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What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?

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Post#1 What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:59 pm by Wizards2Lottery

Wizards fan here wondering what you guys thought of Flip when he coached your team. Feel free to mention his strengths, weaknesses, why he was fired, what led to his firing, how his players felt about him etc.

It's hard for us to get a gauge on him because he's had a lot of roster turnaround in DC so far.
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Post#2 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:54 pm by Breakdown777

I'm not sure if he's the right coach for your new look team. Also, take this with a grain of salt since he hasn't been our coach for some time, and maybe he's improved or regressed in some areas.

He like's playing a jump-shooting style, and his offensive scheme is very good for getting open looks.
His rotations were solid for us.
He is a very good low-turnover coach. I remember some wolves game's where it seemed like we'd have like 6 or 7 TO for the entire game. I also remember the Wolves being a league leader in fewest TO per game.

On D, he's not afraid to go zone and shake it up a bit for the opposing offense.
We had KG. Detroit had that solid starting 5....so his defensive inadequacies have always been covered up by his superb defensive players.
He doesn't play rookies...like ever. (I guess he's making an exception for Wall...but unless the guy is a for sure superstar, he won't give them much run).

His assistant coaches look hit and miss. Randy Whitman is the worst coach ever. I can't stand this guy. I blame him completely for MN's lack of developing youth his entire time here.
Sam Cassell looks like he'll be a great coach someday. Although I'm thinking with Cassell, Heinrich, and Arenas....John Wall might be getting too much of a good thing with so many guards able to give advice.

I watched the Chicago game on Saterday, and I noticed Flip was allowing Blatche to play like Al Harrington/KG...and it infuriated me. Blatche looks like the worst player I've ever seen. I don't know if it's Flips plan to allow him to sit on the perimeter and act like a guard,...but it's not working at all. I used to like Blatche because of his Block numbers, and though he never was given a real chance under Eddie Jordan, but after seeing him play in a full game where he's expected to play like a starter on a TEAM....he just looked stupid and selfish out there.

Sorry to rag on your teams' players when you asked about the coach, but I couldn't help myself. :D I think Flip should be an adequate coach for the Wiz once they make some roster moves...(like moving a guard to a defensive presence in the paint.) My only worry is that he turns Wall into more of a jump shooter than he should be.
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Post#3 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:18 pm by Illuminaire

Haha, thanks for the response Breakdown. You're not all wrong about Blatche, but briefly in his defense - please keep in mind that he had a sore knee, is still getting his legs after an offseason injury, was on the second night of a back-to-back, and in the previous game had been unable to get a foul call despite taking it hard to the rim several times with significant contact.

If he's still drifting outside every play like a nancy-boy midseason, though, I'll smack him AND Flip. =p

Back to Saunders, I'd like to add a question or two:

How do you think Flip's demeanor and coaching style effected the way his teams played?

Do you think he was able to effectively teach players and improve their play?
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Post#4 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:30 pm by Devilzsidewalk

in short, he's a very system oriented coach. Professional/smart/veteran teams can thrive under his sets. Playground guys, guys that are used to playing iso basketball or using their athleticism will struggle. His coaching style is based around X's and O's and can hold back talented iso players, but can build up guys that need help getting space for their shots.
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Post#5 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:58 pm by Swish4

I never liked his defensive schemes much, too much zone... maybe it was the players he had. Bill Musselman had a big influence on him, which is good.. he understands X's and O's as well as anyone. He is pretty controlling of young players. I think sometimes he fails to let guys play to their strengths instead of letting them develop naturally. If he has the right guys who fit what he wants to do, he's an exceptional coach.. but make him improvise and he'll struggle more. He's similar to Bill Fitch.
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Post#6 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:18 am by jade_hippo

Flip has probably the thickest playbook of any coach in the league. As previously stated: VERY x's and o's oriented. He preaches ball control and open jumpers. Very player friendly coach, I can't think of a single player that didn't like him. He got fired due in large part to his very own assistant Sam Cassell rolling over on the team when he didn't get a new contract after the WCF run... that was an ugly year.
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Post#7 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:42 am by funkatron101

jade_hippo wrote:Flip has probably the thickest playbook of any coach in the league. As previously stated: VERY x's and o's oriented. He preaches ball control and open jumpers. Very player friendly coach, I can't think of a single player that didn't like him. He got fired due in large part to his very own assistant Sam Cassell rolling over on the team when he didn't get a new contract after the WCF run... that was an ugly year.

The impression I had was that Flip lost the respect of the players. Too many prima-donnas on the team. They all had their own agenda and Flip couldn't make a cohesive unit after the drama with Sam and Spree.

So he may be one of the friendlier coaches, but that doesn't always bring out the best in your players.
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Post#8 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:06 pm by eyeteeth

Great coach for guards, poor coach for big men. I think he wishes the whole game revolved around fancy ways to get open jumpers. He gave KG an outside game, but hampered KG's development in the paint in a shameful way.

Smart, disciplined teams will thrive in his rapid ball movement system. They will have lots of open J's and few TO's. Young, undisciplined teams better believe in his system or it could be a huge culture clash. Flip is a very fiery guy. Our teams always had great chemistry under Flip, but they also had KG as a believer in Saunders' system as an emotional anchor for the team.

Not that it's an issue yet with the Wizards, but I have always wondered how much of the always-a-bridesmaid never-the-bride situation was due to him. He inherited a defending champ Pistons team and couldn't win a championship with several years there.
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Post#9 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:29 pm by Illuminaire

eyeteeth wrote:Not that it's an issue yet with the Wizards, but I have always wondered how much of the always-a-bridesmaid never-the-bride situation was due to him. He inherited a defending champ Pistons team and couldn't win a championship with several years there.


