay night at Necto.   

      Doc Rivers on the other hand has shown one interesting thing: if you can manage personalities then you can win the NBA.  His job in Boston was to basically make sure the Big 3 got along, then keep Rondo’s ego in check.  And wouldn’t ya know it, they end up winning a title. 

      • Jun 11, 201311:12 am
        by sebastian


        Vegeta, I agree with both, you and Black Magic. But, your point about “managing personalities” is a crucial element to a team’s success or failure.
        Great points!

    • Jun 11, 201312:24 am
      by T Casey


      If your team is stacked like Miaim is or the championship Boston team was, coaching is not as important because the talent will win out most nights regardless of the quality of the coaching. But when you’ve got a team without multiple superstars, you’ve got to have a quality coach to bring things together and come up with defensive and offensive schemes that take advantage of the players skill sets to be as successful as the more talented teams.

    • Jun 11, 20139:30 am
      by John V


      I have a hard time believing that without Larry Brown, the Pistons could have made that leap to a championship team in 2004.

  • Jun 10, 201310:02 pm
    by Black_Magic


    but then again, look at greg popovich… Im just saying, people are being overly dramatic. Give the guy a chance. He coached a crazy portland team, and an old sixers team. He has a very young team on his hands here. And he hasnt even established a coaching staff.

    • Jun 11, 20133:47 am
      by oats


      Ok. Greg Popovich is a GM, and builds a team that is competitive for a long time. He then appoints himself coach. The first year he is coach the team is devastated by injuries. Robinson played 6 games, Elliott played 39, and Wilkins played 63. They predictably stink, and are gifted the first pick of the draft. They make the most obvious pick ever by taking Tim Duncan. After that his worst season is a record of 50-32. Despite that crappy first season, Popovich now has a career winning percentage of 68.1%. What exactly is the point in this? These two have approximately nothing in common.

  • Jun 10, 201310:22 pm
    by Joey


    good coach,dumb how Dan says he is just mediocre

    • Jun 11, 201311:33 am
      by G


      <Yeah, it’s REAL dumb to state facts.> 

      Looks, Cheeks has been mediocre by any measurement you care to bring up. He’s basically on the same level as Frank, except with playing experience. Drew Sharp tends to be a Negative Nancy, but I agree with him on this one. 

  • Jun 10, 201310:28 pm
    by AU Examiner


    Let go of the hate DAN. Its becoming boring.

    • Jun 11, 20139:44 am
      by GEORGIO


      Dan should let go of the hate everything Pistons, that’s getting boring also

  • Jun 10, 201310:45 pm
    by Mel


    Yeah, I was for McMillian but now I am warming up to Cheeks. I’ve been doing research on him and Detroit P is right , Portland was crazy and 76er’s were old. But one thing you could not question was how hard they played, which is something we’ve needed for along time. Also, he’s a players coach something that Frank lacked. Heck Chuck daly barely won 30 games in Cleveland before he came to Detroit to put us on the map.
    Welcome to Motown Mo Cheeks. Help Joe D get the right player this draft and free agency and teach these boys how to play the game. Especially our point guards, who ever they are.

    • Jun 11, 20132:10 am
      by CityofKlompton


      Actually, he won nine. Lost 32.  Here’s to hoping Cheeks could reach the same level. 

      • Jun 11, 20133:37 am
        by oats


        You’re comparing 41 games to 8 seasons. It seems pretty obvious that 41 games isn’t a large enough sample size to come to any solid conclusions. Cheeks has 8 seasons of evidence to suggest he’s at best an average coach. You’re actually getting at part of why this move is disappointing. It makes more sense to go with an unproven guy to see if he can figure it out than it does to go with known mediocrity. I’ll admit that it isn’t a given that Cheeks couldn’t have figured something out, but there is a lot of evidence that suggests that he wasn’t a good hire.

  • Jun 10, 201311:16 pm
    by jacob


    Finally some positive comments. I think this will be good. As long as we add better players. It’s hard to coach scrubs.

  • Jun 10, 201311:31 pm
    by Vic


    I think the Doc Rivers comparison is right on… Doc Rivers didn’t become an elite coach until voila – he got the big 3 and a true pg to run the team.

    So draft one of Burke/MCW/Nate Wolters and get another star SG Tyreke Evans

    • Jun 11, 201311:35 am
      by G


      Oh, that’s all? Well, thank heaven for that. Our prayers are answered.

