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Flip's done

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)—Flip Saunders was fired as Detroit Pistons coach Tuesday, four days after his team was eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

President of basketball operations Joe Dumars said it’s “time for a new voice to lead our team.” Saunders had a year left on a four-year deal he signed in 2005. The decision comes three years after Saunders took over for Larry Brown, who led the Pistons to two straight NBA finals.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make, especially with the success we have had throughout the last three regular seasons,” Dumars said in a statement. “However, at this time, I feel it is necessary to make a change.”

Saunders could be replaced by assistants Michael Curry or Terry Porter or perhaps former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson.

In Saunders’ three seasons, the Pistons were 176-70 in the regular season and 30-21 in the postseason, but they lost in the Eastern Conference finals each year.


Yeah this isn't that suprising but it still sucks.  2 out of his 3 seasons the Pistons simply lost to the better team in the Eastern Conference Finals (Miami in '06 and Boston this year)  Cleveland in '07 was the one team you look at and go "alright, they really should've beaten those jackoffs.  But Rasheed threw a hissy fit and got ejected from game 6 and there you have it.  Yeah they had a legitimate chance to beat Boston this year but so did Atlanta and Cleveland in the first two rounds.

The worst thing you can say about Flip Saunders is he didn't have total control over the players, and that some players would noticably argue with the coach after a particular decision was made during the game.  Yeah, that's not good but it's hardly new with this group.  Maybe its time to start placing some blame on Rasheed and Rip and everyone else that bitched and moaned this season.  What makes Joe D. think the same crap won't happen when they hire Michael Curry or Avery Johnson or whomever? 

So Dumars will try to find yet another coach who can attempt to actually get the core players (now almost five years older since their prime 2004 run) to follow through with his game plans.  Well good luck with all that.   

comments (3) 06-03-2008

The People's Comments:

nice of Joe D to pull the trigger during the Stanley Cup Finals so that no one in Detroit will notice

I thought the worst I could say is that he was offensive minded? How does the Pistons score 102 pts and lose? Oh that's right they allow 109 pts.

That is why we didn't get back to the finals with Flip. He's not a defensive coach. He is a good coach -- True. But he is not a championship coach.

Flip is a fine coach -- I'm sure he'll land on his feet. That said, it shouldn't be a surprise that he was let go with a year left on his contract. The players don't respect him like they should, and that situation wouldn't improve if he were to enter next season as a "lame duck." So, the only two reasonable options were to extend his contract before next season, or to fire him.

Given the way they performed, I would be surprised to see both Rasheed and Rip around next year. One or the other is going to go, and firing Flip now allows JD to pick someone who can also be on board when the player changes start happening.

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