TMC wrote:Hey, PistonsFan, now that you're here, you may be able to give us a more informed opinion on Flip Saunders, particularly during the playoffs. What do you think of him?. Is he the right guy for the Pistons or just benefitting from Larry Brown's job?
I'm asking because it's an ongoing topic that doesn't seem to have an end between some of us, and maybe a real Pistons fan can shed some light about how he sees his coach.
At this point we're just taking a wait-and-see approach with Flip. Many of the fans wanted him gone after the last season, blaming him for the early playoff exits. A lot of it has to do with him not being able to make in-game adjustments when an opponent does something. He just gets all discombobulated. Also, he overplayed starters during the past couple of seasons and they were just burned out in the conference finals. The shots were flat, there was no movement on the offense, and they got outrebounded on regular basis. I believe that the success that he did have (and most will call reaching conference finals a success) came from the players that he had. Obviously players benefitted from having Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown around. Larry made Chauncey Billups who he is today and he managed to keep Sheed's mind in the games most of the time. Flip managed to clash with Ben Wallace and with Rasheed Wallace. Many think that Ben left because he couldn't get along with Flip even though he really wanted to be in Detroit. At the same time, looks like Flip and Sheed managed to patch up their differences.
A lot of people were calling for bringing in Laimbeer. Heck, people would prefer Porter at the helm in the offseason. Right now it looks like Flip has made certain strides as a coach reducing players minutes (that was mandated by GM Joe Dumars). Also, I'll admit that this is the first time since Flip became Pistons coach, the team has a very reliable bench. Flip is giving time to the youngsters and they have responded very well. We know that he's a good regular season coach and will get good results. The problem is the playoffs. I say if they under achieve in these playoffs (and in Detroit anything less than NBA finals is a failure), he could be gone before the next season. But the cards are falling right for the team to make the run. The conference, while getting better, is still lacking a quality team beyond Boston and Detroit. Detroit has advantages over Boston, especially in a 7-game series. It doesn't mean they will win, but they have a good chance of doing so.
One more thing to remember, it took Larry Brown many years and many teams to finally win a championship. I guess we should give Flip more time to prove that he can do it, especially since there is no clear alternative is available.