  • Jun 10, 201311:47 pm
    by The Golden Child


    First, Dan, dude…you going negative is like listening to Terry Foster try to copy Mike Valenti…I get it, say negative things and stir up the fans, make them pay attention…but I’m with the other guys, want to go positive. 
    I like that this is a decisive coaching hire. Specifically, this is a coach meant to stand for certain things, who has specific experience and is the “teaching coach” to guide these young players to the next level. It is Joe making his “last stand” as well, emphatically saying “If I’m going out, I’m going out trying to do things the way I believe they will work.” The alternative is to be a coward (which he is not) and try to make popular choices that make the fans happy (for a short while) while clinging to his job(which wouldn’t last long.)
    This hire speaks to Joe D’s prior value system: Find diamonds in the rough with high value that nobody else respects or cares about. While the other teams in the league chase this formula or that, the Pistons are once again building from nothing into something. And much like Chuck Daily, this is a coach I believe the players will leap through flaming hoops for.
    So I like Cheeks as a person (all stories point to him being a great guy), as a player (long list of accolades, been-there’s and done-that’s), as a tough minded but kind person. Someone his young players will look up to and admire. Someone who Joe can look in the eye and say “yeah, you get it. We are trying to create a dominant playoff team here. A team that plays the right way and is mentally tough.”
    Brandon Knight, by all accounts, has done every training exercise asked of him. Most of our young players spend a considerable part of their “summer vacation” here in Detroit or elsewhere working out every day. Greg Monroe shows up to summer league games. Jonas Jerebko rehabbed from a seriously nasty injury one day at a time. Kyle Singler got thrown into the starting lineup and gave it everything he had. Will Bynum refuses to quit under any circumstances. I liked Larry Frank, at least in the beginning. I liked his style and thought that he was a victim of his own statistical analysis (Should have started Drummond beginning the end of last December), but he always looked like a guy playing a video game. For him there is a missing piece: He has never played. The ball has never been in his hands with the seconds ticking down. Not his fault, but he lacks what Cheeks has: The first hand experience of knowing what these players are going through. Mo just feels…right.
    I am a Joe D believer. I grew up watching him play the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls for all the marbles. I read an article many years ago when he was asked how hard it was to play as a legend on the post-isaih teams that struggled so much. He said it was hard because most nights he would go out there (think the days of Orlando Woolridge at center, rest in peace, Big O) for the tipooff, look around at the other team, then at his teammates, and know they were in all likelihood going to loose. I watched through the Teal Era, going to games when nobody watched the game, the corporate types just took their clients to the games, talked and ignored the on-court action. I remember when Joe got named team president, found out he was losing Grant Hill and turned him into a trade for Ben Wallace, who two years earlier I watched DESTROY the pistons with REBOUNDING and SHOT BLOCKING while playing for the Wizards/Bullets (whatever, they should have gone with The Express). I watched him trade for Rip, convince Billups to leave the T-Wolves and come play for us as a free agent, and all the rest. All the haters really piss me off man, because Joe D brought us back from the Teal-Dead and gave us almost a decade of superior Detroit Basketball.
    Did he make mistakes? Uh, yeah. I still wake up screaming the name Darko most nights. (Fav story was Darko pulling up to the Palace in a convertible blaring “do you believe in love” by Cher while his teammates just starred in wonder and disbelief). But he has learned man. He has so much experience. And since the day Gores freed him to do his best, his decisions have been pretty good. Want to dismiss how valuable Joe D is to the Pistons being seen as a valuable franchise? Then I ask you to recall 2012, draft night. Andre Drummond looked dejected just before we picked him. Why? Because he had hoped to come here because Joe made him feel so wanted. And the player getting drafted before him was at the next table. When the attendant came to stand there and wait to hand out that player’s new team hat, Andre thought he was getting picked before Detroit. And when he didn’t get picked away from us, he cried, man. Cuz Joe Freak’n D told him “my players came to me and asked for you. We want you in Detroit.”
    So if Joe wants Mo, then I say give the man a contract and a Pistons hat. Draft a player (I personally am happy with Olynk or Zeller at our draft position so that if we build around twin towers we have a backup tower in case of injury or FA desertion), sign some free agents who can play ball and lets do this thing. And to the haters I say, troll away, I don’t really care. And when we are back to competing in the playoffs…I welcome you back aboard the bandwagon. I walked the halls of the Palace wearing my Ben Wallace afro-wig with pride. Pistons fans are a family. Believers and troopers all, even the whiny scared ones with too much ego invested in the team.
    And that’s all I have to say about thaaaaat…

    • Jun 11, 201312:55 am
      by The Rake


      @GoldenChild Much props. I respect where your head is at. As a guy of potentially similar experience (at least in terms of longevity, I stretch back into the Tripucka days)I can agree with much of that perspective. Truth is, for me, I told myself when they won in 04 I was going to enjoy the hell out of it and at that point I got to appreciate 3 championships with this franchise and several other close calls. I am still holding on to the feeling in 04 despite all the crap that has happened in the past 5 years. We can’t win without players and players make the NBA go (for better and often times worse –think Melo, CP3, Starbury types that force their way out of places and can be coach killers). I’m excited to see the young guys develop. Personally, I’m not really worried about the playoffs. I’m in no hurry just to sneak in and get worked in the first round. I want to see this team grow and build and see success through hard work that is indicative of the franchise’s very proud history and of the region of Detroit. Yeah, I get pissed like anybody else, but I still retain the long view (as hard as it can be sometimes). As you get older you learn to appreciate the good times and try to tune out the noise. In the end, real fans have no choice but to hope Cheeks succeeds. He’s now coaching our squad. Lets have a good draft and Go Pistons.

