Tag: Lawrence Frank

Vinny Del Negro

If Doc is out, who is in for Celtics? Maybe Del Negro, Frank


There is once again momentum to the idea that Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett (then later likely Paul Pierce) are headed to the Clippers. It may or may not happen, but a smart GM like Danny Ainge has to start planning for any eventuality.

So, if Doc Rivers is gone from the bench in Boston, who is in?

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com threw out the first names.

Those names are not likely to thrill Celtics fans.

They are also very different kinds of coaches and you have to wonder if either are really the kind of skill development guys who can help a rebuilding team (which the Celtics would be if they start trading the big three and Doc out).

Del Negro is not known as an Xs and Os guy — he relies heavily on pick-and-roll plays, some other standard NBA sets and a variety of defensive looks — and is more about motivation. He runs a system where he wants the leaders on the court to make the calls much of the time. With the Clippers last year, where Chris Paul was making the decisions, that led to 56 wins and a division title. But don’t think Del Negro was beloved in the locker room at all.

Franks is an old-school, grinding guy who loves the Xs and Os. He had seven seasons and saw some success with the Nets (on teams with Richard Jefferson, Kenyon Martin and Jason Kidd) then spent the last two seasons in Detroit where there were questions about his player development skills. Frank was an assistant with the Celtics.

Frank is also the guy the Nets are targeting to be the lead assistant to Kidd there. Obviously, he will hold them at arm’s length until he sees if he can land a seat in the big chair.

Something to watch, I think a lot of coaches would love to jump in to the prestigious Boston job, but it is a rebuilding gig.

In shock to nobody, Lawrence Frank fired in Detroit

Lawrence Frank

I officially got off the “Lawrence Frank knows how to build a team” train earlier this season, when Andre Drummond was showing real promise but was being held back so Jason Maxiell could get more minutes. Despite what owner Tom Gores thought, this was not a playoff team, it was a team that needed to take its lumps and learn.

The Pistons are off the Lawrence Frank train as well, or maybe more accurately he was tossed from the Pistons’ train.

As had been expected after a 29-win season (and a 25-win before that), the Pistons fired Frank on Thursday, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

A meeting Thursday with Pistons owner Tom Gores finally confirmed Frank’s ouster, after Gores offered very tepid public support of his coach when speaking to local reporters earlier this week. Frank was believed to be largely Gores’ choice to replace John Kuester in the summer of 2011, although NBA coaching sources maintain that Pistons president Joe Dumars preferred current Knicks coach Mike Woodson for the job.

The Pistons will confirm this later in the day. Wherever Frank is next season he will still get the $3.7 million the Pistons owe him in salary.

Frank looked like a guy trying to assert some control and save face when he told Gores recently that the team needed to pick up the option year on his contract or not bring him back. Everyone knew this day was coming.

The question is what direction the Pistons go now. For a young team a young coach coming up — Brian Shaw out of Indiana, for example — would be a good fit. But we’ll see what direction an owner who expects to make the playoffs next season chooses to go.

Players questioning Lawrence Frank’s rotations in Detroit


Nobody really expected the Detroit Pistons to be all that good this year — this is a rebuilding team trying to grow and see what they really have with players like Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Andre Drummond and more.

But they haven’t lived up to even those low expectations — they are bottom seven in the league in offensive and defensive efficiency, and after starting the season 0-8 their next two losses came to the lowly Orlando Magic (they gave up a 21-0 run to the Magic in the second game of that series).

Coach Lawrence Frank is playing around with his rotations trying to find something that works, but all that experimentation has players frustrated. Look at what Will Bynum told the Detroit Free Press.

“I’m having to adjust to everybody. I’m playing with so many different people. First I go from not playing with (Rodney) Stuckey to playing with Stuckey every day. I go from playing with Kyle all the time to never playing with Kyle. I’m playing with Tayshaun (Prince). Early on I was playing with Brandon (Knight) and I never played with him in two years since I’ve been here. It’s all over the place right now.”

Veteran Tayshaun Prince was a little more guarded and talked about the Magic’s 21-0 run, but you guess what he is saying.

“Energy ain’t the only thing,” Prince said. “That isn’t my decision, but we need to figure out some things to do when teams are making runs to get us a good opportunity at the rim or the foul line.”

Joe Dumars and the Detroit front office have to be asking themselves if Lawrence Frank is the guy who can help this team through rebuilding. Because the players seem to be asking that.

2012 NBA Draft: The lottery bigs and their musical chairs

Final Four - Louisville v Kentucky

Well, Anthony Davis is No.1 and Thomas Robinson will go in the top five. That’s a pretty good start for the bigs in the 2012 NBA draft. After that, things get really interesting. Of the top bigs: Andre Drummond, Jared Sullinger, John Henson, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Perry Jones, and if you want to throw him in, Terrence Jones (I think Jones will play more 3 in the league), there’s really no way to determine in what order they’ll definitely go.

We know a few things.

  • Drummond is the most coveted big outside of Davis, and at the same time the biggest risk. He has immense athleticism to go with his size, but is severely lacking in the skills department and there are huge questions about his mindset and attitude.
  • Henson has no such question marks, but doesn’t have the same raw ability. He is more polished, however, and could immediately contribute.
  • Leonard has excellent size and slightly more skills than Drummond, but falls behind in the athleticism department.
  • Zeller is a player scouts absolutely love, but because of his play style and athleticism, is not going to jump to the front.
  • Perry Jones could be a Hall of Famer or could be out of the league in three years and neither would surprise me.
  • Sullinger has the best mindset and approach of any big, is extremely smart and coachable. But the back is a question mark. More importantly, though, his defensive lateral speed is a huge issue.

Chad Ford has more on Drummond’s situation and how he could go top five or slide, and where it might stop:

Right now, sources say Leonard and Henson are the two leading candidates in the group. Sullinger has slid on the Pistons’ draft board since the team saw his draft combine physical. Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie is also in the running for the No. 9 pick; however, he’s more of a long shot. He worked out earlier with the Pistons.

The winner of the workout could very well be the ninth pick if UConn big man Andre Drummond doesn’t fall to Detroit.

The Pistons are hoping Drummond does fall, and there are scenarios where they could get their wish. Right now it doesn’t look like Drummond has a home inside the top five. Sources say he’s struggled in workouts and hasn’t gotten strong feedback from teams. The Blazers are a real possibility at six.

via 2012 NBA Draft – Royce White may have a draft promise, plus rumors – ESPN.

The Pistons would be really set with Henson. A super-long rebounder with a bit of a mid-range game (his jumper is underrated), he would fit perfectly with Greg Monroe and set the Pistons up with a terrific core for the future. Drummond… on the list of coaches to try and crack that nut, Lawrence Frank seems like a bit of a gamble, given his tougher, professional approach. Is Frank going to nurture him the way he may need to? No, because most coaches won’t do that. This is the NBA. That’s the problem with Drummond.

There’s also talk from the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the Hornets could use the tenth pick on Zeller. The best case scenario may honestly be for the Pistons to bypass Drummond, take Henson, and Drummond falls to New Orleans. Monty Williams could likely connect with Drummond and build one of the best defensive frontcourts of the past 20 years with Davis and Drummond as anchors.

Leonard has risen meteorically based off his size. You can tell the lack of quality centers in the league with this run on guys without much in the way of go-to post moves.

Honestly, there’s no telling how those players shake out. We know Drummond likely won’t fall past six to Portland, definitely won’t fall past nine. We know Henson is unlikely to slip out of the top ten, and will likely go before Zeller. We know Zeller’s a value pick, and that Leonard is probably going to get snagged top 12. Everything else is liquid.

NBA Season Preview: Detroit Pistons

Newly hired Detroit Pistons head coach Frank speaks with media as Pistons President Dumars listens during news conference in Auburn Hills, Michigan

2010-11 record: 30-52

Head Coach: Lawrence Frank (in his first year, replacing the disaster that was John Kuester).

Key Departures: Richard Hamilton, Tracy McGrady

Key Additions: Damien Wilkins, Kareem Rush

Best-Case Scenario: Lawrence Frank injects a sense of purpose into the Pistons. Rodney Stuckey re-finds his game. Ben Gordon becomes one of the league’s deadliest scorers again. Charlie Villanueva shows why the Pistons pay him as much as they do. Jonas Jerebko returns from injury to give the team a boost of energy. The team keeps itself in the running for the 8th playoff spot for much of the year.

More Likely Scenario: The Pistons will continue to be a team with no defensive identity, no superstar on offense, and no clear offensive flow. The team aimlessly wanders through the season, winning just enough games to not embarass themselves but never seriously competing for a playoff spot.

Prediction: 24-27 wins