Flip Saunders: 'Film Don't Lie' | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Flip Saunders: ‘Film Don’t Lie’

Updated: December 18, 2011

Or rather, “Film doesn’t lie,” but you get it…

“Ball Don’t Lie!,” goes the famous saying, extended into pixels forever thanks to Rasheed Wallace. It’s entirely possible that Wallace, when he was a member of the Detroit Pistons, picked up the phrase from his coach, Flip Saunders. Wallace, however, was also said to use it as a member of the Portland Trailblazers. So maybe Flip learned it from watching him. And who knows where Rasheed got it from.

There’s a YouTube video of Wallace saying it during a Pistons-Milwaukee Bucks game after an Andrew Bogut missed free-throw. Ironically, there’s also footage of Saunders, as Pistons coach, saying “Ball don’t lie,” after a Gilbert Arenas missed technical free-throw for the Washington Wizards. Little did Flip know then how much he’d later be involved with Gilbert. But the ball, according to Saunders, isn’t the only think that does not lie. Game film doesn’t lie either.

On Saturday afternoon, after an embarrassing home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in their first preseason game on Friday, the Wizards returned to the scene of the crime. First up, a lengthy film session to review the 103-78 defeat.

“When you watch film, film doesn’t lie,” said Saunders. “You can see in the film who’s doing the right things, who’s doing the wrong things.”

When asked about the specifics of what the film showed him, Saunders said, “Nothing different than I didn’t see last night.” The coach indicated that his players didn’t move the ball, said that 80-percent of their shot attempts came off one or two passes.

Rashard Lewis said he was sitting next to Saunders during the film session. “When he switched over to the fourth quarter, we only had 54 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The first thing I said was, ‘Damn! 54 points going into the fourth quarter? We gotta play together, we gotta fix that.'”

Lewis’ diagnosis of the problem: “I think everybody was anxious to go out there and play basketball and be the man … played a lot of one-on-one basketball and didn’t move the ball at all.”

When asked what he gathered from the film session, John Wall said, “Yea, I didn’t lead the team. I put a lot of pressure on my shoulders, I’m going to be the leader and be the franchise guy, I didn’t lead the team … too many turnovers and didn’t get everybody in their spots. So I came in early in the morning and watched a lot of film.”

Wall also called himself out for standing up too much on defense, and for not rotating and turning his head on help-side when the man he was guarding didn’t have the ball.

But is it all on the second year point guard? His coach: “It’s on everybody,” said Saunders. “Yea, it’s on John initially, because I talked to John today, he’s gotta look to set people up more early. And then look late in the shot clock to break people down or get into the pick-and-roll and score, than trying to score too early himself.”

From the film session that provided no fibs, the Wizards had a tough practice session, where Saunders indicated that they went over a lot of game-type situations, since his players acted like they weren’t ready to play on Friday. They practiced “frustrated,” said Lewis, which was a good thing according to him.

After practice the Wizards had two light (we’re talking summer exhibition-type light) 15-minute, running-clock scrimmages on the Verizon Center main court for the crowd at the team’s Fan Fest. Local D.C.-area rapper Wale then performed a couple of songs.

The Wizards are off Sunday and will resume practice Monday. They next face the Sixers in Philadelphia on Tuesday, their final preseason contest before opening the official slate at home versus the New Jersey Nets on December 26.

Ball don’t lie, film don’t lie, and for the most part, neither do the game score results. Good thing for the Wizards, truth might lie in redemption from the very next contest.


  • Rashard Lewis indicated that Jan Vesely had a little bit of a hip injury and didn’t practice too much on Saturday due to soreness. Vesely did not participate in the Fan Fest scrimmaging.
  • Wizards interest in Michael Redd? According to a Tweet from Gery Woelfel of the Milwaukee Journal-Times: “A Michael Redd spotting in Indy. It’s believed Pacers, Knicks, Wizards and Celtics are on Redd’s radar.” But is Redd on the Wizards’ radar? Not likely. A team source indicates that Redd is simply not yet ready to play, and the team isn’t willing to use a roster spot to take on such a project.
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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.