I wonder the same thing. It's hard to judge in hindsight how good some of those Minnesota teams were with KG and Sam, and whether they overachieved or underachieved.

The Pistons years I can convince myself were not his fault, in that I don't think the Pistons were really built to win against a great playoff team, and just happened to grind their way in the year before against weaker competition.
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Post#10 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:06 pm by Chocolate City Jordanaire

WesJ4 wrote:I never liked his defensive schemes much, too much zone... maybe it was the players he had. Bill Musselman had a big influence on him, which is good.. he understands X's and O's as well as anyone. He is pretty controlling of young players. I think sometimes he fails to let guys play to their strengths instead of letting them develop naturally. If he has the right guys who fit what he wants to do, he's an exceptional coach.. but make him improvise and he'll struggle more. He's similar to Bill Fitch.


Thanks, WesJ4, and others who are pretty spot-on in describing Flip Saunders as Wizards coach.

I think he is all wrong for young guys who aren't built for system ball. Guys like Nick Young and Javale McGee are not the brightest bulbs but they're extremely athletic. They are stifled under Flip. He never has let them just play ball. Those guys and John Wall need to run, run, run. Gilbert Arenas with those guys and athletes like Booker and Seraphin (who hasn't played yet IIRC) need to just ball.

Flip is exactly the wrong kind of coach for a young team of not-to-savvy guys.
Will the Wizards' success be sustained or was it fool's gold?
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Post#11 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:11 pm by Chocolate City Jordanaire

eyeteeth wrote:Great coach for guards, poor coach for big men. I think he wishes the whole game revolved around fancy ways to get open jumpers. He gave KG an outside game, but hampered KG's development in the paint in a shameful way.

Smart, disciplined teams will thrive in his rapid ball movement system. They will have lots of open J's and few TO's. Young, undisciplined teams better believe in his system or it could be a huge culture clash. Flip is a very fiery guy. Our teams always had great chemistry under Flip, but they also had KG as a believer in Saunders' system as an emotional anchor for the team.

Not that it's an issue yet with the Wizards, but I have always wondered how much of the always-a-bridesmaid never-the-bride situation was due to him. He inherited a defending champ Pistons team and couldn't win a championship with several years there.


Washington is living and mostly dying by the jump shot, for sure.

I think eventually the losing and a clash with John Wall will do Flip Saunders in. Chemistry isn't so great with the young Wizard team already. Flip keeps playing Wall about 40 minutes a game, even when the rook should sit more. Likewise, Saunders loves him some Kirk Hinrich, even though the Wizards are dead last in rebounding and three guard lineups aren't helping in that regard.

Flip won't win diddly with the Wizards. Unless they get Harrison Barnes or some other stud draft pick, and if Flip lasts long enough for the Wizards to pull away somebody like Dwight Howard as a FA who wants to play with John Wall.

I can't see Saunders lasting beyond this season, which will be a long one unless the Wizards start nailing jump shots at a record clip.
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Post#12 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:16 pm by Klomp

Devilzsidewalk wrote:in short, he's a very system oriented coach. Professional/smart/veteran teams can thrive under his sets. Playground guys, guys that are used to playing iso basketball or using their athleticism will struggle. His coaching style is based around X's and O's and can hold back talented iso players, but can build up guys that need help getting space for their shots.

BTW, when I saw the OP, I thought you got your name changed again.
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Post#13 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:07 pm by Piecake

Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:
eyeteeth wrote:Great coach for guards, poor coach for big men. I think he wishes the whole game revolved around fancy ways to get open jumpers. He gave KG an outside game, but hampered KG's development in the paint in a shameful way.

Smart, disciplined teams will thrive in his rapid ball movement system. They will have lots of open J's and few TO's. Young, undisciplined teams better believe in his system or it could be a huge culture clash. Flip is a very fiery guy. Our teams always had great chemistry under Flip, but they also had KG as a believer in Saunders' system as an emotional anchor for the team.

Not that it's an issue yet with the Wizards, but I have always wondered how much of the always-a-bridesmaid never-the-bride situation was due to him. He inherited a defending champ Pistons team and couldn't win a championship with several years there.


Washington is living and mostly dying by the jump shot, for sure.

I think eventually the losing and a clash with John Wall will do Flip Saunders in. Chemistry isn't so great with the young Wizard team already. Flip keeps playing Wall about 40 minutes a game, even when the rook should sit more. Likewise, Saunders loves him some Kirk Hinrich, even though the Wizards are dead last in rebounding and three guard lineups aren't helping in that regard.

Flip won't win diddly with the Wizards. Unless they get Harrison Barnes or some other stud draft pick, and if Flip lasts long enough for the Wizards to pull away somebody like Dwight Howard as a FA who wants to play with John Wall.

I can't see Saunders lasting beyond this season, which will be a long one unless the Wizards start nailing jump shots at a record clip.


I dont know what coach could win with that line-up though
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Post#14 Re: What did you guys think of Flip Saunders?
Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:14 am by Devilzsidewalk

Klomp wrote:
Devilzsidewalk wrote:in short, he's a very system oriented coach. Professional/smart/veteran teams can thrive under his sets. Playground guys, guys that are used to playing iso basketball or using their athleticism will struggle. His coaching style is based around X's and O's and can hold back talented iso players, but can build up guys that need help getting space for their shots.

BTW, when I saw the OP, I thought you got your name changed again.


thats how it all started, OP wanted his name changed to Wizards2Lottery because his old name was Arenas related or something, and I said "no, you should change it to 'JohnWall2theWiz' or something!" and HowardMass changed mine instead because he hates gypsies and as everybody knows, i live the Romany life
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