said he made the move solely because of the matchups.
The coach said he looked at what the Cleveland Cavaliers, owners of an 18-3 record, were putting on the court and decided that the 76ers needed a change.
So last night, Cheeks removed small forward Thaddeus Young from the starting lineup and replaced him with shooting guard Willie Green.
Young had started all 21 games at small forward and entered the game averaging 13.6 points. Green, who was averaging 7.8 points per game off the bench, started at shooting guard last season.
Green scored only two points in 20 minutes, 2 seconds in the 101-93 loss; Young scored six in 27:22.
The switch meant that swingman Andre Iguodala, who had started the season's first 22 games at shooting guard, moved to his more natural position of small forward. Iguodala responded with a season-high 27 points.
"I think it's a better matchup for us because Willie is more used to chasing guards like that, as opposed to Thad," Cheeks said.
The Cavs' starting backcourt consisted of shooting guard Delonte West, the former St. Joseph's star, and point guard Mo Williams.
Cheeks would not say if this starting lineup would exist beyond the game.
"At first, I was a little surprised," Young said. "But then when I sat down and thought about who we're playing, it made sense. . . . I'm still going to play."
"Thad is a team guy," Cheeks said. "I didn't say there was anything Thad did or didn't do."
missed the game after spraining his left big toe in a win over Toronto on Tuesday night. Gibson, who is averaging 9.4 points per game this season, did not travel to Philadelphia. The third-year player from Texas is expected to be sidelined for two weeks. . . . Sixers guard
spent his first game on the inactive list.
- Kate Fagan