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Why do Lawrence Frank teams start seasons so slowly?

Lawrence Frank is articulate, his belief in defense, his openness to advanced stats, his communication skills and the work it must’ve took for him to even become a NBA head coach considering he had no playing experience at the pro or college level is a testament to how passionate he is. But despite all of those good qualities, he’s the owner of a weird trend in his career. Check out how his teams have started through the first 20 games of each full season he’s been a head coach:

  • 2011-12 Detroit Pistons: 4-16
  • 2009-10 New Jersey Nets: 1-19* (Note: Frank was fired after the team’s 0-16 start, but since he coached that team out of training camp, he’ll take the … uh … credit? I guess? for that 20-game start)
  • 2008-09 New Jersey Nets: 11-9
  • 2007-08 New Jersey Nets: 9-11
  • 2006-07 New Jersey Nets: 8-12
  • 2005-06 New Jersey Nets: 9-11
  • 2004-05 New Jersey Nets: 7-13

That’s an underwhelming 49-91 record (.350 winning percentage) combined in the first 20 games of each season he’s started a year as a team’s head coach. This year, with the Pistons at 0-7 , obviously that negative trend is continuing. It’s obviously troubling, but it’s not a complete reflection on Frank as a coach — if it was, Frank wouldn’t be on his second head coaching job. I do think it’s a fair question to ask, though. Why do Frank’s teams, even some of his good teams in New Jersey, get off to sluggish or, in a couple of cases, downright awful starts? Here are some theories:

He believes in ‘earning’ minutes, but it doesn’t mean what we think it does

That’s a common talking point among coaches. It sounds simple enough — you reward the players who work the hardest and who make the fewest mistakes, regardless of talent. Frank seems to be patient in this approach, via Dave Pemberton of The Oakland Press:

“No numerical goals,” Frank said. “Our goals are literally brick by brick. ‘Did we get better today?’ If we did, we add a brick. If we didn’t, we don’t. If we got worse, we’ll take one away. We are giving a physical representation of the effort that is required in order to get better.

“I think if your habits are … better than your opponent the wins will take care of themselves. But if you’re cheating the process, you’re taking shortcuts, if you’re not doing things and preparing in a championship way then you’ll also have to suffer those consequences as well.

“I’ve never talked playoffs ever. Even with teams that were predicted to go deep or even some teams that were predicted to go to the finals. To me, it’s all about the process. I don’t get into predictions. I just get into our habits every single day. I believe if you make today count and your true to the process then those thing will take care of themselves.”

I think most fans have assumed that Frank’s insistence on playing veterans like Jason Maxiell and Tayshaun Prince at the expense of young players this season, or playing players like Prince, Ben Wallace and Damien Wilkins over younger guys last season, is that he thinks the more predictable veterans will lead to more wins. I’m not convinced, though. Frank understands the game at the NBA level better than anyone writing for or likely anyone reading this site. You can’t convince me that Frank looks at a freak of nature athlete who can do things in his sleep that only one or two others on the planet can do like Andre Drummond and says, “Well, I think Maxiell gives us a better chance to win.” Even a person without any kind of basketball knowledge can look at the two players and know that Drummond is the more talented player. I truly believe Frank believes in the vague ‘process’ he always alludes to, and part of that ‘process’ is consistent habits on a daily basis in practice and games. So a more experienced, professional player like Maxiell, who obviously got himself into good shape, worked on his game and is playing for another NBA contract, probably has pretty consistent daily work habits. A 19-year-old guy like Drummond who is in what is really his first serious job likely hasn’t figured out how to have consistent daily habits yet because he simply hasn’t had to. So if it’s obvious to everyone watching the games that Drummond is better based on watching only the games, I think that’s fairly clear evidence Frank is willing to sacrifice wins to try to convince a young player of the importance of preparation. It’s important to remember that coaches and management are looking at a bigger picture than we are. We see a few Drummond highlights and crave more. But if we were watching Maxiell eat Drummond’s lunch in practice every day — not saying that is happening, but who knows? — we might have a different perception of his readiness to be a consistent contributor.

