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Lawrence Frank puts words in my mouth

Lawrence Frank, via (David Mayo of MLive):

“When you say you’re tanking, if you’re going to say by playing a different player on the bench is tanking,

Hey, I said that. Where are you going with this?

well, that’s a heck of an indictment on that player,” Frank said. “You’re saying that guy’s not worthy of being in the NBA, because that’s what you’re saying.

Wait. What?

I certainly didn’t say anything like that, and I think Frank knows that. When a team is truly trying to win games, some players deserve more minutes than others. That doesn’t mean the players less deserving of minutes don’t belong in the NBA. It just means they don’t deserve big NBA minutes. There’s a clear difference.

I believe Frank expects every player to play hard . I believe Frank expects every player to do his best to help the Pistons win. I believe Frank’s main goal, once he chooses the players to take the court, is guiding them to victory.

But Frank isn’t stupid.

He knows that a lineup that includes Vernon Macklin and Austin Daye is less likely to win than a lineup that includes Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. It’s a form of tanking, not the most egregious form, but a form nonetheless.

12 Comments

  • Apr 20, 20128:04 pm
    by EMan

    Reply

    I don’t know if Franks was intentionally tanking or not, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because as a coach, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Maybe playing Vernon and Austin at the same time may not have been the best, but there were times in previous years when I’m sure we’ve thought, why not play the young guys at the end of the season instead of veterans, since we’re not making the playoffs anyways? Well, he just did and now it’s tanking.

  • Apr 20, 20129:15 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    You can’t simply create a definition of tanking to fit the facts of the last two games. Tanking is a deliberate effort to lose. You’re trying to create a new definition of tanking — i e not doing everything within your power to win. Is it necessary to spell out the difference. One can be done without sacrificing the integrity of the game. The other is simply unethical in my opinion.
     
    The Pistons are not deliberately trying to lose games. They are not trying to accumulate ping pong balls. They do, however, want to get a better read on some of the players on their roster now that they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. If you want to see tanking in action, see Golden State who  sent home their three best players, or Cleveland, who has exiled Kyrie Irving, who recently begged his way back onto the court via twitter.
     
    The story line is just lame.
     

  • Apr 20, 201210:32 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    I agree with Fennis. The Pistons coaching staff & organization are not tanking. It’s rather hypocritical and immature to advocate for giving minutes to the young players to see what they are made of and then say that the Pistons are deliberately tanking by doing so.

    Having the young players earn their playing time by practicing hard should be rewarded, even if they aren’t the best team that Frank could put on the court at the end of the season.

    Calling out the Pistons for tanking when they clearly are not, shows a lack of mature analysis.

  • Apr 21, 201211:11 am
    by DG

    Reply

    Let’s see…the Pistons take the Bulls to overtime and destroy the Cavaliers by more than 30 points, and now they are accused of tanking.  Wouldn’t they have been better served to tank before they had more wins than any of the teams they are trying to tank their way in front of?  The Pistons are at the mercy of other teams winning in order to improve their lottery status.  Chances are they are picking 9th.  But then Monroe 7th when they wanted Cousins and Knight 8th when they wanted Biyombo haven’t been too bad.

    They’ll take the best talent that slips and be fine.  Worst case scenario they end up with Sullinger or Zellers.  Weren’t Pistons fans hoping they’d get Sullinger last year?  Personally I’d prefer the more athletic Zellers.  Last thing the Pistons need is two bigs playing below the rim.

    I also have a suspicion that a couple more guys (like Wroten, Royce and Waiters) will move up in the draft ahead of where the Pistons pick and push somebody like Barnes or Drummond down.  I’d be happy with either one of those guys.

    • Apr 22, 20128:07 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Nobody claims that the Pistons were tanking during those games. It is the ones since that are up for debate.

  • Apr 21, 201211:41 am
    by Ryan P.

    Reply

    It’s interesting….all this tanking talk makes my head hurt.  But I’ll bring up an example..it may or may not be relevant.

