The Detroit Pistons announced on Sunday morning that they have relived head coach Mo Cheeks of his duties after 50 games. The news was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Pistons had high expectations coming into this season, expectations such as getting back to the Playoffs for the first time since 2009 and having their first winning record since 2008. Instead, they’ve come up short of those expectations so far compiling a 21-29 record and currently hold the 9 seed in the weak Eastern Conference standings. Cheeks becomes the eighth head coach to be fired by the Pistons since 2000.
Pistons owner Tom Gores hinted that change was coming when he recently stated that he was disappointed with the team’s play and that he expects more.
The Pistons have blown leads in the fourth quarter this season, notably at home against the Los Angeles Lakers and recently the New Orleans Pelicans.
This was absolutely 100% the right move. The timing seems a bit odd, because there’s only 32 games left this season, but it was definitely the right move. The players just didn’t seem to like him, notably Will Bynum, and the blown fourth quarter leads are a coaching issue. He never had this team prepared enough to win consistently. There’s just too much talent on this team to be eight games under .500 and Cheeks failed.
The Pistons reportedly will make a run at former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, but for now will name assistant coach John Loyer as the interim head coach.
The question now becomes, where does this leave GM Joe Dumars? Will he get a ninth chance at hiring a head coach? Will he be fired after this season? These are interesting times in the Motor City surrounding this Pistons franchise and it’s only going to get more interesting as the trade deadline approaches as the status of Josh Smith and Greg Monroe are up in the air.