When we hear ‘earning minutes,’ we look at what Drummond has done in games and the potential he offers long-term and say, ‘Well, that’s it. He’s earned them.’ For coaches, particularly coaches of bad teams, I’m not sure we can assume they draw the same conclusions that we do because they see a much larger picture of what is going on.

He lets young players play through mistakes if they play hard

Brandon Knight is exhibit A here. Knight had one of the highest turnover percentages among starting point guards last season and one of the lowest assist percentages. He didn’t play great defense, he didn’t shoot a good percentage and he didn’t get to the free throw line much. But, by all accounts, Knight is incredibly mature and hard-working for his age. He does seem to have consistently good habits off the court when it comes to putting in the time necessary to improve. As a result, Knight played as large a role as any rookie in the league. He was able to play through mistakes likely because his effort and his practice habits were always at a high level even if his production in games was not.

When Frank was hired, Justin Rogers of MLive pointed out that young players Devin Harris and Brook Lopez both played large roles:

Harris’ role expanded in the Nets’ offense and he flourished under Frank. In 2008-09, the only full season Frank coached Harris, the point guard posted career-highs in minutes, scoring, free-throw attempts, rebounds, assists and steals.

In the two years since, Harris’ numbers have not approached the numbers he posted that season.

Frank also had success with rookie big man Brook Lopez that season. In his first season in the league, Lopez posted respectable averages of 13.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 30.5 minutes.

Obviously Lopez has continued to improve since Frank’s departure, but it should be noted that he posted career-best numbers in shooting percentage, shot blocking and rebounding rate in the one year under Frank’s tutelage.

Even on some of those better New Jersey teams, young players like Nenad Krstic and Zoran Planinic, who were both 21 in their first seasons in the league, saw consistent action as reserves.

There are certainly coaches out there who will always play veterans over young players despite evidence that the young players might be better. We’ve seen a couple of the worst offenders here in Larry Brown and Flip Saunders, who have both been consistently bad at playing and developing talented young players in their careers. I don’t think it’s fair to portray Frank that way, though. He has shown a willingness to play young players over veterans, provided they meet his high standards for being prepared. That’s not a defense of what he’s done with Drummond this season, but I think it’s important to understand that he’s also not some rigid old curmudgeon of a coach. If a young player earns his trust, he’ll play him, and hopefully Drummond is arriving at that point, even if it should’ve happened a few weeks ago,

His teams get better as the season goes on

Here’s a look at the final 20 games in each of his seasons as a coach:

  • 2011-12 Detroit Pistons: 9-11
  • 2008-09 New Jersey Nets: 7-13
  • 2007-08 New Jersey Nets: 8-12
  • 2006-07 New Jersey Nets: 13-7
  • 2005-06 New Jersey Nets: 15-5
  • 2004-05 New Jersey Nets: 15-5

A few of those records are still underwhelming, but, particularly last season, also represent modest improvements considering the poor starts the teams had. At the very least, it represents a possibility that Frank’s teams begin to buy in more to what he wants, learn his offensive and defensive systems and have more success as the season goes on. We watched firsthand last season. The Pistons at the start looked like they’d threaten for the worst record in the NBA. They obviously weren’t that bad. They were a .500 team for more than a month to end the season. They obviously weren’t that good, based on the start this season. But as long as the team continues to be receptive to Frank — and so far, there has been no evidence of discontent with the coach except for a very minor passive aggressive complaint from the usual suspect — it’s a good bet that the Pistons will look significantly better, including their developing young players, by the time this season is over.

69 Comments

  • Nov 12, 20129:33 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Excellent post. It helps to have such an insight into what might be going on in Frank’s head. The lack of Drummond-Monroe pairing is still both troubling and inexplicable. But a reminder of how Harris and Lopez fared under him is reassuring.

    • Nov 12, 201211:08 am
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I second that. Great analysis.

    • Nov 12, 20121:58 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Agreed. If it takes some sacrificing of Drummond’s minutes and Piston wins early on in a throwaway season to establish good long-term habits that eventually help Drummond push his ceiling, I am all for a prolonged approach. 

