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Pistons received 2 a.m. text for extra practice later that day

David Mayo of MLive:

Under most NBA circumstances, the Detroit Pistons would have been off Wednesday. But after their Tuesday meltdown, Jason Maxiell conceded that he expected the 2 a.m. text message announcing the team should reconvene in a few hours.

Sure enough, the Pistons were summoned to the practice facility for a noon practice, primarily for the purpose of making sure they bore video witness to their malaise in a 105-82 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"They need to watch it," he said.

"This time of year, whether you’re going to the playoffs or not, normally this is a day off when you have two days," Frank said. "But being embarrassed like we were, we want to watch it, address it, move on and have a great practice tomorrow."

Lawrence Frank, to at least some degree, should be coaching for his job. We don’t know how the Pistons are evaluating Frank, so I can’t say whether he’s meeting their standards. Tom Gores and Joe Dumars might accept the team’s late-season losses, because Frank has given the young players more minutes. Or they might care about winning and only winning.

But it is safe to say Frank losing the players – no matter what other metrics the front office is using – would weigh negatively in his case to return for a third season.

I can’t imagine the players wanted this extra practice. Heck, they didn’t want to play in a game Tuesday. But more than what they want, it’s important what they’ll accept.

Do they still buy into Frank’s plan? Were they attentive during this film session?

Or did they just see it as tedious overkill in an already-lost season? Did the zone out, or worse, develop resentment for Frank?

I’m very interested to see how the Pistons respond against the Raptors tomorrow. Of course, one game will never tell the whole story, but this game might say more than most about Frank.

24 Comments

  • Mar 28, 201311:21 am
    by G

    Reply

    I wonder how that film session went…
    “Hey, Maxiell. See that layup right there? That happened because you were guarding NO ONE” 

  • Mar 28, 201311:47 am
    by tiko

    Reply

    Fire Frank now before he messes up our draft position..

    • Mar 28, 201311:59 am
      by Matt

      Reply

      Most people here seem to think that firing Frank would mess up our draft position…

      • Mar 28, 201312:55 pm
        by Clint in Flint

        Reply

        Do you really want Frank picking your next draft choice? Frank should not only be fired he should give back half his pay for the year. 

        • Mar 28, 20131:23 pm
          by G

          Reply

          GM’s make the final decision on draft picks, not the coach. And what makes you think Frank is a bad talent evaluator? He’s a sub-par HC, but he was pretty solid as an assistant coach. His flaws as a HC have little to do with drafting.

          • Mar 28, 20132:22 pm
            by Clint in Flint

            I just don’t want Frank around. Just my opinion. I much prefer winners.

          • Mar 28, 20133:17 pm
            by Clint in Flint

            Yes GM’s do the picking but coaches have an input. I don’t know if he can evaluate or not and I don’t want to find out the hard way, After the last 2 years there is nothing  to show me that Frank can have any positive effect on this team. I want my Pistons back, the ones that had a swagger and won more games than they lost. 
            I enjoy your posts keep them coming. 

          • Mar 28, 20134:15 pm
            by MIKEYDE248

            Having a bad coach might prevent a free agent from coming here though and they need any advantage they can get.

          • Mar 28, 20134:27 pm
            by G

            Except for some reason players tend to like Frank. It’s pretty rare that a player avoids a team based on the coach. I think in some order they’re looking at the money, teammates, shot at contending, location, and fit before they look at how good the coach is. There are only a couple coaches in the league a player will specifically come to play for, and there’s probably 2 or fewer that a player would specifically avoid. Frank isn’t one of those 2 or fewer.

            Btw, it’s depressing how many of those criteria Detroit falls short on – location, shot, contending, and probably teammates too.

          • Mar 29, 20138:35 am
            by Jeremy

            Clint in Flint – I think that Detroit is the one team where the coach has very little say in who a team drafts/signs. They may be there in the room discussing how they would utilize a player, but Joe (and seemingly even more so Gores) has the final say. Recall that Avery Johnson was rumored to be in the running for the head coaching spot here and Joe decided to not go with him because Avery wanted say in basketball operation decisions.
             
            I am by no means defending Frank and have voiced my opinion on that on here several times.

  • Mar 28, 20131:11 pm
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    As much as I wasn’t on board when they hired Frank, I like it because he being is consistent.  I respect that.  Regardless of standings, you don’t want any player or coach to think that it’s okay not to give effort because “it doesn’t matter now”.

  • Mar 28, 20132:55 pm
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    Frank is in a no win position now.  If he wins, he’s damaging our draft position.  If he loses, he’s lost the team.  I’m not sure what to think.  This year’s team is rather bad, and has had some bad luck.  There have been quite a few injuries this year and losing Drummond definitely affected the team.  Sounds strange I know, as we’re talking about a rookie.  Trading Tay and Daye certainly disrupted things, although it may well be the best thing in the long run.  If we are in fact tanking, LF might be doing just what is desired even though no one can say it.  This team is under new ownership and who knows what the truth is?

    • Mar 28, 20133:07 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Several things suggest Frank is not a great coach, but at the same time Joe D didn’t exactly set him up to win this year. When he traded for Calderon, Dumars didn’t make a move to fill the hole at SF. Then Drummond & Knight went down, which really isn’t anyone’s fault. Put it this way – I don’t think Frank has done enough to LOSE his job just yet.

      • Mar 28, 20133:18 pm
        by Clint in Flint

        Reply

        I do hope your wrong!

