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Late Breaking news from Detroit as the Pistons have said Flip Saunders will not be returning as head coach next year.
Just days after losing to the Celtics in six games, the Pistons – who have just one NBA title out of six straight trips to the Conference Finals – have decided to go in a different direction.
“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” team president Joe Dumars said on the team’s Web site. “However, at this time, I feel it is necessary to make a change.”
Saunders just finished his third year with the team and had a 176-70 record in regular season play during his tenure but lost in the Conference Finals all three seasons.
WDFN Radio in Detroit is reporting that Michael Curry will be named the new coach of the Pistons.
My Take: Sure you can blame Saunders for losing three straight Conference Finals, but Joe Dumars also must take a lot of credit for their failures. Saunders inherited pretty much the same team from Larry Brown and Brown inherited a similar team from Rick Carlisle. This team has a great chemistry and some solid players but guys like Rasheed Wallace really haven’t done their job since their NBA title year in 2004. The organization made the right pick at the time in Darko Milicic in the 2003 NBA draft, but it never worked out and they ended up passing on Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, David West and Dwayne Wade.
Saunders couldn’t get the job done in three years so he probably deserved the ax, but at what point does Dumars look at his team and realize they need better spare parts and Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff?