Flip Saunders' job as the Washington Wizards' head coach is safe for the time being despite his team's dreadful start to the season, reports Michael Lee of the Washington Post, citing sources. The Wizards have opened Saunders' first season at the helm with an 0-8 record, with perhaps no defeat stinging more than Sunday's against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Washington has lost its games by an average of 12.9 points each, the worst figure in the NBA by more than one point. But Washington appears to understand the difficult predicament in which Saunders finds himself; as Lee notes, the Wizards brought Saunders aboard to lead a team featuring Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison to postseason success. But the Wizards dismantled that team on the fly, beginning a rebuilding process instead.
"I think I know the process that we're going through," Saunders said after Sunday's loss to Minnesota, "and I know it's a painful process."
According to one source Lee cites, team owner Ted Leonsis "doesn’t want to change course on the rebuilding plans and incorporate a 'plan B' just eight games into the season," but he "would like to see progress" in the 2011/12 campaign.
Saunders is accustomed to playoff success, having coached his teams to Conference Finals appearances four times in his career, now in its 16th season. His record with Washington stands at 49-123 (.285), but his record with other teams is 636-347 (.647).
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