    • Jun 11, 20133:11 am
      by oats


      Ok, I’m not going to hit on all of this in one shot because that would be an essay. I’ll try to stick to highlights, but that’s still going to be fairly long. I think I’ll talk about Frank, statistics, and optimism.
      First of all, if you think stats had something to do with Drummond not playing, then you don’t get stats. The stats say the same thing most everyone else says. They say that Drummond is really good and Maxiell is a borderline rotation guy for a team as bad as Detroit. Frank actually talked about the reasoning a few times, and his answer usually touched on the idea that it was because he felt Greg wasn’t ready to play the 4 just yet. That is almost certainly not based on statistical analysis. The only statistical argument I’ve heard of that would suggest Greg and Drummond wouldn’t work together is the fact that lineups without 3 guys that can make a jump shot tends to kill offensive production. The problem is, the team was starting Knight, Singler, and Prince for most of the year before the trade. After the trade it switched to Calderon, Knight, and Singler. That means they would not have ran across the 3 guys that can’t shoot problem. So yeah, statistical analysis almost certainly had nothing to do with Drummond’s benching. The actual logic given sounds a lot more like the old school form of player evaluation, based more on gut feeling than data.
      I’d like to say that I don’t like the idea that good coaches need to have played the game. I just don’t buy it. Popovich never played professionally, but he’s one of the best coaches ever. Isiah Thomas was a Hall of Famer as a player, and he was pretty bad as a coach. There really isn’t a strong correlation between playing success and coaching success. What’s more, Cheeks has a pretty similar resume to Frank. Cheeks has a bit better regular season record (.498 against .454). Frank has a better playoff record though (.474 and 3 series wins against .313 and 0 series wins). Cheeks gets credit for player development, Frank is credited with ably handling Boston’s defense after Thibodeau left. I really don’t see a whole lot of separation between the work these two have done.
      I don’t get the blind optimism thing. This team has been awful for 4 years running. A high percentage of moves since the Iverson experiment have been down right bad. Given that, I feel like I’d have to be willfully ignoring the obvious to just be happy with any move Dumars makes. I don’t think he’s an awful GM, and I’m not even a Dumars must go type of guy. I will say this, there is enough bad lately that I think Dumars belongs squarely on the hot seat. There is also way more than enough justification for me to question this particular hire. This is exactly the kind of move I ridicule if some other team does it, so of course I’m not happy with Detroit doing it. I’m hoping Cheeks can prove me wrong, but I really don’t like the odds of that happening.

      • Jun 11, 201310:10 am
        by The golden child


        I respect your points. By loving stats I meant that he was well known to chart every play and use such overall data (stats) to guide his decisions. While he may have had other reasons for slowly introducicruder to more minutes, it became painfully apparent that Max has maxed out and Dre was ready to step in. Dre changed the team’s presence in games instantly. See film for evidence. Had he played Dre he might still have a job, instead it looked (appearances can be deceiving but still) it looked like he was the problem. Add to that players being sent to the bench for months with no explanation and he looked like a coach making player decisions in a poor way.

        good coaches don’t have to have been players To be successful, but these Pistons have a core that is young enough to get kicked out of a bar…they need guidance in the form of veteran NBA presence. I feel that Joe made a smart call getting a player coach who has that exp himself and a nurturing, positive emotional attitude. For us I think this will spell greater success. And yes, I think the roster needs better players who fit as a better team to really win. I think Mo will arrive as we do so (fingers crossed).

        and my optimism isn’t blind, it just isn’t me wanting to wake up everyday and hate on my favorite sports team. Blind optimism occured when I was a younger man (Teal Era) and applauded the signing of…gulp…Christian Laettner and post-back-surgery Loy Vaught…. I don’t do that so much anymore. I choose to have “informed optimism.” That said, this is America, aare any fan is welcome to throw their morning plate of eggs and bacon against the wall in outrage that Joe D hasn’t been deported to the moon. LoL. 

    • Jun 11, 20139:54 am
      by GEORGIO


      Great read man, it’s refreshing to see a real fan speak his mind. I’m with you, ignore all of the negative Dan dribble and let’s be positive and support our new coach until he gives us reasons not to.

      • Jun 11, 201312:35 pm
        by danny


        WORD I think people just want an excuse to complain since its been this way for too long.

  • Jun 11, 201312:26 am
    by T Casey


    I’m not a fan of this hiring, but I hope it pans out well. If coach Cheeks can instill some serious fight and grit in this team and help develop the guys on the roster, I’d say it’s a job well done. Hopefully we get someone good out of the draft who can have an immediate impact as well. 

    • Jun 11, 20131:10 am
      by jacob


      I’m hoping for someone like Iggy to opt out and come here. Maybe Oladipo falls. Something like that. Being negative and pissed off about who the coach is will only make your life worse. There are much more important things to worry about.

      • Jun 11, 20131:52 pm
        by Tony J


        Not sure where I read it (I think it may have been someone just commenting, not too sure) but I read something about Iggy possibly thinking about coming here because of his connection to Cheeks.

        But take this with a grain of salt because I can’t remember exactly where I read it.  

  • Jun 11, 20132:32 am
    by greg


    draft KCP at #8, put knight at the point and let them develop togethet, both can shoot from deep have good size and play solid defense. try to get the dallas pick #13 along with marion and draft MCW or best big available. if that fails trade stuckey jerebko and singler to indy for granger.

    • Jun 11, 201311:20 am
      by jacob


      If nobody in the top 6 falls. I agree with KCP as the best player left.

    • Jun 11, 20132:01 pm
      by Tony J


      KCP has really caught my eye lately. He is a safe pick and Dumars loves safe pick. Is you a boom type of player? I don’t think so but at this moment we need to look for solid starters. Dre has a chance to become an all star and Moose is borderline all star. This draft has way too many question marks. KCP also is a well spoken, high character guy which Joe D also loves.

      I’m torn between MCW. He is a true pass first PG but his turnover rate is alarming and his defense could be suspect. I’m not too worried about his shooting though. That can always develop and he has a height advantage over most PG’s.

      I say no to Zeller. I would much rather trade almost nothing for Thomas Robinson or sign Speights or Brandon Wright. No need to waste a draft pick on a backup when we can sign one or trade for one easily. Might as well draft to fill the starting position holes.    

      • Jun 11, 20132:13 pm
        by G


        I’ve actually got more concerns about MCW than you do. In addition to having a poor shot from everywhere (he converts at a sub-average rate even at the rim) and a high turnover rate, he was a poor ball-handler and bad decision maker. He’s a better passer than Knight and taller, but everything else he’s as bad or worse.

