Flips Saunders’ job may not be an easy one, but it’s indeed consistent.
He goes to practice and tries to teach his youngsters the way to win games in the NBA. Then, he goes to games and tries to coach his youngsters to a win in a NBA game. The youngsters get beat by a better team and he looks for silver linings to point out to them.
Rinse and repeat.
The silver lining, in Saunders view, after his youngsters got demolished by 30+ points by the Spurs, was that the crowd continued to support his youngsters all the way to the point that they were cheering for the Spurs to miss free throws when the game was well in hand.
“Words can’t totally explain how I feel. Disappointed. Embarrassed. And I feel bad from a fan standpoint. Realistically, I look, there’s 8:40 left in the game, we were down 36, and our fans were cheering for them to miss shots from the free-throw line, which says a little bit something about how your fans are trying their hardest to do whatever they can, and just want to see you go out and just play.”
Too bad the fans were only cheering because they wanted discounted Chick-fil-A.
At some point late in games, the Wizards game ops crew runs a promotion after the opponents miss a free throw. If the player misses the second free throw, everyone in the stands gets some sort of discount swag from Chick-fil-A.
So the fans weren’t actually trying to do whatever they could to help the Wizards rally. They were trying to get discounted chicken. They failed, when Neal made his free throw. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most Wizards story of 2011.
Indeed it is.