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Flip on Amir: "We made a mistake"

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Flip Saunders regrets his handling of the rotation in Wednesday's loss to the Jazz. From the Freep:

"We got to a point where Maxey was playing really well, and we were trying to match things," Saunders said. "But we made a mistake -- we should have played him. We got in a situation where they were making such a run, and we thought at that point it was too late.

"First thing I said afterwards was, 'We should have played Amir, and we didn't.' "

Saunders said he never had been in a situation where not playing a role player had caused such a stir.

"Especially when you're 42-16," Saunders said. "We have people who are saying, 'Start Amir.' But they don't know that Antonio McDyess has been one of the leading rebounders in minutes played in the NBA over the last month. You can't always look at superficial things."

As I see it, the only reason there was any stir was because the absence wasn't explained for two days -- that's as much the fault of the traveling beat reporters not realizing what information their readers want from them as it was Flip's fault for not explaining his rationale (or Amir's illness) after the game.

But as far as "stirs" go, this really wasn't a big deal -- it's just the kind of ordinary idle speculation that happens all the time when there are three days between games to over-analyze what went wrong in a loss. It just so happens this time fans were talking about Amir's DNP-CD as opposed to "Rasheed takes too many threes!" or "Maybe Herrmann should play over Jarvis ..." or "Chauncey's not as clutch as he once was" or [insert familiar kneejerk reaction that follows any loss here].

And as for the people saying, "Start Amir," that's definitely overplayed. The only "people" I hear pushing that are talk radio hosts/columnists looking to get a response. Don't confuse what comes out of the mouths of those who are paid to be intentionally controversial as the opinions of educated fans -- who, incidentally, aren't impressed with gaudy regular-season records. Those went out of style two years ago.