I have never been a fan of Shaq ever since his first finals appearance when my favorite Hakeem Olajuwon crushed him and his Magic. I like David Robinson more who always took Shaq to school.
Ever since he left Lakers I have routed more against him and I would never want him to win a Championship without Kobe Bryant
And now, the only team that could play Shaq one-on-one in Ben Wallace hasn't been successful at all. Are the
Piston's incapable of winning at this level when Shaq and Wade are in healthy condition unlike last year?
Shaq and company are tremendously helped by their sixth man -- Flip Saunders. I have no respect for his coaching ability even if he has stirred the Piston to 64 games in the regular season. For one, he has led the Timberwolves for a decent and sometimes excellent regular season in a highly competitive Western side but still failed to make waves in the playoffs for eight straight years despite KG's stats in all categories insanely increasing game after game.
At this level a brilliant coach is needed and I don't think Flip has the capability to win the series let alone comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
Pat Riley's record is undeniable and comparing it to Flip's is a big disrespect to Pat. He has done an excellent job spacing his players to give Wayde room to operate and he have easily gotten enough contribution from Shaq based on the stubborn one-on-one defense by Ben. I am not downsizing Ben but there were instances where help defense is needed which the Pistons failed to provide. As a result, Wayde is averaging a ridiculous 69 percent from the floor while Shaq pours in 60 percent.
Flip should watch the way the Bulls played Rodman one-on-one against Shaq with Pippen a half-step behind in help defense. Flip you got yourself a stronger Rodman in Ben Wallace and the same length as Prince but not the same brains as Phil.
As Billups and CNNSI wrote:
Detroit starts the same five players as it did during its title run in 2004 and march back to the NBA Finals a year ago. The only major lineup difference is the coach; Saunders replaced Larry Brown before this season.
"Some of us, a lot of us, have been here more time than he has," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said. "We can pull from a lot of our experiences. ... We've been here before."
And in response to that, Flip says:
"As a coach, I make decisions," Saunders said. "I have to live by the decisions. As players, they play, and they have to implement as far as what we do."
Sorry to tell you Flip but your decisions just isn't at the level of a conference final, so better start listening to your players who have proven enough in the past years more than you ever had and probably will.
That's comforting for any Pistons fans as they might be going on vacation soon.
As for Dumar's and Flip, you better start looking for another team as playing as the opposing team's sixth man is not good enough.