The Detroit Pistons fired head coach Maurice Cheeks on Sunday afternoon after the Pistons, a team many people projected to be a firm playoff team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, have started the 2013-14 regular season with just a 21-29 record and performing like one of the most inconsistent and frustrating teams in the league.
After adding both Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings this offseason to a strong frontcourt with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, the Pistons had one of the most talented rosters in the East heading into the year. However, Cheeks hasn’t been able to institute a system that has allowed this team to succeed on either end of the floor regularly, even on defense where this team should seemingly be a stalwart.
Cheeks’ firing happened just 50 games into his tenure, which is definitely a short run for him with Detroit. However, he didn’t at all handle the task at hand well and things didn’t seem to progressing as the organization would like them to. However, don’t think for a second that Cheeks was the only problem with this franchise.
If you want to look at the root of the problem, you needn’t look any further than the front office and general manager Joe Dumars. Who signed Cheeks to coach a team that he wasn’t totally equipped to work with? Dumars. Who signed a group of frontcourt players that should theoretically be good defensively together, but that can’t truly provide proper spacing for a lineup when they’re on the floor together? Dumars. Who has made countless questionable decisions over his tenure as GM? You get the picture by now.
This Pistons team could turn around a bit this season without Cheeks, possibly rallying around a new coach and new life found without Cheeks. However, the long-term for this team is going to be in jeopardy if Dumars is in power and calling the shots as GM in the same manner that he has been.