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So right away, Flip Saunders inherits by far superior team, with better core of players. The job for Dumars is to keep team intact. Despite his lack of success in playoffs, Saunders has a reputation as being cool under fire after having T’Wolves GM Kevin McHale breathing down his neck last few seasons. He is also a players coach, which will help in this situation, where he has a squad that gets along on and off court and knows how to take care of business. He will also use young bench players like Darko Milivick and Jason Maxiell. Dumars because increasingly upset with Brown for stunting development of younger guys. Dumars does have an ego, and drafting Milivick over Carmelo Anthony has made him look silly.
Detroit’s players showed during playoffs that they can ignore distractions and win tough series’; they are still favorite to come out of East despite Miami, Cleveland, and New Jersey adding pieces to their puzzles. This team will win 55 games in regular season and be hungry to return to finals.
With Knicks roster issues, this year will be a wash, and they’ll look to unload some big money contracts so they can mold team into their new coach’s image (defense and working for good shots). No doubt New York is a 2006-2007 playoff team, but a NBA Lotto participant this coming season. Unfortunately for Isaiah Thomas, Coach Brown gets antsy after a season or two, so this could turn into another rebuilding project for man who succeeds Brown. Isaiah may not be around either to make that hiring.
By John Onan (Ego74)
John Onan (aka ego74) is sports writer/moderator at the online players union www.theopu.com and football contributor at www.realfootball365.com he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org