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Flip Saunders seat not hot at all in Washington

Jan 4, 2012, 3:36 PM EDT

Flip Saunders AP

If you were trying to names coaches on the hot seat early this season, Flip Saunders name would come to mind. Because his Wizards squad is the lone winless team in the NBA, for one. Because even with John Wall and JaVale McGee in the lineup the Wizards have the very worst offense in the NBA so far (just 92.4 points per 100 possessions). Because the defense isn’t very good either. Because filling out the lineup card right escaped him.

But no, Saunders seat is pretty tepid.

Saunders was given the mandate to play the youngsters and take the lumps by management, so they are not going to fire him over the lumps.

Here is what owner Ted Leonsis wrote on his blog Wednesday in a post titled “Going as I expected.”

We are now 0 and 5 – but we are starting to play more as a team; and with more intensity and confidence. We have now started to get contributions from many players and I believe the team will now settle in and start to become more productive….

As I have noted many times before – the process we are undergoing will be quite difficult – it is messy; it is painful; but we have no other course of action to pursue; we have chosen to build through the draft – manage our cap space wisely and build a team for the long term around young players. We will make trades at the right time; we will keep our players that form our core long term; we will add free agents when we believe it is the right time. That is the plan.

It’s a good plan.

But the team has to show some growth and pick up wins at some point. I’m not suggesting Saunders should be on the hot seat, but if this team and it’s young core do not start to show some of that growth over the course of this season, the temperature of the chair should rise.

And please let this team run. Please. Wall is best in the open court, McGee and Andray Blatche can finish, and when Nick Young is healthy he is a great fit at that pace. But the Wizards are mired at 13th in the league in pace. Average. Pedestrian. Part of it is the defense but this team just needs to run like the wind every chance it gets.

Of course, what is going on in Washington is more than that. There are a lot of issues. Even the rookie from Europe recognizes things are not good. Here is what Jan Vesely told the Washington Post.

“It’s tough to sit on the bench and see the players, they are playing and they are playing bad,” Vesely said. “Of course, I want to try to help the team.”

It’s all just something to watch going forward.

  1. goforthanddie - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I can accept Leonsis’ thinking, and it’s admirable he’s trashing the season to rebuild properly. I just don’t think Saunders is the tutor these kids need.

  2. willardj - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Saunders is certainly one of the worst coaches in the league. It’s one thing to have a young, inexperienced team. It’s another to show zero improvement and to play with little energy against much older opponents.

  3. verytalldad - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Leonsis only has patience for his huge ego. Have fun trying to resign wall or attract free agents. They will competing with the bobcats for the eighth seed for a decade to come

    • goforthanddie - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      Yeah, learn before speaking. Leonsis took the Caps from crap to best regular-season record 2 years running, by following the same path.

      • verytalldad - Jan 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        Ovi and a good farm system took the caps back to the playoffs. And what have the caps done? First round playoff win. WHAT AN OWNER!!!!

        All of the DC is drunk on Leonsis bc Snyder is so awful. Leonsis is good at the marketing side, but he holds on to his coaches and GMs way too long.

  4. thebigkahuna23 - Jan 4, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    What are you talking about verytalldad? Leonsis is also the guy behind the capoitol’s and look how well they’ve done under him. We’re a young team without a lot of court time together. It’ll come around just be patient.

    • verytalldad - Jan 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      Hockey is not basketball. Where is the Wizards farm system the Caps have?

      You know where the Wiz will be in three years, with John Wall going to LA where Kobe is retiring and the Wiz will have overpaid a free agent bc nobody else wanted to come here.

      Hoping to build through the draft in the NBA is playing the lottery. Yes, MAYBE we will get Harrison Barnes but we MAYBE could have gotten Derrick Williams

      Leonsis has been successful in what he does, but his confidence is Grunfeld will set this team back another decade.

      If Leonsis was so honest, he would say Blatche and McGee are selfish players, not “THE CORE”. Some core.

  5. glink123 - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    “0-5. starting to lose better as a team”.

  6. devinmr711 - Jan 5, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Fire Flip Hire Gilbert Arenas as coach. He’ll bring guns to work and get these guys playing better.

  7. beede81 - Jan 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    i don’t see anything within the context that says Ted is sticking with flip. All he talks about is the players and how they are developing. He is on the HOTTEST seat in NBA. That happened when the team showed their best performance on Tuesday against the Celtics without flip being there.

  8. beede81 - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Oh by the way, Ted fired caps coach back then, i forgot his name, and promoted bruce budroux after the team started out half decent. Budroux got the best out of that young talent that was there, when the previous coach couldn’t. I feel like soon enough (before 20 games) flip will be fired. This team is just terrible, why would he stick with a coach that the players are not responding to. Flip can not teach kids, At ALL. You can see it on his face whenever someone makes a bad play. You can’t get mad, i mean you can, but not to the point where you look like you cried during halftime. I believe these kids can learn better with another coach(cassel or wittman). Please do understand i’m not disrespecting flips coaching ability. I’m just questioning his relationship and mentoring ability with a team loaded with teenagers.

  9. ncredskinsfan4life - Jan 5, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    The biggest problem is flip…………we need to get rid of him. He truthfully has never truly put together a winning team.what he did in detroit was to inherit a championship team……………i relate S-aunders to the S-hanna-zors with the redkins………..what they have in common S statrts their last names… head coaches they seem lost and boareder-line S-tupid

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