Tuesday , May , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Flip Saunders Talks Back

Yesterday, I highlighted the beginnings of beef between the Pistons and their coach and asked the question “Should Detroit fans be concerned?” Well, after another night of abuse from Shaq and Dwyane, the answer appears to be in the affirmative. To compound the problem, Flip Saunders has responded to his players’ comments that surfaced in the media following game three, and he didn’t hold anything back.

“This is the same group that said we did more defensive drills than we ever did. …You want to talk about lack of defence? Yeah, there’s a lack of defence because guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. If I gave up fifty points in the paint and I gave up thirteen straight drives to the basket when I’m supposed to be guarding someone, I mean these are things you learn in the sixth grade: Stay between your man and the basket. If you can’t do it, you are right, there’s going to be a defensive lapse.”

That’s cold, coach. I know your boys called you out, but questioning their effort on defence is on a par with insinuating that you’ve had inappropriate relations with their mothers. Flip wasn’t done there, though, also putting Tayshaun Prince on blast for one particular comment of his.

Flip Saunders Talks Back

“I mean, point blank, the reason we couldn’t put Lindsey on the floor, part of it was because Tay wasn’t scoring. Our scoring was coming out of Chauncey and Rip, and to keep scoring on the floor, we had to keep our guards on the floor. That was one of the things that went into it, so it’s pretty ironic.”
Big Ben Wallace was next to come under fire.
“I don’t agree with what Ben says on practice from a defensive standpoint, talking to people who have been here and what we’ve done. We all know how Ben gets at times.”
In fact, by the time he was done, the whole team was on Flip’s shit list.
“As a coach, I make decisions. I have to live by the decisions. As players, they play, and they have to implement…we’re better when we’re irritable, and we’re feeling fat cats about ourselves.”
“They gripe all year, but it’s just that everybody doesn’t know about it. That’s how players are.”

“This isn’t about egos right now. This is about winning. If you have a job to do, go out and do your job.”

Yikes. The Pistons now have the Heat on their back and a coach on their ass. Needing to win three straight to advance to the finals, Detroit will likely have their summer schedule in mind as much as their game plan. I hear Miami is nice this time of year, fellas.