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Maurice Cheeks on Josh Smith taking offense to benching: ‘That’s his opinion’

Maurice Cheeks benched Josh Smith for the second half of the Pistons’ loss to the Wizards on Saturday. Smith took offense.

Too bad, says Cheeks.

Via David Mayo of MLive:

"That’s his opinion," Cheeks said. "You know, I watch a lot of judge shows and they always talk about people’s opinions, and that’s his opinion. That’s OK. I can’t be in his brain and he’s certainly entitled to his opinion. I’m entitled to mine."

Asked if he understood Smith’s opinion, Cheeks assessed curtly.

"No — that’s my opinion," he said.

Fortunately, this appears to be an agree-to-disagree situation.

Smith already said Saturday he doesn’t hold grudges, and Cheeks seems over it, too. Via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“Y’all the only one who got a problem with it,” Cheeks said. “Me and Josh are fine. Josh and I are fine.”

For more evidence they’re moving on, Cheeks called a practice Sunday – the day after a back-to-back, which didn’t go so well between Smith and Cheeks last time. This time, Smith seemed supportive. Via Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

“We had a good practice,” said Josh Smith, who didn’t play in Saturday night’s second half when Cheeks shook up the lineup to try to find something that clicked. “It’s not normal that on back to backs we have practices, but it was beneficial for everybody.”

Smith said the focus of practice was on defensive help, trusting that if someone leaves his man to help out, there will be someone behind him to cover his vacated spot.

As I wrote before, I really think Smith and Cheeks are putting this behind them. Of course, tension could boil over again, and this incident could rise to the surface, but for now, I don’t think its affecting either of the two.

19 Comments

  • Dec 30, 20136:30 am
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Well, imho this issue is not over. They might be moving on, but my feeling about this is that the next time this happens one of the two will be on his way to leave the team. Can’t see the management dealing with this issue again and staying quiet. Add a few more losses to the equation and voila!

    • Dec 30, 201312:10 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      “Can’t see the management dealing with this issue again and staying quiet.”
       
      BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA funniest quote of the year.

      • Dec 30, 20131:05 pm
        by MrBlockedShot

        Reply

        Call me over-optimistic but I think you will agree expectations on this team haven’t been so high since the times of the last championship, both from the fans and the management. So preassure on Dumars/Cheeks should be the highest in years. When you expect your team to make the playoff (almost take it for granted, would say) and you have spent the most money in years in the market, and losses are pilling up…well…you don’t have to be a genius to know what might be going on within the organization. Hope everything gets back on track, we start wining again and we get home court advantage. Over-optimistic again ??? ;-P

        • Dec 30, 20133:32 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          I’m not sure if you meant to put it the way you put it but expectations were certainly higher for years after winning the title because they were still contenders and fans were legitimately hoping for another title.  I don’t think anyone is realistically hoping for a title this season. 

  • Dec 30, 20137:31 am
    by Vince

    Reply

    I honestly hope this is the last we hear of this. I didn’t like the signing then and I sure as hell haven’t changed my mind, all I wanted was for him to bring some professionalism and solid play, neither of which he has brought so far. Still waiting for someone to explain to me how Smith makes this team any better and how Atlanta wasn’t a fair warning of what type of player he is.

  • Dec 30, 20137:33 am
    by Vince

    Reply

    Also on a completely unrelated note, Siva looked good in that FW-RG game, Mitchell on the other hand… really wish we’d tried to keep V-Mack around.

  • Dec 30, 201310:31 am
    by Mister D

    Reply

    i watch a lot of judge shows too

    • Dec 30, 201312:53 pm
      by Ryank

      Reply

      Yes, this is how I educate myself…judge shows…

    • Dec 30, 20133:48 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Just me, or was this the largest red flag of the story? Seriously, JUDGE SHOWS?? Not a book on leadership, no quotes from famous philosophers… JUDGE shows? And he gets paid millions? 
      Ugh. 

      • Dec 30, 20134:09 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        I wasn’t thrilled by that, either. But then i realized that doesn’t mean Cheeks doesn’t study other leaders and philosophers. Studious people can also like judge shows. (Not say what the case is here, but just saying)

    • Dec 30, 20135:57 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      I reckon Judge Judy could play better D than Monroe could. She’d probably be able to knock down the mid-range at an adequate clip too. Also you know when that bitch calls ‘And One’… everyone would listen.

  • Dec 30, 201310:37 am
    by Ryank

    Reply

    If the team has better performances going forward this will end here.  If they have frustrating losses like that had back to back, it will likely re-emerge.

  • Dec 30, 201310:52 am
    by D-Ray

    Reply

    I really think Cheeks needs to set out everyone’s roles on the team.  It seems to me that Josh is confused when he is on the court! And we need for them to find a team identity!  Josh Smith is not a threat from behind the arc; yet he still finds a way to launch about 4 to 5 3′s that look horrible on the release.  And he needs to take more pride in playing some defense.  The one thing we as true Piston fans have come to admire about our teams that were contending.  I wasn’t truely sold on the signing of Josh; but at some point his purpose has to be carved out for him.  ACCOUNTABILITY!!!

