Here is my take of what Flip Saunders' pre-game speech is like:
[Saunders walks into the Pistons’ locker room giddy as an eight year old in a candy shop after the teams Game Two road win.]
Saunders: Guys! We’ve done the impossible, WON ON THE ROAD…AGAINST THE CELTICS!!! Can you feel it? Huh? Can ya? Just three more wins and we’re someplace you all have been and I have only dreamed about...The Finals.
[Saunders tilts his head and gazes into the light in a fixed daydream of whatever he thinks the Finals are.]
Billups: Uhhh, Coach?
Saunders: Oh—yes, Chauncey?
Billups: No, not you, Flip. I was talking to Curry—you know, the only person wearing a suit that I, along with the rest of the team, respect.
Wallace: Tru Dat!
Saunders: Oh, yea, my mistake.
Billups: Flip, I was Finals MVP and I want to save myself for the Finals, so I would appreciate it if instead of playing me when I'm needed this round, if you can sit me. I know this goes against any coaching philosophy.
Saunders: But why? We’re soo close.
Billups: Yeah, I know. But by you benching me, it will make it appear that it is your fault for me not playing, not mine for not wanting to risk personal injury and pain. You understand, right? I mean, you pretty much did the same thing with KG when you “coached” him.
Saunders: Uhhh, not really…
Billups: Thanks I knew you would understand.
Hamilton: Flip, you mind cleaning my protective mask? It’s getting foggy and kinda hard for me to see though.
Saunders: Uhh, that isn’t really my department.
McDyess: Oh, clean mine too
Saunders: [sighing] Fiiiiiine, whatever I have to do to keep my job.
(Saunders exits room with both protective masks and a towel)
Wallace: Great, now that he’s gone, I got this chronic from Josh Howard. Let's light this thing.
Hunter: Naw man, I got this great stuff from my wife that bulks you up, who wants some of this?
[Room is silent.]
Wallace: C’mon Theo, I know you light up.
Ratliff: Uh, no.
Wallace: Well, you had to be on something for you to make those comments about the Orlando series. Next time, don’t have us cash the checks your mouth writes.
Ratliff: HEY! I lead the league in blocks….a decade ago.
[Ratliff puts his head down and stumbles out of the room.]
Hamilton: All right. Everyone but myself, Sheed, Chauncey, Antonio, Stuck, Tay, and Maxiell get out, NOW!
[Remaining Pistons leave room.]
Hamilton: Okay, now that they are gone, the team meeting can officially start.
Billups: Here’s what we need to do. I will not play most of the game by choice and make it look like Flip is benching me.
Prince: But you just told Flip to bench you.
Billups: Exactly. Remember, my name is Mr. Big Shot—that’s a big name to live up to. Having Flip bench me makes it look like his fault—I thought I went over this.
Wallace: Have you ever seen the back of a $20—on weed, man? There’s guys in the bushes!
Stuckey: I have no problem with you sitting, Chauncey, I’ll fill your role.
Hamilton: WHAT!?! No, when Chauncey is out, this is my team.
Prince: We are a team Rip, no one player runs us.
Billups: Says the only one of our starters to not make it to the All-Star game.
[Prince gives Billups a dirty look, then departs the room.]
Billups: Who needs him? Like I was saying, even though Max did great on Howard and KG has been mauling Sheed, we should stick with Sheed.
Maxiell: Whatever, as long as I get at least one sick dunk and/or block I’ll be fine.
Hamilton: I’ll keep jacking up crazy jumpers. I figure the more shots I take the better my odds are for making one.
McDyess: Hell, not even KG can argue that logic, and he has a third-grade reading level.
Billups: Ok, it’s settled. I won’t play, Rip will take unnecessary jumpers, Sheed will continue to guard KG. Tay will do whatever he does. I mean the Celtics haven’t won on the road, so this series is ours. Everyone got it?
Stuckey: Fine by me.
[Wallace emerges from a smoke-filled locker, coughing.]
Wallace: Huh? What’d I miss? And where is Stackhouse when you need him? He always had gummy bears before games.
Billups: Stackhouse? He hasn’t been here in—forget it, let’s go out there and have this game given to us!
[Team cheers, then marches out of the locker room. Enter Saunders.]
Saunders: Hey Rip and Antonio, they ran out of Windex so I had to use……..guys? Guys? Ahhh, not again—just like Minnesota.