  • Jun 11, 20132:54 am
    by frankie d


    Delusional.  All of the folks trying to compare cheeks to daly and other good coaches are delusional.
    Cheeks is what his record says he is: a sub-.500 coach who left two teams in serious need of repair.
    Research?  Heck, i saw the jailblazers nonsense, game by game, and cheeks was as much to blame as anyone.  From the gm to the owner and the players.  Simply hard to imagine what dumars and gores are thinking.
    What a ridiculous, bad move.  Try to  spin it all you want.  Joe d just hired the guy no one else wanted.
    Just when i thought he couldnt f-it up any worse, he does one more dumba@@ thing. 
    Oh well, my guess is that this will be THE last coach dumars hires as a pistons gm. 

    • Jun 11, 20138:59 am
      by danny


      ok so everyone is to blame but the outcome rests all on cheeks?  People love to blame it all on the coach and thats not right.  Sometimes you can’t do much even with talent, look at cousins.  Just because people have all this skill does not mean they know how to win.  I think this will be a good hire for us, give a dude a chance shit. 
      Yeah he had 8 seasons of coaching, coming in during the middle of the season for some jobs.  Having a bunch of his key players traded and dude didnt even use that as an excuse.  Seems like a blue collar guy to me and im all for that.

      • Jun 11, 20131:29 pm
        by frankie d


        i wrote that everyone was to blame.  everyone, and that includes the head coach.
        were there a bunch of knuckleheads on the blazers? sure.  but a tougher, better coach would have gotten control of the situation and not allowed it to spiral out of control both on and off the court.
        when cheeks was fired, i understood it and felt that he was not entirely to blame – management was purging guys and basically dismantling the team for many reasons – but he was certainly part of the problem.

    • Jun 11, 201310:19 am
      by The golden child


      Delusional about Daly? LoL. Go look at daily’s rep and record before coming here. He was “nothing special.” Neither we’re Doc Rivers, Mike Woodson, Jef. Van Grundy, etc. you have to start somewhere. 

      Consider that a mellow coach who can handle strong personalities means we can more safely trade for such talented but volatile players (see Laimbeer, Rodman). Mo could increase the range of players we can add to thee team and incorporate into the fold. Just saying, if you downplay the positives too much you will only succeed in playing yourself down… -the Sphinx

      • Jun 11, 20131:18 pm
        by frankie d


        you obviously don’t know what you are talking about.
        daly had a great record as a college coach.  he dominated the league he coached in for years.  his teams had great records. then he came to the nba as an assistant.  he had a great reputation and his short stint in cleveland did nothing to tar it.
        he was given a chance as an interim coach for less than half a season.  he was the 3rd coach of the cavs that year.
        obviously, it is not fair to attempt to draw any sort of conclusion about any coach’s capabilities if they assume an interim job under those circumstances.  the team had failed and by definition, was in chaos before he took the reins.  that was his first coaching job in the nba.
        his next job was the detroit job.
        he’s been a head coach in the nba for 8 seasons.  he’s never had to take over a team as an interim coach.  it is fair to make judgments, after 8 seasons and almost 600 games, about his abilities as a head coach.  he’s had more than one place to “start”.
        comparing daly’s 40+ games as an interim coach for one half season with cheeks’ 600 games over almost 8 full seasons is simply ridiculous.

      • Jun 11, 20131:25 pm
        by G


        There are some pretty big differences between Daly, Rivers, Woodson, & JVG and Cheeks. Daly had a good college coaching record & had been a top assistant for the 76ers but had barely gotten his feet wet with Cleveland. Rivers had a pretty good record with Orlando but got ousted after a terrible start to the ’03-’04 season (that team basically got blown up, there was more going on there). JVG was an internal hire for the Knicks after being Riley’s (and later Don Nelson’s) top assistant. He did a great job there, never finishing below .500 and was highly sought after when Houston hired him.

        Cheeks has 8 years HC experience with 2 different teams under his belt. He’s never won a playoff series. He has an ok career record (.498), but his rep is TERRIBLE as an X’s and O’s guy.  

  • Jun 11, 20133:00 am
    by Big Rick


    Shoot, if Cheeks can turn Knight into a PG then maybe some of the hate will stop. If he can turn Knight into an above average PG and get Moose to look like he’s trying to play defense then Mo Cheeks deserves the key to the city. 

  • Jun 11, 20133:53 am
    by domnick


    i’d like to know the reason why Cheeks got fired in the Sixers on 08-09 season before we can thnk about negatives or positives…

    i’m not in favor of the coaching hire but it is there.. all we can hope for is a free agent boost and draft a good guy to join this team…

  • Jun 11, 20138:44 am
    by Matt


    Ugh. That is all.

  • Jun 11, 201311:51 am


    I already Tire of the Cheeks talk…. It was a lock weeks ago…I was hoping out hope for Shaw , but I always kinda knew it going to happen.
    Great thing about a coach like Cheeks he’s going to allow players to play to there strength, bad thing about Cheeks is he is going to allow players to play to there strength.
    Moving on back to Draft Talk: Shabazz has had several very good / impressive workouts…the ones that everyone is talking about is with the Suns and recently with the Kings. Reports are he has shown ball-handling, passing skills and the ability to shoot off the dribble …. Since the combine Shabazz value has gone back up, and he has been excellent in interviews …

    Say what you want…But I told you …. 

    • Jun 11, 201312:52 pm
      by G


      Don’t know if you caught it or not, but a couple of weeks ago I actually posted something positive about Shabazz… He went to Peak Performance Project to get evaluated to help his game and the results were pretty positive. 

      I’m officially now comfortable with the Pistons taking him 8th. 

