Flip Saunders announced early in camp that he was going to insist on more discipline this year. At the time, Ian wrote the following:
My hope is that this decision was made by Flip, and that in his second season, he is feeling comfortable enough to install some of his own team rules; to take back some of the asylum from the inmates. My suspicion is that this came down from Dumars in an attempt to rectify some of the recurring issues from last season.
This front office/coaching staff thing may be a subplot worth following should the Pistons stumble out of the gate this season.
Make of it what you will, but here's Joe Dumars from today's Detroit News:
"[Flip] was pretty hands-off last year," Dumars said. "He didn't want to come in and disrupt what he felt was a good thing. My comment to him was, 'That was OK for one year. Now put your imprint on this. It's your team. Run this thing like you want to run it. Coach this team like you want to coach it.'
"He's done that. He's been much more assertive this year. He is putting his imprint on this team."
To his credit, I don't suppose it really matters where Saunders' motivation comes from as long as the players respect him. Chris McCosky, who's been to practice and the games this preseason, seems to think that's the case:
It's been, in an odd way, a very therapeutic, almost cathartic, camp. Both the players and the head coach have admitted to past mistakes and vowed to get it right this year. Where some players might have been skeptical and wary of Saunders' plans and methods, there seems to be more trust and respect.
And where Saunders might have been either too lenient or too bull-headed, he's seemingly found a balance.
"He said from day one that he's going to be all business," Lindsey Hunter said. "We are going to do things a certain way and we are going to carry it out all season. He has put us in the mind-set where, when we step between the lines, we are going to get our work done. We have one goal and that's to win that championship, and every day, every practice, we should all be thinking the same thing."
So far, so good.
"I think we are all on the same page," Prince said. "We know what he wants and obviously we've been concentrating on doing what needs to be done.
Saunders takes charge [Detroit News]
Previously on DBB:
Flip Saunders: Hardass?