Saturday, December 13, 2008

So Long, Mo. Thanks for the memories.

Guess I missed the news. I'm sitting here watching the Sixers-Wizards game (I live in D.C. right now, so the game is on TV. Glad that I'm finally getting to watch a game.), and about half-way through the second quarter I hear the announcers mentioning the Sixers new interim head coach. Somehow I hadn't seen the news before now (I know the change was only made earlier today, but still...).

I know the generic reasons given for firing Mo Cheeks-- need to shake up the team, underperforming, etc.-- but I can't say I'm a big fan of the move. And that's coming from someone who's never thought Cheeks was anything more than an average coach. As my last post talked about, Cheeks was basically playing everyone the minutes that was expected. If the problem is that Andre Igoudala, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert are playing worse than expected, then I don't see how getting rid of Cheeks helps anything. I especially don't see how it helps in the case of Igoudala and Dalembert-- after all, he was also the coach when they played really well last year.

So what do I expect? I expect the Sixers to start playing better and finish the season with somewhere between 40 and 50 wins. They have a few easy games over the next week that they should win (including tonight's game and next Friday's game against the Wizards that I'm going to!), so I expect the "improved" play to start right away. Of course, that's what I was expecting before the firing. Stefanski will get credit for shaking things up, and really it'll just be the players returning to their normal performance level.

As long as the Sixers start playing better I guess I won't be too bothered by the coaching change. After all, I don't follow the Sixers to watch the coach!

Update: I meant to post these two links from ESPN on the firing (by John Hollinger and Marc Stein) for a more detailed take on the firing. Take a look!