      • Jun 11, 20132:37 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        @ G…

        im not preaching at you but…

        I considered him a top 5 talent in this draft hands down from the start…

        His talent has been undervalued because of one one court issue,one off court issue, and a system that didnt allow him to display his true skill set…

        Once again, when you crunch the numbers Shabazz was very,very good player at UCLA, im not gonna do the stats because they been done to death.

        some of the things he has worked in since the season ended, were the things he couldnt work on because of injuries and early season suspension.

        The Shabazz people are starting to witness now is 10-15 pounds lighter than when he was at UCLA and more explosive. I honestly do not even think he will make to the 8th pick

        He has answered all major concerns

        1. through interviews, he has shown that he is not a selfish player or head case
        2.He has legit NBA 3 point range and has a legit mid-range game
        3.He has tons of defensive potential
        4.He’s more athletic than people thought
        5.He can create offense for himself and other off the dribble

        Good thing, if Shabazz goes 5,6,or 7

        Olapido, or Bennet might slip

        • Jun 11, 20133:37 pm
          by G


          Not sure if he has legit NBA range yet, I haven’t seen a lot of long threes from him.

          The reason I’m more positive on him now than I was before is because P3 evaluated his athleticism and offensive skill set & gave him some things to work on that would help him get his shot off in the NBA. My MAIN concerns with him were a) I wasn’t sure if he could get his shot in the NBA, b) his shooting %’s tailed off BIG TIME down the stretch, and c) I didn’t think he was explosive enough to be a good defender.

          Well, these concerns were somewhat settled when P3 a) gave him some drills to work on some James Harden-like hesitation moves to get his shot off, b) corrected a flaw in his stroke that caused his shot to be streaky, and c) found while he’s only a little above average vertical leaper, Muhammad gets up very quickly & with some training that can translate to lateral quickness. If you have ESPN Insider access, here’s the article.

          Again, I don’t think you should blame UCLA’s system. For a supposedly elite scorer, Muhammad didn’t really have any NBA moves in his toolkit. He ran off screens, had that come & go floater, and some post moves that would get rejected by any weak-side defender worth his salt. If he patterns his game after Harden (and I think that’s a GREAT idea for him), I can see him being an effective scorer in the NBA and replicating his first-half shooting %’s.

          • Jun 11, 20134:22 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            ::Again, I don’t think you should blame UCLA’s system. For a supposedly elite scorer, Muhammad didn’t really have any NBA moves in his toolkit. He ran off screens, had that come & go floater, and some post moves that would get rejected by any weak-side defender worth his salt. If he patterns his game after Harden (and I think that’s a GREAT idea for him), I can see him being an effective scorer in the NBA and replicating his first-half shooting %’s.”"
            Im actually one of the few people that believe the UCLA system made him a better player, in high school they said he did not have a jumper, and that he couldnt score off the ball…. at UCLA thats all he did… He did it soo much people said he couldnt create his own offense…
            HOWEVER, because UCLA was more of a half-court offense, and also because they didnt have many shooters on the team It limited the spacing on the floor needed, especially in ISO situations.

        • Jun 11, 20138:52 pm
          by oats


          @I HATE FRANK. I think Oladipo has no chance to slide to 8. He’s going to be a good player because of his defense, and his offensive game has been showing signs of improvement. He has a really high floor, and he still has room for growth. It’s the exact same rationale that led to MKG going second.
          Burke is the other guy that could slide to 8. After Orlando is 3 teams that seem fine with the young point guards they already have. I think New Orleans is going to decide that they have Vasquez for now and they are developing Austin Rivers to play the point, so I think they are looking elsewhere. I’d Len and Gobert are in play to maybe upgrade off of Lopez. Bennett, Muhammad, and Saric are all in play to put at SF. Sacramento could go with the small forwards, and they’ve been rumored to be interested in the centers for some reason. If they go point guard, they could easily go with McCollum or MCW. I don’t know which way they go, but Burke could easily slide past them to Detroit.

          • Jun 11, 201310:40 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            “I HATE FRANK. I think Oladipo has no chance to slide to 8. He’s going to be a good player because of his defense, and his offensive game has been showing signs of improvement. He has a really high floor, and he still has room for growth. It’s the exact same rationale that led to MKG going second.”

            1. At the start of the season, Gilchrist was just turning 19 years old coming off a National Title and was way over hyped, Oladipo will be turning 22. Although Oladipo defense and athletism is exciting, he is still just a 6’4 SG with limited range and ball-handling… I was honestly looking at the first 7 picks…he doesnt even make sense for any of those teams…unless they are looking to start all over  
            “Burke is the other guy that could slide to 8. After Orlando is 3 teams that seem fine with the young point guards they already have. I think New Orleans is going to decide that they have Vasquez for now and they are developing Austin Rivers to play the point, so I think they are looking elsewhere. I’d Len and Gobert are in play to maybe upgrade off of Lopez. Bennett, Muhammad, and Saric are all in play to put at SF. Sacramento could go with the small forwards, and they’ve been rumored to be interested in the centers for some reason. If they go point guard, they could easily go with McCollum or MCW. I don’t know which way they go, but Burke could easily slide past them to Detroit”

            2. We almost completely agreed, the only way the Pelicans or Kings draft another Guard is if they are planning to move the current young guards that they have. I can see McCollum going to the Suns, All signs point to Saric pull out the draft, I feel Burke will continue to slip past the Pistons, he is a risky player, and just dont make sense in detroit. Noel,Porter,Mclemore … will shape the top 3 picks (2 of those three are extremely overrated) …. Bennett, CJ McCullom, Len/Zeller …will round out 4-7 …. that leaves Carter-williams,Shabazz, Olapido in that 8-10 range …and if any of the 8-10 range players go earlier it pushes a guy like Bennett into our range


