Thursday, July 21, 2005

Flip's more than adequate

I really like the fact that Flip Saunders will be manning the sidelines for the Pistons. Flip's taken some criticism for not doing well in the playoffs. I think that's been overstated. With the Lakers and Spurs winning six titles in the last seven years, I don't see how anyone could reasonably expect Minnesota to challenge in the west. Also, until this year, Larry Brown had never won an NBA championship. Yet, he led Detroit to a championship in his first year with the Pistons. Not everyone can be like Phil Jackson and coach two of the greatest 1-2 punches in NBA history. Flip had KG and KG only for a good amount of the time he was in Minny. The team became more competitive in the past few years but with the aging duo of Spree and Cassell, the window of opportunity was closing fast.

It is the general consensus that Flip is an above average offensive coach. If there's one area the Pistons need work on, it's the ability to score in the half court set. Although my feelings on Larry Brown are lukewarm at best, there's no question that LB was good for the organization. However, I think the Piston players will maintain their aggressive defensive attitude regardless of the coach. I'm really excited about this move. I think this could really diminish the amount of offensive droughts that the Pistons have been so accustomed to. That's all I've ever wanted. Flip should be an upgrade over LB in offensive execution and player development. Look for Darko's minutes to increase dramatically with Flip on board. Joe D is happy with the move. Bill Davison is happy with the move. And most importantly, Flip saunders is happy to be a Piston.

I worry that the parameters for success in year one will be defined as winning the NBA championship. However, I caution against that line of thinking. The Pistons don't have to win the NBA championship next year for this to be a successful hire. Miami, New Jersey, and Indiana will all be dramatically improved. The difference between bowing out in the second round and making it to the finals is often one or two possessions in a game six on the road (ex. New Jersey). The Pistons are in position to challenge for a championship for the forseeable future. Unlike LB, Flip isn't a threat to leave after every season. Flip should be in motown for the long haul.

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