    • Mar 28, 20135:06 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I’ve been arguing with G on this for awhile in another thread, but I think the team’s falling apart had pretty much nothing to do with the Calderon/Prince trade. The team had really good health before the trade and since it they’ve reverted to the league norm. The schedule also picked up a bit right after the trade. Those two things started the losing, and once they were clearly out of the playoff race the team seemed to quit on the season. I get the learning new team mates on the fly thing may have had something to do with those first few losses too, but I’d still put that as a distant third behind injuries and tougher schedule. I don’t feel the need to repeat the entire argument here, so let’s just say I’m unconvinced the downgrade at small forward wasn’t mitigated by upgrades elsewhere. I’m just not buying the team actually took a step back because of the trade despite getting a talent upgrade.

      • Mar 29, 20131:35 pm
        by G

        Reply

        Too focused on offense. The Calderon trade represented a downgrade defensively at PG and SF, and a small upgrade at SG.

        I think most of us were expecting Drummond to be starting almost instantly after the trade (which would’ve been like adding another player). I think the trade combined with injuries derailed the season, neither of which is on Frank.

        • Mar 30, 20131:10 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Too focused on defense. The offense off sets that downgrade. Besides, it’s really Drummond going down that caused the defense to collapse, not the Prince trade. I believe this site had a thing not too long ago about why we don’t miss Prince’s defense that much. I also think Calderon’s defense isn’t as bad as most people seem to think. mySynergySports has him giving up .84 points per possession in Detroit, which ranks 132 in the league. Knight is actually up to .86 points per possession, and ranked 175. Part of that is that Knight’s numbers have moved up a bit since moving to shooting guard, and part of it is that I don’t think these numbers are foolproof yet. All that said, Calderon is not a terrible, or even a bad defender. He’s probably close to league average, which is a bit below average for a starter. Plus, the offense is better. It was a lateral move.
           

          • Mar 30, 20134:21 pm
            by G

            I remember that “We Don’t Miss Prince’s D” article & I disagreed with their conclusions.

          • Mar 30, 20137:31 pm
            by oats

            I didn’t agree with all of it either to be honest. That said, the offense seems to be clearly upgraded since the trade. As I pointed out the last time, Calderon has already hit more 3s in Detroit than Daye and Prince combined. Taking the ball out of Knight’s hands a little more cut back on turnovers and he just looks more comfortable at the 2. There’s a lot to like here. The defense has also suffered, but not by as much as people make it sound. Calderon is a decent defender, and Prince was a bit over rated on that side of the ball. The team’s defense didn’t really collapse until Dre went out. Losing Knight also hurt. The team went from a roughly average defensive team before the trade to a bad one. Their offense went from really bad to just bad. Considering the difference in the team’s health since the trade that seems to be pretty much a wash.
             
            I’m not arguing the team got better with the trade. I just don’t buy that they got worse. The team had a talent upgrade, but it was countered by a lot of the problems you pointed out. The end result is more or less a wash as to how good the team is after the trade. The other factors in the downturn seem like the actual culprits for the collapse.
             
            Look at how the year went. The schedule started pretty tough, the team lost. It eased up and they got themselves within spitting distance of the 8th seed. The trade happens, then the schedule picks up a bit. The team also had their run of excellent health finally end. Yeah, it’s about league average luck with injuries, but that is much worse than the impeccable health they had before the trade. They started taking losses, and the team seemed to quit on the season. After a bit the coaches seemed less concerned with turning things around and instead started using the end of the season to evaluate guys like Middleton, Kravstov, and English. The fact that the schedule didn’t stay that tough doesn’t matter once the team quit on the season. Now the team looks like this. I can buy that the trade shook up the chemistry for a couple games, but that didn’t seem to last long and it definitely isn’t enough to justify placing any blame for this crappy year on the trade. I just don’t see where the team got worse as a result of that trade.

  • Mar 28, 20133:42 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    Does anyone think we are losing games on purpose?  I mean I know we are bad right now but there is no way we could of got worse than last year.  I know this team does not play d or run the offense as a team but for some reason I think this was the game plan.  Lose get a high pick and then buy some ppl in the FA and then have a team for the next 5 to 7 years.

    • Mar 28, 20134:25 pm
      by allweatherfanaddict

      Reply

      Imagine how much the Raps regret passing on Drummond right now.                                  Lowry Derozan Gay Bargnani Drummond, OUCH!

  • Mar 28, 20133:59 pm
    by Haan

    Reply

    Oh for the days of Larry Brown (not least because the talent was far better then).  Frank’s 2 am message indicates losing his cool concerning effort.  Fair enough.

    What I miss in LB is that while he was obsessive regarding effort, he provided very specific plans allowing guys to flourish.  Remember how he made Ben Wallace look like a decent offensive option by designing plays for him, especially early?  Remember how lethal the Pistons were coming out of timeouts because of designed plays (and skill!)?

    So throw a fit, Larry F, but do your part too by coming up with better designs.  And when you do, I think you’ll find the players more responsive to the call for better effort.

  • Mar 29, 201311:16 am
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    Not trying to make any excuses but you can also note that our schedule has been pretty brutal this year. Our games came at a more rapid pace than any other team for about 80% of the season. We’ve played more games than any team has until about a week ago, and we will finish the season having played fewer home games than anyone (London), so the schedule makers played a part in our season too. We started 8 of our first nine games on the road, come on. I think in November the Lakerss had like a 9 game home stand and I don’t think we’ve had more than 4 or 5 consecutive games at home. Just saying our schedule played a significant part in our slow start and now it’s starting to slow down way after the damage is done. 

  • Mar 29, 20132:16 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    True, Drummond’s injury was a major factor. But our schedule earlier this year kind of rambled last years shortened condense lockout schedule minus the back 2 back 2 backs. 

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