    Take Cleveland for example: Lester Hudson, sure he’s not that good but definitely a dangerous scorer hungry for another NBA chance, was not signed for the remainder of the season by the Cavs. This guy had a pretty nice 3 weeks considering he’s already 27 yrs old and has bounced around a bit having just graduated college 3 years ago.   Instead of Cleveland keeping him on for the rest of the  season but not playing him, they just let him go.

    I think it was pretty clear, they feel like trotting out a limited Anthony Parker and Donald Sloan would be better than having Hudson chuck 20 shots a game and maybe get hot and win ya a few more games.  And lately Hudson’s minutes were diminishing as Cleveland knew winning games was not in their best interest. Sure, maybe the Cavs wanted to save a few extra nickels on not signing Hudson for the remaining week or so of the season….or do him a nice favor and let him get signed to a playoff team (which happened).

    But if you read between the lines… they were tanking.

    Basically, if you can read between the lines (let’s face it, not everybody has the mental capacity to do so) you know Detroit didn’t really go out there busting their a$$es the last few tries.  Geez, Minny didn’t have Love, Rubio, Ridnour (or Darko) and still rain train.

  • Apr 21, 20125:10 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    @Travis
     
    This guy Wroten looks pretty good based on the write up at nbadraft.net. I’ve been following draft coverage for several weeks and this is the first I’m hearing of him.

  • Apr 22, 20121:40 am
    by Marc

    Reply

    Dan the Pistons aren’t tanking for the simple fact that they were leading the Cavs by 50 at the end of the third last Tuesday, and almost beat the Bulls. I think they Pistons try to play hard every night and the fact that you say that Wallace is a more valuable or desired piece then Macklin right now. I’m not so sure about that, I don’t think that Macklin is a scrub, does he need seasoning yes, but he is a freak athlete that with the right seasoning and work ethic over the summer, could play a lot like Iman Shumpert of the Knicks next year, with less defense. why not get him time now? But no the Pistons coach isn’t deliberately trying to lose. He is very upset about all the losing along with the coaching staff and players and the margins recently are disappointing. Also, I happen to disagree with the whole tank for Davis thing, if you want him to be a center. He won’t be any good in that position for another three years in the league until he balks up, until then he is gonna get pushed around on the inside, I think he should have stayed at Kentucky and built himself into his body

  • Apr 22, 20122:03 am
    by Marc

    Reply

    @ DG
    Maybe Waiters could move, up, would be floored if Wroten would, talk about tanking, number 1 seed in conference tourney lose to the ten yikes, and Drummond would be a perfect fit for the Pistons, that is the big bodied center they need, I’m not high on Zellers, I’d love to find a way to move up and get T Rob or PJ3. I wonder whether Perry Jones can play center, man that kid can play though. Also MKG, lets hope the lottery balls fall in our favor

  • Apr 22, 20124:01 am
    by alex

    Reply

    Definitely right.  Any team that uses a lineup that isn’t your best the whole 48 minutes of a game, 82 games a season are tanking.  That’s why I can’t believe our five best players aren’t playing 48 minutes a night every game.  After all, decisions to rest players during the game is just giving other teams an opportunity to go against our weak bench players.  Obviously it’s the same scenario to rest one of our better players for an entire night.  Physical reasons be damned; these are professional athletes that should be able to go no matter what.

    • Apr 22, 20124:03 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      @Alex…..I guess the Spurs were tanking during every occasion when they deliberately rested Duncan the past few years,  Popovich must get so frustrated when they win despite his decision to tank.

      • Apr 22, 20124:30 pm
        by alex

        Reply

        @Max,  does the word sarcasm mean anything to you?
         
        You made my point.  I strongly do not think anything the pistons have done recently or in the past few years would be tanking.  At the end of the last three seasons, we have improved our standings and thus decreased our draft position.  It’s insulting to think the pistons have tanked.

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