          • Jun 11, 201311:37 pm
            by oats

            Sorry, but where are you getting this from? Everything I’ve read says Oladipo has been on the rise and is the new favorite for the Magic’s pick at 2. With MKG the thinking was he’s young enough to develop an offensive game despite shooting 25% on 3s. With Oladipo the thinking is that he already shot 44% on threes and is still raw offensively, so he has room for a lot of growth still. Even if all he does is keep shooting the 3 well, but do it more frequently then he could be the best player in the draft. That’s the logic I’ve read from everyone who covers the draft closely. I think Phoenix is his floor. They have a GM who worked in Boston, and he loves defensive players. He’s rumored to have Oladipo behind only Noel on his draft board, and I find it extremely unlikely he gets past the Suns.
            As for Burke, the Pistons would be dumb to pass on him without getting a shot at Oladipo or Bennett. He is excellent at running the pick and roll, and that might be the most important skill for a point guard in Detroit. Drummond is great in the pick and roll, and Monroe is also really good at it. The only skill that is in competition with that is hitting 3 point shots, and Burke has shown he has the range needed to keep teams honest. He is also is good at throwing alley oops, which is a useful skill for someone playing with Drummond. He is good at using hesitation moves to get to the hoop, a skill that has allowed Mike Conley to become a good scorer despite not being as quick as Burke. Burke’s defense is his biggest weak point, but he’s better there than he is getting credit for. On top of that, having a guy like Drummond behind him will help to limit the damage on that end of the floor. His skill set just matches up with what Detroit needs really well, and he is very likely to be a good starting point guard. I just don’t see the supposed risk here.

          • Jun 12, 201312:04 am
            by oats

            I also don’t think Saric is pulling out. I keep hearing him mentioned as a potential top 5 pick. If Oladipo is gone then he is rumored to be looked at by everyone from Phoenix until Dallas, and Dallas is his absolute low end. I think he stays in, knowing that if things don’t go according to plan that Dallas will take him and ask him to stay in Europe for a year before bringing him over. It would be less surprising for him to pull out than it was for Marcus Smart to stay in school, so I could be wrong, but I’m thinking he will stay in the draft. 
            I have no idea what the Kings will do. They might not think they will be retaining Evans, and even if they do they don’t have an obvious solution at the point just yet. Their SG that is definitely going to return is also injury prone. SF seems like their biggest need, but they could seriously take anyone. New Orleans is much less likely to go guard, but if Oladipo were to somehow slip to them they might decide that Gordon is too injury prone to rely on.
            One other thing I’m starting to think sounds more and more likely is Bennett to the Wizards. Wall has said he’d like a 4 man that can pick and pop, which sounds like a request to take Bennett to me. It also makes a lot of basketball sense as he would turn them into a really athletic team that can really shoot. That could shake things up a bit. I don’t think it changes the likely outcome for Detroit much though. I’d still say that Noel, McLemore, Porter, and Oladipo will be gone by 8. That means Detroit would be looking at more or less the same group of players.

        • Jun 11, 20139:44 pm
          by oats


          As for if no one slips, I really don’t know how much I care who the pick is. I’m just not seeing enough separation between the 7th and 17th player in the draft to care. Actually, it goes to 18 in terms of talent, but I can’t see Adams playing with Drummond, so I’m leaving him off the list. I think my board goes KCP, Muhammad, Zeller, McCollum, Rice, Karasev, Schroeder, MCW, Saric Len, and Larkin. If the team walks away with any of those guys then I’ll be fine with the pick. I just don’t see enough drop off from the top to the bottom of that group, and it’s leading to a growing apathy about this draft for me.
          I’m growing increasingly convinced that the smart play is to trade the pick. Either move up to guarantee one of the top 6 guys, or move down and get something else despite not losing much in the way of talent. If they can’t trade up, then the team should sit put and see if someone slides to them. If they don’t luck out again I’d want them to move down. I really doubt it happens though. I’m guessing they are most likely to just take one of the Muhammad, MCW, and McCollum group. I’m expecting those three guys to be the top 3 most likely picks for Detroit, but I’m not certain on the order of those guys. I guess KCP and Zeller are also in the running, but I think the M group is more likely. I’ll be fine with any of them, but none of them are actually exciting picks. Again, I’m pretty ambivalent on the decision at 8. 
          As for MCW specificially, I see him as a high upside pick. If he learns to shoot he could turn into the steal of the draft. If not then he has a lot of room to be a Ricky Rubio type of passer and defender. That kind of player wouldn’t be a good fit with Monroe and Drummond, but it means the team would have 3 young guys with some serious trade value. That’s not such a bad result with the 8th pick. Saric is a similar type of high risk, high upside pick. Euro scouts swear he’s as good as Porter, but he hasn’t shot the ball well yet. If he does develop that jumper then he is a pretty similar prospect to Porter. Without it he has room to be an Iguodala type of guy that can play some point forward. Both are very risky picks due largely to their inability to hit a jumper, but they have a lot of room for growth. It seems like a reasonable gamble given how underwhelming the alternatives are likely to be.

          • Jun 12, 20139:03 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            “”As for MCW specificially, I see him as a high upside pick. If he learns to shoot he could turn into the steal of the draft. If not then he has a lot of room to be a Ricky Rubio type of passer and defender.”"

            1. I agree, been saying it from the start, if we Go PG Carter-williams just makes sense, Plus at the end of the year his jumper started to fall. Also, the one thing that players can improve is thier jump shoot. Also, I’ve seen him defend PG, SG, and SF’s…yes Zone defense is a factor, but also they type of Zone ran at Syracuse is a defense that requires alot of awareness and quickness.

