Saunders: 'The film doesn't lie'

Saunders: 'The film doesn't lie'
December 18, 2011, 2:39 am
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By Ben StandigContributing

The day after suffering through Fridays 25-point drubbing by the Philadelphia 76ers, Wizards coach Flip Saunders put his squad through a lengthy, perhaps inhumane practice session Saturday. Why cruel? As tough as it was experiencing the game the first time, Saunders had the team relive the shot-clanking, defense-lacking encounter, celluloid style.

When you watch film, film doesnt lie. You can see on the film who was doing the right things and who was doing the wrong things, Saunders said. Asked what he saw upon follow-up inspection, the coach added with a wry smile nothing different than I didnt see last night.

The Wizards fell behind by 40 points, offered scant defensive resistance to the 76ers deep crop of scorers and struggled to find any offensive cohesion.

The first unit was thirsty, didnt play as a team very much. Eighty percent of the shots we took last night were off one or two passes. Philadelphia is a good defensive team so you cant do that. Youve got to move the ball, Saunders said.

Perhaps most baffling was the lackluster effort came on the heels of supposedly a weeks worth of encouraging practices.

The thing we havent been able to do is transform what we do in practice, we do things good in drill, but we havent transformed that into game-type situations, Saunders said. Today we tried to simulate more game-type situations to incorporate what were trying to do, defending pick-and-rolls, moving the ball on offense.

The man tasked with directing the offense, John Wall, appeared out of sorts from the start, committing six of the Wizards 20 turnovers while missing nine of 12 shots.

I didnt lead the team, said Wall, bluntly assessing his effort. I put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. I want to be the leader and be the franchise guy. Too many turnovers and didnt get everybody in their spots. I came here early in the morning and watched a lot of film.

Saunders was quick to point out the lack offensive execution was not all on the second-year point guard, but a change in approach might be in order.

As I talked to John today, hes got to look maybe to set people up more early than late in the shot clock, to break people down and get into the pick-and roll rather than trying to score to early himself.