  • Nov 12, 20129:33 am
    by revken

    Reply

    Very thoughtful analysis – especially when you know you’re going to get “FIRE THE COACH” comments in response to what was a thoughtful consideration of the issues.  While coaches aren’t perfect, they are seeing a larger picture than us fans.  As much as we care about the team, Frank has much more at stake in its success than we do.  Glad to see he has a history of developing his young players.  People forget that Prince couldn’t get off the bench as a rookie even though the starter was Michael Curry under Coach Carlisle.  As for Drummond’s playing time, it should be noted that through the first 18 games of his rookie year, Monroe averaged under 18 minutes per game.  Andre is already at 16 mpg, so I say we should give it some time.  The main reason we’re doing so bad is that we’ve got a starting SG who is off to his worst start ever.  If he gets back to even his career averages, we’ll win some games.

    • Nov 12, 201211:08 am
      by I DISAGREE

      Reply

      ” As for Drummond’s playing time, it should be noted that through the first 18 games of his rookie year, Monroe averaged under 18 minutes per game.  Andre is already at 16 mpg, so I say we should give it some time.”

      True…but he ended up starting like 50 games… and before the all-star break he was averaging 25 minutes per-game, and 33 minutes after the all-star break…

      MINUS A COACH TALKING ABOUT THE PROCESS… Imagine if Franks was the Head Coach with that Roster …. Because of Maxiell, Wilcox and BEN WALLACE!!!…The PROCESS would have kept a non- Defensive big man like on the bench….

      Never thought I’d say it …But Thank GOD for Kuester …. 

      • Nov 12, 201211:46 am
        by jerrific

        Reply

        and you know Drummond will not see a similar increase in minutes because?
         

        • Nov 12, 201212:20 pm
          by I DISAGREE

          Reply

          im not saying he wont, but the comments from the coach isnt reassuring

      • Nov 12, 20121:47 pm
        by revken

        Reply

        Monroe got the starting job his rookie year when Ben Wallace got hurt, so that was also a factor in Monroe’s minutes.  I think all of us want to see Drummond play more, but it’s not like he’s been riding the bench.  Through 7 games he’s 8th in minutes played, which makes him a key reserve.  He’s the backup center – so he’s outplayed and out-practiced a more experienced guy in Kravtsov.  Now if we get into December and don’t see his minutes rising, I’ll be more concerned.  Whether that will be his fault or Frank’s will depend on how he’s playing.  Singler is also playing major minutes, though I’m sure the injury to Maggette has affected that.  But we don’t have a coach who is unwilling to play rookies, just one that has high expectations of them.  I’m okay with that.

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  • Nov 12, 201210:09 am
    by Brendon Crew

    Reply

    I wish we could hire Phil Jackson…

    • Nov 12, 201210:22 am
      by I DISAGREE

      Reply

      we need a coach that can motivate young players…. look at your team….Phil would be great if we had a clear superstar….

    • Nov 12, 201212:01 pm
      by PISSED-ON!

      Reply

      Yeah thats true we need a motivator! but Phil would not come here unless he has full control of the team like he wanted with the lakers plus we cant afford him. I think one of his deciples would work like a Brian Shaw or a Kirk Rambus but keep in mind the Triangle offense takes a while to learn it might take another bad year to get it right but once they learn… watch out! they could be the best team in the east.

  • Nov 12, 201210:17 am
    by Domnick

    Reply

    who is the suspect? — Stuckey or Prince?

  • Nov 12, 201210:20 am
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    First I want to say this is a GREAT piece of writing…. very insightful….

    But when you know the Process hasnt worked or isnt working…When do you as a coach say…This isnt working?

    Maxiell  playing for a contract is not motivating for the future of the team, nor is it encouraging….especially when it affects Drummonds development….

    Lets reverse back to the low expectations for Drummond to start with, no one thought he would be this ready so soon . He  start slow in the Summer league but got better and Better, during the pre-season he had us all excited with his play, and during the season he has shown the ability to impact the game…. I cant believe that practice is an issue… because of his rapid improvement

     

  • Nov 12, 201210:32 am
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    Laker Nation have gone into Depression because they Hired Mike D’antoni…. but if the Pistons had hired him we would have been dancing for JOY!

