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NBA: AP source: Pistons fire coach Maurice Cheeks
First Published Feb 09 2014 11:17 am • Last Updated Feb 09 2014 11:27 pm

The Detroit Pistons have fired coach Maurice Cheeks according to a person familiar with the decision.

The person spoke Sunday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced.

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Cheeks lasted a little more than half a season in his first year in Detroit.

The Pistons are 21-29 and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, entering Sunday.

Cheeks previously led Portland and Philadelphia, a team he helped win an NBA title with as a point guard.

The Pistons gave him his third shot to be an NBA head coach in June, but didn’t let him finish one season with the disappointing team that made moves to make a push to earn a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2009 — which was Michael Curry’s only season as their coach.

Since then, Detroit has gone through two seasons under John Kuester and two under Lawrence Frank. After neither of those coaches could make any real progress, Cheeks was brought in and the Pistons acted boldly last offseason.

Detroit signed forward Josh Smith and traded for point guard Brandon Jennings, trying to bolster a roster that already included young big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.

But the mix has been uninspiring for the most part. The Pistons have had problems defensively and have struggled to close out games in the fourth quarter.

The poor attendance that’s become commonplace at The Palace hasn’t changed — and Detroit’s 11-15 home record hasn’t helped.


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Cheeks was Detroit’s ninth coach since the 1999-2000 season.

The Pistons have won four of six, including back-to-back blowouts at home against Brooklyn and Denver on Friday and Saturday. They host San Antonio on Monday night.

Owner Tom Gores was in attendance at a recent game and said he thought the team was better than its record.

"I’m not satisfied. Our job is to make sure that our players are at their maximum," Gores said after that Feb. 1 game against Philadelphia. "I’m not satisfied with the job I’m doing. I’m not satisfied with the job anyone is doing."



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