We’ve known for a week that Lawrence Frank was going to be next coach of the Pistons. Detroit fans are restless about this — they badly wanted Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer to get the gig — but Frank was the guy who blew everyone away during the interview process.
Of course, there was still that little matter of coming to terms on a contract. Well, they reached those terms Friday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
The Detroit Pistons have reached agreement with Lawrence Frank on a four-year contract to become their head coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The fourth season of Frank’s contract is a team option that could become fully guaranteed based on incentives. Frank is expected to sign the contract early next week in Auburn Hills, Mich., where the team plans an introductory news conference.
While the people in Detroit don’t like it, I still think this is a good hire. Frank is a basketball lifer who understands the game, what it takes to rebuild a team (which is what the Pistons must do) and has been in the big seat previously. And before you say he blew that chance, look at what the Nets ownership did to the roster during his tenure — you can’t win without talent. Frank has been an assistant in other places and watched how Doc Rivers interacted with players up close. He has earned another shot.
One other interesting tweet from Woj:
From start of interview process, Frank was clearly Joe Dumars’ choice to replace John Kuester. Ownership agreed. No close second in process.
This is different than earlier reports, which had Mike Woodson as Dumars preferred choice, albeit slightly as he liked Frank also, and new owner Tom Gores preferring Frank. You can take the above comments as truth or post-hiring spin, depending on your mood.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.