  • Nov 12, 201211:22 am
    by Al

    Reply

    Nice article and good insight about Frank. These guys put in so much work this off season its hard to understand how they can be so non-competetive in most of the 7gms so far this season. Now understandably their schedule to start the season would have been tough for any non contending team to deal with. But I have to ask is Frank the answer here in Detroit and can he get every ounce of effort from the current roster we have on the Pistons?!?!

  • Nov 12, 201211:25 am
    by matt

    Reply

    Yeah, this is a great post. I don’t think that fans should blindly accept everything they are told, but sometimes you have to figure that coaches and managers know things that we don’t.

    I’d bet my lunch money that Drummond is not bringing it every day in practice. Just because he probably doesn’t realize what that means. Could L-Frank come right out and say that? It would kill the kid’s confidence. 

    This team isn’t winning anything this year. Probably not next year either. Let’s stay the course and give a coach some time to build a culture. 

  • Nov 12, 201211:39 am
    by 19880607

    Reply

    I thought this was an excellent piece Patrick. It reminded me of an interview I read years ago with another process oriented coach, Larry Brown, in which he lamented that all his teams tended to start out seasons slowly. I believe his Pistons in ’04-’05 played barely .500 ball through mid December (injury free) and they still ended up in the finals. I’m not saying this years Pistons are in the same class, I’m merely pointing out that anyone who takes a process approach to basketball or anything else for that matter is going to be more willing to accept the cost of early failures if they see it contributing to later success. I can’t explain why a process approach should consistently result in early failure, I just know that being process oriented myself, I have never found early failure particularly daunting.

  • Nov 12, 201211:45 am
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Ive been out of the loop at bit during this trip, Ive only watched the opener and the Sacramento game.   I havent been able to make any comments since Ive only watched 2 games but I think everything is on plan to expand Drummonds minutes.
    We should have won at least 2-3 games by now.   I am getting a little panicky because I have read that Stuckey hasnt had any good games.  The Pistons have hitched their wagon to him and he is supposed to pull us through this.   Single-handedly he should have and could have gotten us 2 victories if he played a bit better.   Its still early but it looks as if they playoffs are out of the question, so the only thing left is are the young guys getting better?  Someone has to break out (Drummond, Knight) over the next 10-15 games and start carrying us for significant stretches. 

  • Nov 12, 201211:57 am
    by picknroll

    Reply

    Excellent article………I think Lawrence Frank is a fine coach!  We all want instant results and it just doesn’t happen that way!  Enjoy the PP website articles!

  • Nov 12, 201211:59 am
    by I DISAGREE

    Reply

    It bothers me that because no one can figure out why Drummond isnt playing more…So NOW everyone is saying maybe Drummond isnt practicing “Harder” Than Maxiell…

    Thats the difference between a vet fighting for him lively hood, verse a Rookie who is just excited about playing NBA basketball…

    after this year..Maxiell NEVER STARTS AGAIN!…. that says alot…
     

  • Nov 12, 201212:11 pm
    by PISSED-ON!

    Reply

    Good write up, but from what I see you cannot start out slow and play superman to catch up in the season to try to make the playoffs. I dont know his strategey to this but he has to change the way he starts out thats not winning basketball.

    • Nov 12, 201212:28 pm
      by I DISAGREE

      Reply

      Not Only that….

      But this is pretty much the SAME ROSTER that went 21-21 minus ben gordon and Ben Wallace (who has a limited role)

      You can argue this team is more talented than last year team…we didnt have a Singler or English that could come off the bench and knock down the 3 ball…we didn’t have a athletic big available to use…Knight was a Rookie…Greg was only a 2 year player…..

      this team is better than last year team, but the coach is the same, and start is the same

      So a slow start just to turn it on mid way through the season just to play 500. basketball is not good…

      Everyone should have higher expectations…. 

