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Let me dust off the cobwebs…

Sorry you guys, Natalie and I have been busy doing life related things, and have not had a chance to update the site as frequently as we would like in the last few weeks. We both know that while there is not a lot of positive things going on, a coaching search still happened during this lockout downtime. While most of us weren’t thrilled with the options available for Head Coaching candidates, in my opinion we got the best of the available bunch.

So… Lawrence Frank, what do we know about him?

  • Born in New York and raised in New Jersey.
  • Did not make any organized basketball teams during his time in High School.
  • Volunteered to be a manager for the Indiana Hoosiers Men’s Basketball for 4 seasons under legendary coach, Bob Knight.
  • Has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education.
  • Served as an Assistant Coach under current USC Men’s Basketball Team Coach Kevin O’Neill’s staff at the University of Tennessee after working as a staff assistant with O’Neill at Marquette University for 2 years.
  • Current Pistons’ Assistant Coach Brian Hill (my original recommendation for the coaching job) had Frank as an Assistant Coach on his staff with the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies team.
  • Frank was named Interim Head Coach of the New Jersey Nets during the 2003-2004 NBA season after Byron Scott was fired.
  • Frank became the permanent Head Coach after the season, in which he started 13-0 which set a record for most consecutive coaching victories to start a career.
  • Frank was fired from his position as Head Coach of the Nets during the 2009-2010 season, just after Thanksgiving. The Nets began the season 0-16.
  • Frank spent some time as an on-air analyst for NBATV during the 2009-2010 season.
  • Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers hired Frank to takeover the Assistant Head Coaching spot left vacant by Tom Thibodeau when Thibs left to become the new Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls.
  • Frank, alongside Rivers, helped the Celtics advance to the 2011 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals where they lost to Joel Anthony and the rest of the eventual Eastern Conference Champion, Miami Heat.
  • Frank has a career record of 225-241 which is a .483 winning percentage.
  • Frank’s style has always been balanced defense and offense. Motion based offense, primarily because of the backcourt he had in New Jersey. The offense will work in a halfcourt set, like we’re all used to seeing as Pistons’ fans.
  • The defense will likely revert back to a little of what we saw with Larry Brown, as far as sets are concerned. Frank ran a trapping half court set that would jump back and forth from zone to man according to matchups.
  • Frank has coached some good players in his time as a Coach in this league: KG, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen and Vince Carter just to name a few.
  • Frank is highly respected around the league, as evidence to his hiring to be Doc Rivers’ primary Assistant in Boston, replacing Thibodeau.

I’ve been hoping that Detroit would select Frank because, as you heard me say in the last podcast, it’s time for the Pistons to break out of their “roots”. It’s nice and sentimental to hire old, familiar faces from the by-gone era of the franchise. Allowing another 1st year Head Coach (Laimbeer) to come in and flounder in his first year or two not only puts Joe Dumars’ job at risk, but it doesn’t give new owner Tom Gores’ and his Platinum team a potential high reward. Frank is a low risk, high reward hiring.  He has shown he has the ability to “coach up” his teams, as evidenced by the 13-0 start to his career after the Byron Scott firing.  He will also be a good Head Coach to have in place while building a team, and re-establishing the “Piston Way” of doing things since he is a defensive minded coach, who typically runs a half court “motion” offense which has been the Pistons “bread and butter” for years.

He has coached teams that have had a lot of talent, and then some that have had little talent. Consider Frank to be a more experienced Rick Carlisle (pre Dallas Mavs, Carlisle), and take back what Joe said after he hired John Kuester, (and I’m paraphrasing) “This team is in the pre-Rick Carlisle stage. They’re poised for another run”.

This team is far from another run, unless the new CBA allows for them to not only dump a bad contract (via Amnesty Clause in the last CBA) but also to trade bad contracts to another team to clear cap space. A single player base of rookie sensation Greg Monroe is a strong start to build around. Monroe has shown that he truly does have the heart of a Piston and is willing to do whatever the team needs him to do to win.

Frank is a safe choice to be the next Head Coach of the Pistons. We’ve all read the negative things about him: “He lost the team in New Jersey” or “his last year started off 0-16″ or “He’s not as good as his 13-0 start” or “he should’ve gotten more out of that Nets team that featured Vince Carter, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson”. Frank will give this team the stability it has lacked in the Head Coaching position for the last 6 seasons because of his demeanor, work ethic, relative youth, and experience in dealing with the attitudes that come along with “entitled” athletes.

When defense is the key to the Suns victory and their key player is Jared Dudley, those facts alone can probably tell the story about how the Pistons performed. Dudley, who had 19 points in the second quarter, helped the Suns go on a 22-4 in the second to make the rest of the game an uphill battle for Detroit.

Key Points:

  • The Suns made a point of trapping Tracy McGrady, who started as the Pistons point guard, making it difficult for him to run the offense for the Pistons.
  • Rip knocked down a 3-pointer that brought the Pistons within 4 points with 9 minutes left before the half, but backup point guard Dragic answered with his own and started the the Suns on a 14-2 run. Rip finished the game with just 5 points and a -30 (+/-) on the night.
  • Late in the fourth DaJuan Summers got some court time which resulted in a little scrum with Grant Hill that resulted in a double technical foul.
  • Do you realize that the Pistons have the highest scoring bench in the league.
  • You would have thought Kuester could have made some adjustments to stop the runs the Suns went on as well as the trouble the Pistons were having with the defense.
  • Charlie V with 10 points and 3 boards in 25 minutes.

Photo/Getty Images editing

  • Even before this game the question was, how can they beat a team like Boston and struggle with a team on the ropes like the Suns, who were on a four game losing streak and was getting used to their new players acquired by the trade.
  • Sad stat, the Pistons are winless in 12 games when trailing after three quarters.
  • Detroit was led by Ben Gordon with 19 on 8-19 shooting, with 6 boards, and 3 assists in 41 minutes on the floor.
  • The first half was a turnover festival for the Pistons. 14 on the night for Detroit, 5 coming from T-mac thanks to the Suns defense.
  • Chris Wilcox left the game with a groin pull and didn’t return.
  • Play Daye, 9 points and 8 boards in 20 minutes.
  • Surprised Monroe didn’t get more than 13 minutes.

Kuester: “We’ve got to have a different mindset when we go on the road. We’ve got to have that toughness that we talk about continually.”

  • Highlights of the game via

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  • Prince with 12 points on 2-for-10 shooting.
  • 12-27 from downtown for Phoenix.
  • Stuckey didn’t make the trip to Phoenix, but the Pistons are hoping his stomach virus will be better enough for him to catch up with the team on the rest of their road trip.
  • DNP for Jason Maxiell.
  • You would think that Detroit would have made this a game when the Suns best player Steve Nash has just 2 assists and 7 points.
  • Truly tough to watch, lets hope the New Year doesn’t continue this way for Detroit.
  • Don’t forget your January Schedule Wallpaper featuring Tracy McGrady.