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Flip Saunders press conference: Quick thoughts

UPDATE: Mike Jones has more detailed stuff that you should read.

I'm pretty swamped now, so these are just quick thoughts on today's press conference.  I'll have more detailed quotes up later tonight once I go through my tape:

  • Lots of questions about Gilbert Arenas, of course.  Of the however many questions asked to Flip both in the presser and afterwards, I'd say about 70 percent of them were about Arenas. 
  • Flip said he expects Arenas to fully participate in training camp, though he did add that he might give Gil occasional breaks if he needs them/asks for them like he would for most vets.  
  • Flip plans on playing Gil almost exclusively at point guard
  • Flip mentioned Chauncey Billups in the same sentence as Gil at least five times
  • Flip was asked in several forms about Arenas' recent comments.  One thing Flip mentioned is he doesn't really sugercoat things with Gil, and Gil doesn't really sugercoat things back.  In that way, he says they're a good match.  I guess that's one way of saying that he didn't really mind Gil's comments.
  • Flip was asked about what he's looking for from the shooting guard position.  He answered: defend your position, contain off the dribble, understand our defensive concepts, hit an open jumper.  He also mentioned how he really wants his SG to do a little of everything and said he's a huge fan of multi-dimensional players and not much of a fan of single-dimension guys.  
  • I asked Flip in what areas specifically the Wizards needed to improve defensively.  He mentioned a few platitudes - contain dribble penetration, etc, but then again suggested that good, efficient offense with better transition defense will be a huge key.  He implied the Wizards were beat in transition a lot because of poor shot selection and floor balance. 
  • Kyle asked about the three-point defense.  Flip said it "depends on the philosophy" and suggested his teams do well defending the three without elaborating much, but did say that a lot of threes happen in transition and off dribble penetration, two of his sticking points.
  • Flip singled out Nick Young as someone who had a very good summer.  They're showing Nick a lot of tapes of Rip Hamilton and Reggie Miller.
  • After the press conference, David Aldridge asked him about his zone defense, which eventually led to a pretty funny rant where Flip said that, in the past, when the illegal defense rule was in place, everyone tried to play zones and disguise them.  Now that zones are legal, suddenly nobody wants to play them, which he doesn't get.  He said we'd see some of it this year and added that one hidden benefit is the three or four seconds it takes the other team to figure out that they're indeed playing against a zone.