  • Nov 12, 201212:21 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Great nuanced post!   One thing though; I would think it is Monroe and not Maxiell who might be cleaning Drummond’s clock in practice since Monroe would be the A team center and Drummond the B team center.   At this stage Monroe should be consistently getting the better of Drummond and it’s a very high bar to expect any rookie to look great in practice when matched up against a team’s best player.  

    • Nov 12, 20123:21 pm
      by D_S_V

      Reply

      Good point on the practice matchups. If he divides em liked he does the game it’s probably 90% of the time against Monroe.  

  • Nov 12, 201212:35 pm
    by YesSir

    Reply

    HELLO U PLAY TO WIN THE GAME HELLO. YOU ARE WHAT YOUR RECORD SAYS YOU ARE. Can Frank out coach Thibodeau or Rivers or Woodson hey im not happy he got out coached by sampson a back up in houston 0-7 really cmon man. Is he great or good because that is the difference of winning a ship as rasheed would say i want the ship man.

  • Nov 12, 20121:02 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    the problem is that frank’s history is that he teams have horrendous starts and they ultimately improve to have mediocre seasons.
    it is not as though his teams have a history of scuffling around during the regular season and then turning it on at the end of the year and on into the playoffs.
    popovich’s teams are notorious for regular season ups and downs as he experiments with various line ups and gives players rest, strategically,, throughout the season.
    but his post season record speaks for itself.
    frank, on the other hand, fiddles around in ways that are incomprehensible. he does not experiment, but rather stubbornly clings to schemes and line ups that are not working.  and then, his teams muddle their way to a mediocre finish.
    not exactly this fan’s idea of a fun team to watch. 

  • Nov 12, 20121:14 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    to paraphrase denny green, frank is who we thought he was.
    a mediocre coach.
    i have to laugh at some of the local bloggers who fancy themselves stats geeks  who go on about efficiency and numbers when they talk about players, but then become curiously silent or inarticulate when anyone talks about frank in those same ways.   all of a sudden the clear, irrefutable logic of the numbers and stats just don’t mean all that much.  despite the evidence to the contrary, frank is really a good, a fine coach, and he was a good hire by dumars.
    by any measure, frank is not the “fine” coach he’s been touted as, but he is simply your garden variety mediocre nba coach.  his record says that he is a little below average.
    he is, however, a guy who has learned to sell himself, and his ideas – obviously, considering his career path – and he probably works his tail off.
    those talents, however, say nothing about a coach’s readiness to take a team to a title.
    also, an examination of frank’s style screams bobby knight disciple.  there are reasons that no knight disciple, despite knight’s long college career, has ever won an nba title, and reasons why no knight disciple has ever had great success in the nba.  in fact, i believe – and i could be wrong and if i am, someone please correct me – that mike woodson is probably the knight disciple who’s had the most success in the nba. 
    obviously, that aint saying much.   and any team that is depending on a coach who employs knight methods at the nba level is going to wait a long time for successs.

    • Nov 12, 20121:25 pm
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      Well frankie, Im going to give it another 10 games or so but Im coming around to your line of thinking.  I argued with you about it last year because it was a shortened season with no training camp. Frank was new to us and trying to establish something.  However its year 2 and these things should have been addressed already.   But I can see the pattern as well, even though ive only been able to see 2 games.  I have just like everyone else cannot understand why Drummond and Monroe cant be on the floor at the same time.  Its inexplicable.  It is Knightesque.  I will probably not agree with your delivery but I am getting your message.  Maybe we will get along this year?

    • Nov 12, 20121:27 pm
      by rick

      Reply

      As much as we argued in the past I have to say that I agree with this assessment.

    • Nov 12, 20121:56 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      @Frankie D     Only a handful of working coaches can definitely say they have had greater overall success at the NBA level than Knight’s disciples since only a handful of working NBA coaches have actually won a title or have even made the finals–only Rivers, Pop, Spoelstra and Carlisle have won a ring amongst current coaches.  In fact, only 30 coaches have won a ring in all of history and, in my belief, their rosters had about 10,000 more times the impact than whoever mentored them–Spoelstra’s title last year doesn’t suddenly make me think he’s a great coach or even a good one.
      On the other hand, it is impressive for any college coach to even have multiple disciples who have had any success whatsoever in the NBA so I don’t really get your point at all.   The sample size regarding the argument that a Knight disciple can’t lead a team to an NBA title is just too small to draw any legitimate conclusions and the notion that a given coach’s ceiling is capped by who their mentor was ignores the notion that an individual’s latent talent and abilities can wholly transcend and surpass whoever their mentor or influences were in the first place.