  • Dec 30, 201310:56 am
    by Georgio

    Reply

    I think the big problem is how Cheeks wants Smith to play and how Smith wants Smith to play. In the past Smith has usually played how he wants to play, meaning on the perimeter. Even as a PF in Atl he was to perimeter oriented for the coaches. If a guy can’t see how missing almost 75% of his 3s and 73% of his long 2s is hurting himself and the team then the only thing I can say about that person is that he’s a pretty selfish individual. I think Cheek’s questioning his effort is from his settling for long jumpers instead of working to get closer to the basket where he is more effective. It bears watching if tonight Smith decides to punish Ariza in the post or launch away from distance.

  • Dec 30, 201311:31 am
    by D-Ray

    Reply

    So well put Georgio, I was at the game Saturday against the Wizards, and I watched how well he played to get himself benched.  If he feels he should be on the floor, then his play should reflect! As of right now, And i get that this is an early season observation, but signing Josh Smith looks like it could be just as bad as when Joe signed Ben Gordon and Charlie V.  Something has got to change, and it may have to start with Joe as much as i hate to say it!

  • Dec 30, 201312:16 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    This is the bed Joe made five years ago and continues to make with every breath he takes. I don’t know what it is about fanboy mentality to treat this like it’s just going to go away when the team starts winning… because the team NEVER starts winning. Maybe they win a game here or there, but no amount of harmony or team spirit or chemistry is going to make this team work. The losses will lead to unrest, the unrest will boil over. I wish you guys wouldn’t just shove your head in the sand or plug your ears and say “la la la la la” or whatever the appropriate comparison is. This is your team, people. This is the status quo.

  • Dec 30, 20131:09 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    I just can’t believe how far from the path we’ve drifted. We have some good pieces even but damn do we need a brutal house cleaning and I think, unfortunately, that even runs all the way to the owner.
     

    • Dec 30, 20131:50 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      “Drifted” sort of sounds like this has been a gradual process. This franchise has been a living hell for four or five years, depending on your individual tolerance for misery.
       
      Unfortunately I think you’re right about ownership too. I’m not holding my breath for any imminent firings, given that it’s the holiday season, but frankly I don’t think Mr. Gores understands how crucial it is that this team starts changing course by February, not July. It might be a little more graceful to just let Joe’s contract expire, but the damage will have been done and the franchise will be stuck going absolutely nowhere for several more years. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where either Joe or his replacement would be able to do the necessary house cleaning in terms of straightening out the roster. Mr. Gores’ first mistake was in NOT firing Dumars on the spot, and every day he wakes up and doesn’t fire Joe is another mistake. But at this point, less than two months from the trade deadline, I don’t think it’s wise to hold out hope that anything gets done.
       
      If this were almost any other business I don’t think there would be a catastrophic difference between making the kinds of decisions we’re facing in February rather than July, just like it’s counterintuitive that winning games could ever be a bad thing or losing could be beneficial. It was clear from the start that Mr. Gores did not understand anything about basketball, and I don’t know if he has anyone to explain these things to him.

      • Dec 30, 20133:25 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I’m really convinced that you simply want moves for the sake of moves and Dumars fired for the sake of your anger and impatience.  
        Dumars did make major moves this summer by signing the most talented free agent in franchise history and definitively upgrading point guard by flipping Knight for Jennings.  In the past five years he made at least two of the best draft picks in franchise history–Zeke being the best.   You can talk about five years of misery all you want but you will find very few examples in NBA history of teams having very long runs of contending without going through five years of misery thereafter and the Pistons’ case isn’t nearly the worst.
        As soon as Smith was signed, you were an early proponent of trading Monroe as soon as possible for a good return so players could play their natural positions and the team could take advantage of Monroe’s trade value.  I wasn’t with you at first, wanted to see how they played together, but I’m with you now.  Monroe should be traded as soon as possible for a good return.   Well, what if a good return isn’t available right now?  What makes you so sure that Dumars hasn’t explored every good scenario and found out that too many teams are not looking to improve this season or don’t want to add any major pieces until they see what draft pick they get this year?  What makes you think that any of the young wings who are comparable to Monroe in trade value are available right now?   It doesn’t seem like any of them are to me but the upcoming off season and its draft could change all of that.   Also, what makes you think teams who are looking at possible lottery picks right now would ever deal those lottery picks when they could be top 3 picks?   As soon as the lottery is done, a team might be willing to trade a sixth pick but not until they know its a sixth pick because until then it could be the first pick.   For a person who so often says he knows basketball, you continually make your generalized, sweeping declarations about how much less the Pistons will get for Monroe if they wait until either after the deadline or after he is resigned to move him but your position completely ignores the total anomaly that is this NBA season with its upcoming draft that alters all of the usual dynamics.   You have described yourself several times as a patient person but your rants prove you are anything but and I feel like their is some denial in your game since you refuse to acknowledge how unique this season is and how few players truly qualify as a good return for Monroe. 

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