Wind and Tickle

Take a good long look at Shoals' NBA Finals dissection here. Read an extremely good article about our lord and savior here.

And now he's gone.

I take no solace, Detroit, in saying "I told you so." Yes essentially all of my FD posts for the past three years + my Pistons/Bulls Deadspin preview in which I deemed him a "playoff nightmare" foreshadowed this very moment. But make no mistake, I wanted to see Flip get his. I even changed my tune on Flip's coaching abilities ever so slightly this year. It looked as though the Pistons' omniscient swag had run off on him a bit. But at the end of the day, Flip is not the coach that can get you to the next level, and he's not the coach that can get you to the finals. And he is the coach who gets out-coached by Doc Rivers (yikes).

Last Thursday, I told the Recluse and Shoals that whichever coach lost the Pistons/Celtics series would be out (I also added that Avery Johnson would take over the consequent vacancy--MICHAEL CURRY WTF?????!!??). It just gets to the point where people/Dumars are overemploying logical syllogisms to something far more complicated: If the Pistons core four + Larry Brown = the NBA finals, and the Pistons core four + Flip Saunders = not the NBA finals, then Flip Saunders = not the NBA finals.

Flip's looseness is one of his greatest assets, allowing him to coexist with notorious headcases such as Rasheed Wallace and Latrell Sprewell, but his nonchalance, and the fact he has zero NBA roots pre-Timberwolves also makes him--to get on some Billups channeling Michael Clayton bit for a second--"the guy you kill." Rudy T, Larry Brown, even Don Nelson...they're not the guy you kill, they're the guy you buy.

And now he's gone. It will be interesting to see what happens with KG over the next week or so, and (if the Lakers win) whether there is a slight moment of redemption for Kevin McHale. The failure of those relationships and tenures have been placed squarely on the shoulders of Mac, but at the end of the day McHale's real failure was hanging on to those guys for too long. KG and Flip like shooting jumpers. McHale liked to deck people in the mouth.

Back to Detroit for a second...at the end of the day, that core four group has essentially one year left of window. Chauncey and Rip showed themselves as bruisable this year, Sheed's shtick is wearing on some, and If the NBA were the MLB, we would expect McDyess to show up in the Mitchell Report. I really hoped that Avery J was going to get this job and we could look forward to the PISTONS REVENGE TOUR 2009, but with Curry at the helm I have no idea what to expect.

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At 6/03/2008 5:19 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Also, Flip was never particularly eager to play Amir Johnson, even though (if memory serves) Dumars told him to. His exit, and either McDyess, Wallace, or both likely gone, sets us up for an all-new reason to live.

At 6/03/2008 5:28 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

to flip's credit, it's kind of hard to work amir into that already awesome frontline rotation.

we could probably just email each other about this, but one thing i will say for flip is that he was getting a lot better at playing the young guys. afflalo, maxiell, and of course stuckey got significant clock toward the end of the season/playoffs.

At 6/03/2008 10:02 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Matt Watson just sent the following to me:

From a Dumars radio interview after his press conference:

Q: "Were you disappointed Amir didn’t get more of an opportunity in the playoffs?"

A: "I’m disappointed he didn’t get more of an opportunity this season and the playoffs.

You know how Rodney Stuckey as a young guy can do certain things that nobody else on our team can do from the perimeter position? I feel the same way about Amir in the front court position, that there are certain things that nobody else can do, just from an athletic standpoint, from a speed, from a quickness, from an ability to play above the rim the way he does. I think he can bring that us and so I would love to see him as we go forward become more integrated into what we’re doing here."

At 6/04/2008 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Curry decision isn't final. If you look at the 1130 WDFN Radio interview on Need4Sheed, Dumars laughed at the idea that the new spot was already decided. He basically said the Avery, Curry and that one ex-Knick were all on his short list, and that he had already received four coaching calls in the two hours after Flips firing. Dumars is going to look for a deal that improves the team; he isn't just looking to dump core players. I will tell you, however, that I think that Sheed is most likely to go. With a low draft pick and poor free agent class, Joe D will probably move a couple of core players (Sheed and Tay? Sheed and Billups?) to get an All-star caliber player with a winning attitude. Joe is a master at bringing downtrodden players back to the limelight, so don't be suprised to see Jermaine O'neal or something crazy like that go down.

I hope Avery gets the job, they need fire on that bench.

Lakers in 6.

At 6/04/2008 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

extremely good article about arenas? her minuses were: team won more this year than last while gil sat out substantially more this year (yet at the all star break two years ago, eddie jordan was the east coach because.... the wheels starting falling off because they had a young bench, no scorer off the bench (why they drafted nick young), and caron and gil got injured and i think the team won literally one game after that out of 10-14 games left), and her other reasons take on an air of specious blase of team shooting percentage and assists staying the same (when you would think assists would have been up because wiz couldn't lean on gil for dribbling down and making something happen).
jenkins is trying to find the dramatic tension in a rice cake. of course the wiz need him, everyone on the team has said that. but when half your minuses on the man are unfounded (i'll give her the defense, which was a lot better), why would you think this is a great article? maybe the tension or drama can be found in how the wiz front office has let go a lot of good players, refuses to pay the luxury tax, but taking the "team may be better without gil" road doesn't seem the best way to find a sound conflict.
anyways, first time commentor, long time reader, keep up the good work, etc.

At 6/04/2008 10:52 AM, Blogger MC Welk said...

I thought Sally J. was running with Mauresmo in Paris.

At 6/04/2008 10:59 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

Its gonna be tough for the Pistons to move Chauncey after he just inked that long term deal. I'd love to see Amir get more tick (as everyone else on this board would) But making big changes could fracture the identity of the Pistons core. Maybe that'll be a good thing,, I'm not sure. I don't think you can gey equal value for tayshaun b/c he's been (IMO) under utilized on this team. Sheed seemed to be the biggest underacheiver, esp in the recent playoffs. Ironic that he was the piece that put them over the top the year they won the Chip and has become the emotional/defensive center of the team. He just hasn't risen to the occasion like he did in years past, which makes the constant fluctuations in effort unforgivable. I love Sheed, but it might be time for him to take on a reduced role with a team. I thought McDyess waqs their best interior player in the 'offs this year and, again, I don't see how you get equal value. Joe D is the man (always has been) but he may have harmed his leverage in trade scenarios by announcing the fact that he wants to make major changes.


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