      • Nov 12, 20122:06 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Also, Jackson, Auerbach, Riley, Kundla and Pop account for a whopping 34 of 66 NBA titles and the the other 25 coaches who won account for the remaining 32 titles. 

      • Nov 12, 20124:26 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        @ max,
        agreed that nba titles are rare gems.  i would argue, however, that the dean smith school of coaching, whose lineage includes the likes of larry brown and george karl and popovich – he has a direct connection to larry brown – has been extremely successful.
        brown and pop have titles, karl and others have won lots of games.
        in fact, if you were to compare coaches who came from both lines, i think the numbers – wins, losses – would be extremely lopsided in favor of coaches who come from dean smith’s coaching tree.
        my humble theory is that smith is a coach who primarily works through establishing personal relationships with his players and using that relationship to build team unity and character.  knight is a guy who simply believes in his systems and he has typically coached as though players were fungible.  
        i think coaches who essentially follow their mentor’s example – like frank and knight; brown and dean smith – follow those very rough ways of approaching their jobs, during their nba coaching careers. 
        i am a huge bobby knight fan.  as a college coach.  ( knight coached the very best BB team i have ever seen, knight’s ’77  ncaa title team.)
        i think it is problematic to bring that same approach to the nba level and i always think the smith approach will be ultimately more successful. 

        • Nov 12, 20124:47 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          I understand what you are saying a little better now but I still don’t think it’s useful to pigeonhole coaches or cap their potential based upon who mentored them.   Brown and Pop for example come from the same line and I could probably draw several dozens of stark differences in their style. 

          • Nov 12, 20125:39 pm
            by frankie d

            sure, each coach is his own person with his own style, but i do think you see certain similarities in the pop and larry brown styles.  imho, both brown and popovich favor fairly simple schemes that rely on great execution.   brown’s pistons didn’t do anything fancy both they just did it well enough to win.  same thing with most of brown’s teams.
            frankly, watching this year’s pistons, i’m watching what the team is doing, especially offensively, and just hoping that they would simplify matters.  instead of doing a few things that cater to the player’s strengths, the team is doing a bunch of stuff that often takes the players out of their best areas.  
            for example, i see no reason to ever have stuckey spotting up for 3 pointers.  if he has to take that shot, at times, fine.  but to run plays that specifically set him up for a spot up 3 pointer.
            just plain dumb, imho.
            and often, monroe receives the ball at the elbow of the lane, looking to create offense, but most times, it’s after the shot clock has run down to 6 or 7 seconds or less.  why not just get the ball to him, let him execute and run the offense through him, initially, without a whole series of picks and passes that get you to that simple point.

            especially for this team, simple would be better. 

  • Nov 12, 20121:17 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    If this analysis is correct then the Pistons are much further behind in rebuilding than I originally thought.  This ultimately points to the fact that we dont have enough talent to win games, but I thought we could be 3-4 games below .500 and make a push after the rookies figured it out.  I do have a problem with the players though.  They obviously did not get the message last year.  I think its crystallized this year.  It looks as if the season will be sacrificed so that the work ethic culture is fully established.  Its going to be a tough season to watch.  My rose colored glasses have just been pimp smacked off of my face. 
     

  • Nov 12, 20121:31 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    I have a BIG PROBLEM with this statement,
    “I’ve never talked playoffs ever. Even with teams that were predicted to go deep or even some teams that were predicted to go to the finals.
    Teams that win Championships talk about playoffs talk about championships. they may good about not talking about it to the public or during the season. But they talk about it.
    It was out of the question not to talk about it with the Bad Boys or the Going to Work Crew.
    When you talk about it you put accountability on yourself and your players.
    With that, the reason for his slow starts is because he’s not a good coach. He talks a good game and he is a very hard worker but he has no experience. Looks like he’ll get it with us as long as we keep him coaching this team. Right know we’re developing a team and a coach at the same time. GO PISTONS 

    • Nov 12, 20124:12 pm
      by rick

      Reply

      Thanks Mel, apparently Max did not read the entire article. Youca get away with that logic in college but in the pros I thought the overall goal was to win. Whether it be with young players or old, the idea remains to win. Somewhere along the line Frank forgot about that.