             ”"That kind of player wouldn’t be a good fit with Monroe and Drummond, but it means the team would have 3 young guys with some serious trade value. That’s not such a bad result with the 8th pick. Saric is a similar type of high risk, high upside pick. Euro scouts swear he’s as good as Porter, but he hasn’t shot the ball well yet. If he does develop that jumper then he is a pretty similar prospect to Porter.”"

            2. Saric will likely pull out of the draft this week, an for the record Porter is so overvalued at this point and his agent is a genius. He is being marketed as the safe pick in a risky draft. Limited star potential, being called a glue guy, compares to guys like Prince and Leonard (as a guy that will fit in)…doesnt do anything special, but does a little of everything. His lateral quickness is below average, he has a high dribble, does not have a explosive first step, when people talking shooting and how poor Shabazz was, Porter was just as bad, only 26% percent shooting off the Dribble, and he only made 16 in 2 seasons.

             He doesnt have a killer instict yet, and he most of his offense in college came on the blocks shooting over smaller defenders. Im not saying he can’t or wont make the right play, especially on the college level. But in the NBA is what all you want from you’re top 3 lottery pick? Defensively his length is nice and he does hustle and play hard, but he is still limited, because of his frame,lack of quickness and athleticsm. But when Boeheim said ” he might be one of the best all-around players in Big east History” people looked pass all those flaws….

  • Jun 11, 20131:13 pm


    No one is denying Giannis Talent right now, they are saying he is raw but that he ran the offense from the PG spot….one game he struggled shooting he had 11ppts 6rebd 4ast against Croatia …. Next game he basically shoots lights out …. 17points 5rebs 6-9 shooting 2-4 for 3′s … Against Turkey…  

    • Jun 11, 20132:16 pm
      by G


      This still in the A2 or is he in Greece’s top league now? Btw, I hope you’re not suggesting they take Giannis with the 8th pick…

      • Jun 11, 20133:40 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        no he is playing in the U20 league….4team tournament … Croaitia, Turkey,Greece, and I wanna say Spain(but could be wrong) … older more developed talent…

        Would I consider drafting him YES! , will Dumars no because his job is on the line…but every report say he is consistent jumper away from being extremely special … Only 18/19 years old 6’8-6’9 running a european style offense…

        • Jun 11, 20133:53 pm
          by G


          Not at 8 dude. He may be talented, but he’s years away. Those are pretty mediocre numbers against poor competition.

          • Jun 11, 20134:59 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            the U20 Championship is players 22 and younger…former guys to compete in that Tony PArker, Rubio, Marc Gasol,Pekovic and Dario Saric…and many other current and future NBA players…its almost like a rites to passage tournament
            of course i dont see the games, but i dont think we can say what the competition level is and so far he is doing more than he did in the other league…
            8 is not too high if his skill-set is desirable ….

          • Jun 11, 20135:03 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            the U20 Championship is players 22 and younger…former guys to compete in that Tony PArker, Rubio, Marc Gasol,Pekovic and Dario Saric…and many other current and future NBA players…its almost like a rites to passage tournament
            of course i dont see the games, but i dont think we can say what the competition level is and so far he is doing more than he did in the other league…
            8 is not too high if his skill-set is desirable …. .

  • Jun 11, 20135:15 pm


    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — We’ve been to Chicago, New Jersey and New York on our annual NBA draft workout tour.
    This week I flew to California to take a look at more top prospects in the 2013 NBA draft. On Tuesday, I took in a workout with UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad. Here’s a look at what I saw:
    Muhammad might be the most controversial prospect in the draft. Blessed with both terrific scoring skills and a tremendous amount of hype, he was widely regarded as a potential No. 1 pick coming into his freshman season.
    But expectations can be a tricky thing. Seven months later, Muhammad finds himself fighting to stay inside the lottery. Were the glowing scouting reports on him in high school just wrong? Or is Muhammad’s evaluation more complicated?
    I traveled up to Santa Barbara to try to get some answers. I don’t particularly care about the issues with his birth certificate (Muhammad’s father changed his birth certificate to show that he was one year younger than he actually was), nor am I overly concerned about the occasional bouts of poor body language he showed at UCLA (like the time he didn’t join his teammates in celebrating after Larry Drew III hit a game-winning shot).
    Those issues go to character and virtually every NBA scout and GM I spoke with doesn’t seem overly concerned. Muhammad did what he had to do in his interviews and teams came away with the impression that Muhammad wasn’t going to be a problem in the locker room or off the court.
    What I really wanted to know is this: Does Muhammad have the tools, both physically and skills-wise, to be a great NBA player? More specifically, does Muhammad have the athleticism and will he develop the skills (an effective right-hand handle and the ability to shoot it off the bounce) to compete in the NBA?
    To get the answer to the athleticism question, I traveled up to P3 (Peak Performance Project) in Santa Barbara. P3 provides complete biomechanical and neuromuscular assessments to athletes and then helps them improve on weaknesses. This is a place literally on the cutting edge of where sports training is going in the next decade.
    They’ve had nearly 100 NBA athletes through their doors, as well as a number of full NBA teams and were the guys responsible for Enes Kanter‘s complete physical and athletic transformation last summer.
    Muhammad was on a recovery day, so I didn’t see any intense training. However, I was more interested in the data, and Dr. Marcus Elliott, director of P3, was happy to walk me through it.

    [+] Enlarge
    Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsAn overly left-hand dominant Shabazz Muhammad needs to work on his right-hand handle.

