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Detroit Pistons give Mo Cheeks the boot

Maurice Cheeks is coaching the Pistons no longer.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It has been a nice little stretch of days for the Detroit Pistons and their fans. First, they won a couple games in a row, and now they've gone ahead and fired Maurice Cheeks as head coach.

Of course, it isn't fair to necessarily consider the firing of Cheeks as a positive. It is not. It is the removal of a negative, hopefully before it is too late. Sure, Cheeks only got 50 games with this team, but he did not do a lot with it. The Pistons currently stand at 21-29, and are just outside the playoff picture in the lowly, lowly East.

I have no problems with this firing. After all, I was never in favor of the hiring to begin with. In the offseason, I called this the worst head coach hire in the league, and this certainly does nothing to shake that opinion. The problem was that we knew what Cheeks was. He's a retread with a bad track record. This is just more of the same from him. The ceiling was low on this hire, even if the floor was perhaps not all that low either, but it was a boring, low variance hiring regardless, and it simply did not work out.

The issue is not just with the record under Cheeks. It is with the way he was coaching. Namely, he just couldn't get the rotations figured out. He was playing his three bigs together too often, even though it clearly wasn't working. Josh Smith kept jacking up threes, and all Cheeks could think to do to alleviate that issue is to bench Smith a couple of times. That hasn't done anything. Cheeks was not able to get the most out of this roster. Of that I am fairly confident. Joe Dumars is managing generally for his job. If the Pistons don't turn it around down the stretch here, he could be the next dude on the chopping block.

I think this was a good move by the Pistons, but first they had to make the poor move of hiring Cheeks. As for Cheeks, he'll be fine. He's got plenty of cash and cache, and he will have an assistant coaching positions as soon as he wants one. That's the way this business goes. As for Detroit, Lionel Hollins is the name that is being bandied about. Now there is a hiring I would like. He has a better track record than Cheeks, and he has a history of working with large lineups as well. Of course, Hollins was available in the offseason, and Dumars didn't hire him. Had he just gone ahead and done that at the time, maybe the picture would be very different for the Pistons.

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