      • Nov 12, 20124:44 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Huh?……I read the article and didn’t even defend Frank.   I just attacked Frankie D’s idea that a Knight disciple is somehow doomed to failure.  It’s a point that he has been making for like a year more or less and I finally felt like addressing it and don’t feel my post regarding the topic had anything to do with the article.   Maybe you are the one who doesn’t read entire posts or understand context. 

        • Nov 12, 20129:38 pm
          by rick

          Reply

          Obviously you didnt go back and read what you said as it pertains to Frank when arguing about Frank and his style. Not bashing you just stated that I didnt think you got contextual aspect of what he was saying. Nothing more or less. No need to get all hissy about nothing.

          • Nov 13, 201212:00 pm
            by Max

            Don’t mean to be hissy but again, huh?  I just reread my post and I didn’t even mention Frank’s name.   My post regarded a general principle and wasn’t even Pistons related.

  • Nov 12, 20121:40 pm
    by Piston87

    Reply

    Good piece.  I fully expect this team to improve as the season goes along and for Drummond’s minutes to continue to expand whether or not he is starting is just not that important to me.  It’s the amount of minutes that are important.  

    In order for them to be as good as they were last year Stuckey has to return to his normal self, which is possible and likely.  If not we’re easily headed for a Top 3 pick this year.

    • Nov 12, 20121:50 pm
      by revken

      Reply

      Agreed.  If Stuckey were playing as usual, we’d probably have a couple wins by now.  If he doesn’t come around, at least getting a high pick would be a good result.

      • Nov 12, 20122:29 pm
        by Screw Stuckey

        Reply

        So Stuckey’s .236 FG% is due to Lawrence Frank’s trend of slow starts? Doesn’t make any sense.

  • Nov 12, 20122:46 pm
    by bob

    Reply

    Hey you fixed your crazy font sizes!!!!!

    Lawrence Frank, as a coach, post Jason Kidd, has a record only a tiny bit north of .350 so don’t act surprised.

    Lawrence Frank has yet to prove anything. 

  • Nov 12, 20122:48 pm
    by bob

    Reply

    See a better analysis is Frank teams with Jason Kidd.  And Frank Teams without Jason Kidd. 

    As in…    maybe he wasn’t the right coach for the job.  

    • Nov 12, 20123:08 pm
      by vic

      Reply

      good point

    • Nov 12, 20126:24 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      what absurd logic. Would Jackson be what he is without MJ/Shaq/Kobe? Pop without Duncan? Coaches, good ones and bad ones, need talent to win. So frank doesn’t get any credit for a team with good talent winning, but he gets all the blame when teams with bad rosters don’t win? Please.

  • Nov 12, 20123:19 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    I think a teaching coach and a process coach is actually good for a young team like the Pistons. 
    But when its time to win, you need an excecution coach – one that wins by making good decisions and changing in the heat of the moment. Even OKC could have won last year with better coaching in the Finals. OKC did their thing with the drafting high talent and the system and culture… but hasn’t won yet.
     
    Laimbeer is waiting:-)
    I think within a couple years we’ll see Laimbeer. Even if Frank takes them into the playoffs next year with his system and a slew of high draft picks, eventually you’ll need a Laimbeer to win it all.

  • Nov 12, 20123:38 pm
    by sebastian

    Reply

    Why do Lawrence Frank teams start seasons so slowly?
    Answer: Because he can’t coach!
    Gores needs to fire this bum, after tonight’s lost to the Thunder, and try like hell to hire Isiah Thomas, as the Head Coach.