    We spent about an hour watching motion capture video of Muhammad. P3 uses an eight-camera motion analysis system with three force plates to understand, in their words, “the exact lower extremity kinematics [joint angles], kinetics [joint torques] and muscle activation patterns when athletes perform high force sports specific movements.”
    In plain English, P3 is able to look at how players produce force and then make adjustments in a way that allows them to maximize potential and avoid injury. They can tell whether a player is putting undue stress on a joint, for example, increasing the likelihood of future injury. They can train the neuromuscular system and help players develop proper mechanics to create maximum performance.
    Elliott pulled up Muhammad’s motion analysis, force curves and performance data, and then compared him with approximately 35 other NBA wings they’ve tested. Elliott is obsessed with collecting analytical data on players that go far beyond the eye test or raw max vertical scores, and his 10-year NBA database has distinguished the critical physical metrics of many of the NBA’s most successful athletes.
    That showed in his review of Muhammad’s vertical jump (motion analysis). While Muhammad is a slightly above-average leaper for his position (he measured with a 37-inch max vertical jump at the predraft camp), what stands out in the P3 data is how quickly Muhammad gets off the floor. He’s a fast leaper; in fact he’s the fastest wing they’ve tested at P3 in a sub max jump to 10-feet-6. His quick explosion off the floor, combined with an extraordinary wingspan, explains while he was one of the top wing offensive rebounders in the country last year.
    “The NBA only measured how high a player gets,” Elliott said. “But if you watch basketball you know that only tells a small part of the story. Vertical quickness is a bigger part of the game than pure vertical jump height. We would take fast to 11-6 over slow to 12-6 any day. For a player like Muhammad, you’d rather have him be a fast jumper than have him jump an extra few inches.”
    Muhammad also generates significant force in his various vertical movements and fairly large forces in horizontal planes. Again, he showed up as significantly more powerful than the average wing player at his position — something Muhammad uses to his advantage when scoring the basketball.
    Where Muhammad needs work is on his lateral quickness. While he still shows a lot of power, his relative lack of hip and ankle mobility mean that the force he generates tends to project vertically instead of horizontally. Elliott showed me computer graphs of both his horizontal and vertical force and walked me through how P3 was getting Muhammad to change his technique so that he could explode the same way laterally that he does vertically.
    While Muhammad wasn’t where he needed to be coming in (he’s just a tick under the average for all wings they’ve tested) Elliott was confident that Muhammad would get there.
    “Some players just don’t have the neuromuscular system to really improve much,” Elliott said. “You can work and work and work with them and you just don’t move the needle much. With others, you can do a lot with a little training. We’ve already seen significant improvements and we’ll continue to see more.”
    Overall P3′s data-driven approach was one of the most thorough I’ve seen and went a long way in alleviating fears I had about Muhammad’s athleticism. Is he an elite athlete? No. But there’s more than enough there to make him an above-average athlete at his position and his reactivity and explosion should be among the best at his position.

    [+] Enlarge
    AP Photo/John MillerMuhammad is an extremely quick leaper, which bodes well for him in the NBA.

    Athletic ability is only part of the story, however. What about on the court?
    At UCLA, Muhammad was a left-handed dominant forward who shot, by far, his highest field goal percentage at the rim from transition points, offensive rebounds and post-ups. While Muhammad showed a better than expected 3-point shot when he spotted up (40 percent from 3 this season), his shooting percentage dropped dramatically when he had to shoot off the dribble (23 percent). Muhammad also had an alarmingly low rate of assists (just 27 all year).
    In high school, Muhammad was able to use his strength, quick leaping ability and high basketball IQ to score at will. In college it got significantly harder. In the NBA? Teams have serious questions.
    In the afternoon I traveled over to the Thunderdome at UC-Santa Barbara to watch Muhammad work out with trainer Drew Hanlen of Pure Sweat Basketball. Hanlen worked out Bradley Beal, John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli and Jeffery Taylor last year. This summer he’s focused on Muhammad.
    Hanlen, who teaches his clients in part by the use of game film and stats, had spent the morning cutting some video of James Harden and was turning them into drills for Muhammad.
    Hanlen has been tweaking Muhammad’s shot, pushing him to work on his right-hand dribbling and teaching him a number of moves that players like Harden use to get their shot off in the NBA.
    What I saw was a work in progress. Muhammad still is getting used to the new motion. When he opened up his hips and got the right follow-through, he was almost perfect shooting the ball. However, at times he’s still reverting back to his old form at UCLA, which led to inconsistent results. He’s only been in the program a month. These things take time and GMs generally believe that a jump shot is one thing you can fix.
    What was more impressive was Hanlen’s use of a number of Harden hesitation dribbles and step-backs to help Muhammad create separation in order to get his jump shot off. While Muhammad still doesn’t totally look comfortable using his right hand, Hanlen is bringing him along slowly using two to three dribble jabs with his right to get him open.
    The biggest thing that stood out during the workout was Muhammad’s energy. He was relentless for the full 45 minutes. He brings a great work ethic to the table, and Hanlen was pushing him at a pretty insane pace. At the end, Muhammad was huffing and puffing, but he was still able to dunk and hit his jumpers.
    If teams believe that with a little effort, Muhammad will be able to transform his game, he might have gone from being the most overrated player in the draft to the most underrated.
    With his motor, toughness and natural aggression scoring the ball, Muhammad has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best scorer in a draft devoid of talented scorers. The question is, when will a team take a chance on him?
    The two teams in the top 10 with the most interest appear to be the Detroit Pistons at No. 8 and the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 9. Sources say that new Timberwolves GM Flip Saunders is especially high on Muhammad and feels the team needs to add scorers.
    Outside of the top 10, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz

    • Jun 11, 20135:16 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      go find@G
      however, those are all the thing i’ve been selling y’all about the kid for the last 2 months

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