Part of Maurice Cheeks' duties as the 76ers' coach involves creating better situations for different players at different times.
Here's the benefit of Cheeks putting the ball in Andre Iguodala's hands a little more, allowing Iguodala to initiate the offense from the top of the key, sending Andre Miller to the corner:
In the last four games, Iguodala has put together 61 points and 26 assists. Miller, in those same four games, has taken 26 shots and handed out 30 assists; in the four games before that, Miller had taken a whopping 74 shots and had just 15 assists.
The Sixers, by the way, have won 5 of their last 6.
Cheeks' next challenge is to try and solve the mystery of Lou Williams, who was supposed to be the guard off the bench to inject scoring and/or change the pace of the game. Williams, though, is shooting 6-for-29 in the last 5 games, 20-for-66 in the last 9.
''My thought is, it's not necessarily trying to break him out in terms of scoring, I just want him to get out on the court and just play a little freer . . . basically trust his abilities, whether it's scoring, passing, whatever it is,'' Cheeks said. ''Most times, when I talk to players, I've been in those situations (as a player). If you stick around long enough, you're going to go through times when you're not playing like you'd like to play. I certainly did it from time to time.
"Everyone, at some point, gets a little apprehensive. We've all been there. (I tell them), if you have an opening, go for it, don't pull back. If you have an open shot, shoot it. Trust the things you're capable of doing.''
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A Word From Iguodala:
Aware that the Eagles had lost badly Sunday, and that quarterback Donovan McNabb had been replaced by Kevin Kolb, Iguodala smiled wanly at a reporter after Sunday's 89-81 victory over Golden State and said; "Guess you'll be leaving us alone for a while.''