NBA Betting: Philadelphia push the panic button (By


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Dec 2, 2008
NBA Betting: Philadelphia push the panic button


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Could high Philadelphian sporting standards set by the Phillies' World Series win have been a factor in the 76ers' dismissal of Mo Cheeks? Nick Shiambouros reports on a week of turmoil in the Eastern Conference.
Mo Cheeks became the fifth coaching casualty of the season when he was fired by the Philadelphia 76ers last Saturday. I was a little surprised by the decision to let Cheeks go after four seasons at Philadelphia, especially as they made the play-offs last year.
The 76ers had a record of 9-13 under Cheeks but team president Ed Stefanski was not happy about the way the team was progressing and failure is not an option in this town with such great sporting history.
The Phillies winning the World Series did not help his cause much either. I hope the 76ers keep Cheeks on in some capacity because he was a great player for them and his loyalty has never been doubted. Assistant general manager Tony DiLeo replaced Cheeks on an interim basis and led them to victory against Washington on Saturday night.
In recent articles I have recommended following certain teams that make player trades and sign new talent as a way of making money in the short term. We have seen Denver - a different team with Chauncey Billups in the line-up - winning eight out of the last 10 games.
Elton Brand who was signed in the off season from the Clippers is clearly a huge talent and along with Adre Igoudala makes up the heart of this team. The 76ers have not filled the void since the departure of Alan Iverson in 2006.
Iverson was integral to the team, his fast tempo style worked very well and the team had a great chemistry to compliment his shooting style and pace.
I will be opposing Philadelphia in the next 10 games as they appear to have pushed the "panic button" way to soon by firing Cheeks without an immediate replacement. The subdued atmosphere in the locker room will be reflected on the court. In addition the Philadelphia sports fans are some of the most impatient and demanding in the country. If they fall behind early in a game it will only be a matter of time before the crowd get on the player's backs.
The 76ers start a six game road trip starting on the 23rd against Boston and ends with a visit to San Antonio on January 3rd. I actually think that they could lose all six games in that period.

Teams can go on long losing and winning streaks and the 76ers fall in to the latter. My biggest issue with the firing of Cheeks is that it was a knee jerk reaction to a poor spell of results. There appears to be no game plan going forward unless they are planning a trade in the near future. They have fired Mo Cheeks for the sake of it - a" negative" firing rather than a positive one.

If by losing to the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the play-offs last season is a measure of failure then I don't think there will be many current coaches in work by the end of the year.

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