Second-Guessing Flip Saunders

I guess now we have an idea why Ben Wallace was sulking.

Second-guessing Detroit Coach Flip Saunders is the theme of a lot of Detroit coverage today. In many publications Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Antonio McDyess and others are quoted making mild but undeniably anti-Flip statements.

Here's Liz Robbins in The New York Times.

Ben Wallace, who won his fourth defensive player of the year award this season, said with frustration Sunday that the Pistons did not practice defense as much as offense under Coach Flip Saunders and that their defense was like "night and day" from years past.

"I think we look for our offense more than our defense now," Wallace said. "We spend the majority of our time working on our offense, and it definitely shows up."

Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys discusses these quotes. He still sees his Pistons as the favorites, but detects a new willingness to pass the buck on the court and off.

Here's what occurs to me: This can't be a new idea. Ben Walllace didn't just reach his boiling point now. In fact, he has clearly been upset for a while, after his little tantrum a few weeks ago, in which he refused to enter a game against Orlando. But why take this to the media now? To me it reeks of desperation--a conviction within the Pistons that the Pistons are not on the right track.

Of course, there's simply nothing that can be done to replace Saunders at this point. The best perspective (again, from Liz Robbins' article) comes from Chauncey Billups:

"We've been successful all year, we're down, 2-1, we didn't have a great game yesterday, and now you ask me do I want a different coach?" Billups said. "We got to stick to our plan; we'll be fine."