    • Nov 12, 20125:30 pm
      by T MC

      Reply

      How about Zeke replacing Joe? He’ll get talent here certainly!
      Then Jerry Sloan or Stan Van Gunfy replacing Frank

  • Nov 12, 20123:53 pm
    by Quin

    Reply

    Whatever goes on in Frank’s head, it’s complete bull. This is the NBA, where Kobe and Lebron are the Kings (in their primes). All the teaching and fundamental crap in the world is worthless against a player who has confidence and drive, and a team that believes in that player. The issue with the Pistons is that they won’t let that attitude thrive in any player. They’re like the father who breeds incompetence through telling the son he can’t handle himself in the real world. That’s college for you. That college coaches for you. The coaches that succeed take a back seat to the talent and drive of the team’s star (or the players’ collective chemistry). But that’s Joe D’s personal issue. Every time a little bit of Isiah shines through in somebody, he stomps it out.

    • Nov 12, 20125:28 pm
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      Ive yet to see anything or any skills resembling Isiah Thomas in a Pistons uniform the last several years.

      • Nov 12, 20127:56 pm
        by Quin

        Reply

        I mean that cockiness. That swagger (I know, I’m tired of that word too). Joe D is the antithesis to the cocky, in-your-face player. But those dudes, even in draft picks, are the ones coming into the league doing something.

  • Nov 12, 20124:05 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    From Schumann’s power rankings:

    “And if you combined the Milwaukee starters with the Cleveland bench, you’d probably have a team worse than the Pistons. ¡Viva el Central Division!” 

    • Nov 12, 20124:20 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Hahaha… that is so depressing. I honestly thought the Pistons would have a shot at the playoffs this season, but I guess that involved Stuckey not missing so many of his. 

  • Nov 12, 20124:28 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Frank has occasionally reminded me of Marinelli at times since we hired him, and this new phrase “Brick by Brick” sounds awfully similar to the legendary “Pound the Rock” mantra.

  • Nov 12, 20124:34 pm
    by Portuguese Piston

    Reply

    Fear Not! We’ll be 13-7 at the end of the first 20 games… LOL

  • Nov 12, 20124:42 pm
    by Carl

    Reply

    Is it baseball season yet?

  • Nov 12, 20125:03 pm
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    I don’t think the Pistons have enough talent. They should get better players. More of them.

  • Nov 12, 20125:09 pm
    by koz

    Reply

    ball don’t lie, bring on Laimbeer

  • Nov 12, 20126:01 pm
    by Trent

    Reply

    Trade Daye and a second rounder for Timothy Mozgov. 

  • Nov 12, 20128:05 pm
    by anotherchris

    Reply

    I like this post.
     
    Lawrence Frank has not yet coached the Detroit Pistons for a full 82 regular season games. Already, somewhat predictably, many fans want to judge him using shortsighted and impatient definitions of success.
     
    The Pistons do not have a good roster. It does not have balance. As pointed out in another thread ‘Unfortunately for Lawrence Frank, his players have a relatively low collective IQ’. Anyone who believed the Pistons had a chance at anything more than 35 wins in the very competitive NBA was dreaming. The greatest coaches could not get these guys to win more than 40 games.
     
    To those unhappy with Andre Drummond’s playing time- I think he has been getting good minutes. He will slowly get more as the season goes on- similar to what happened with Munroe and Knight.
     
    I will concede some dissapointment with the last offseason. Although he has started well, I dont think it is really acceptable to have Will Bynum as your backup PG. I dont think the current players suit each other.

    • Nov 12, 20129:44 pm
      by rick

      Reply

      They may not have the best talent but they have more than enough that they should not be 0-7. No matter how you want to slice it they should not be this bad. They have guys that if they were coached to their abilities that they may stand out but as it is we have a system style coach who believes in his system no matter what. From the words of Katt Williams” You keep trying shit and it dont work and you keep trying shit til it dont work”, when will you realize that you need to adapt yourself to what you have and go from there.  I also think its easier now than the beginning of the season to say that they wot win this amount vs that amount because of what you see. I see a coach who couldnt teach a dog to jump through hoops a much less a pro basketball team to prominence.

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