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This is not the sign of a well-coached team

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

Stuckey made seven of his 12 shots but had five turnovers, mostly due to the defense.

“We just didn’t have a counter,” Stuckey said. “We just have to be ready for next time. We didn’t go over any situation where they would trap me in the post. We have to read it better. Part of it is my fault.”

No coach can prepare his team for every scenario, particularly first-year coaches and particularly early in the season. And this is just a small strike on Maurice Cheeks’ record, albeit a strike nonetheless.

Not only was the team unprepared for Rodney Stuckey to get trapped in the post, Stuckey talked about it publically afterward. Players are unhappy with coaches all the time, but when a player is dismayed enough that he expresses it publically, that sometimes signals a great frustration.

Is this the end of the world? Not at all. Heck, it might not even be important.

But it’s an opportunity to evaluate Cheeks – one of what has been and will be many throughout the season – and a reason I’ll be watching more closely what other players say in an attempt to gauge how they feel about Cheeks.

13 Comments

  • Nov 22, 20139:56 am
    by sebastian

    Reply

    You guys can continue to lambast Stuckey all you want, but he is currently the only player on the team that appears to care about winning games. Yes, I know this is a contract year for the 27 year old, father of two, but he is the only guard on the team that communicates to the other four on the floor; demanding that they get it to certain spots on the offensive side of the floor.
    Continue the good play, Stuckey!

    • Nov 22, 20131:37 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Well that sure was a non sequitur.

      • Nov 22, 20133:55 pm
        by sebastian

        Reply

        Otis, my man, one of the days … paw right into the kisser.

  • Nov 22, 201310:12 am
    by Gordbrown

    Reply

    The panic around here is getting to be a bit much (not so much this post which does make caveats, but still). What I’m seeing is a team that has improved significantly over last year in spite of some difficult circumstances (strength of schedule, revolving door of guards, new coaches and new players). Stuckey is giving an honest analysis of what happened and taking responsibility for his part in it. That’s what I’m seeing.

    • Nov 22, 20131:40 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Sounds like you need to visit Dr. Khambati at the Lake Laser Eye Center. They took care of Andre Drummond, and they can take care of you too.
       
      Saying that you see a significantly improved team and acting like that is the biggest takeaway through the first 13% of the season is like looking at a pile of upchuck and saying you see little bits of corn, a piece of a french fry, some sesame seeds…

      • Nov 22, 20133:44 pm
        by Gordbrown

        Reply

        I’ll admit I’m at a disadvantage in that I have been forced to follow the team on the radio. Having said that, the team’s record is currently better today after a bad loss (back-to-back game with several players playing hurt or out) than it was at any time last year. That’s an objective non-eye-test statistically based fact.

        • Nov 22, 20134:31 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Small improvements is not enough.   The Pistons are playing horribly relative to expectations and investment.   Of course they are better but how much better and are they improved enough are more relevant questions.  

  • Nov 22, 201310:18 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    To be fair… this is something you get taught to do in high school. A lot of this is on the players. If you don’t know what to do when a teammate gets doubled by the time you’re in the NBA, maybe you shouldn’t be in the NBA. 
    That said, it is a sign of a poorly-coached team. I just can’t put this all on Cheeks. By this point in their careers, players ought to be able to respond to a double team out of habit – player getting double teamed and players left open. It is basketball 101. 

    • Nov 22, 201310:36 am
      by jg22

      Reply

      Whether they were prepared for it or not, after it happened once, you would like to think they could call a timeout and make an adjustment in game. Instead of just letting the team continue to do it the rest of the game. Same thing with that pick and roll. It was like they knew they didn’t know how to stop it, so they just let them keep doing it. 
      I don’t know ,I didn’t like the Cheeks hire, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and give him time to implement his system. Sometimes though I would like to see a little more passion from him towards the team. Not just for show, but I never got the sense that he genuinely wanted to coach this team. It felt more like he’s just doing it as a favor to Joe or something, because Joe couldn’t get anyone else. I don’t know, he just doesn’t come across as someone who really cares about being a coach, and/or striving for greatness as a coach. It seems more like he’s content with his legacy as a player, and this is more a hobby to pass the time. 
      The great coach’s you can tell they are passionate about their job and strive to be the best coach ever. With Cheeks it just seems like its a chore, or just a way to make a living or something. He just doesn’t seem to have a great passion for the game, or at least he doesn’t do a good job conveying it.

  • Nov 22, 201310:26 am
    by Aaron

    Reply

    As professional basketball players, shouldn’t they be able to figure out how to handle this on the fly?  Especially if they keep doing it?   Thousands of hours playing, they should be able to say “Hey, next time my man traps you, I’m going to move here so I’m open”.   We figured this out on the fly in high school.

    • Nov 22, 20131:44 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Right. It’s not even on Stuckey at all. He’s the only guy on the court who it’s not on. Dude can’t pass it to himself. I didn’t understand how Mo Cheeks got the job (at least with Frank I understood the hire) and I don’t understand the justification for giving him 71 more games of this.

  • Nov 22, 201311:34 am
    by Tom Y.

    Reply

    I’m waiting to hear them say something about his defensive schemes.

    • Nov 22, 20136:18 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      I’ll give it til February. With thr makeup o our team, defense should not be a problem and, if the schemes were good enough, should get us through our offensive struggles most nights.

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