With Fewer Than 10 Games Remaining, Nets Want To Finish Strong

Danny Paskas@DannyPaskasSenior Analyst IApril 3, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 07:  Devin Harris #34 is helped from the court by Lawrence Frank, head coach of the New Jersey Nets during a game against of the Detroit Pistons November 7, 2008 at the Izod Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Ahh, the New Jersey Nets season.  Well, it started out well, at least, right? 

I mean they were in the playoff hunt for more than half of the season, but then the ridiculous losses to sub-par teams and a lack of effort began to show up. 

Add that to the injuries, and the Nets find themselves with a 31-44 record with no shot at the eighth seed in the playoffs, which was once theirs for the taking.

But it’s all fine and dandy. The team vows to go out strong in hopes of saving their coach’s job.

When Nets beat writer Dave D’Alessandro caught up with team leader Vince Carter, he had this to say: “The only thing we can do as players is compete harder than we ever did before. Maybe then we can change some minds.”

Hmm, couldn’t they have changed some minds by playing hard all season?

It truly is frustrating to see the potential the team showed in the beginning of the year to see now what they have become. 

Keep in mind this team is solid.  They have an All-Star guard in Devin Harris, a more than adequate starting center in Brook Lopez, and Vince Carter along with a decent bench filled with Keyon Dooling, Jarvis Hayes, Trenton Hassel, and Ryan Anderson.

Was I being too optimistic as a Nets fan?  Was my vision clouded?  I don’t know.  But right now it looks like it might be the time to get rid of head coach Lawrence Frank.

I know, I know, Frank is a great X’s and O’s guy, he supposedly comes up with great game plans, he is always so prepared, and blah, blah, blah. 

If he is all these things then why doesn’t it translate on the court?

Frank’s players obviously seem to be tuning him in and out, putting up great efforts one night and then sleepwalking through the next.

How can a team win with a coach like this?

I liken Frank to a fat person trying to tell a skinny person what he should and should not eat.  I mean, would said skinny person actually take instructions from said fat person?  I think not.

This is similar to the Frank situation.  Frank is not and never was an athlete. He never played basketball at a collegiate level and definitely not at a professional level. 

Could this possibly be a reason why these players tune out Frank’s instructions? 

I keep wondering if the question of “What does he know anyway?” is always in the back of each player's mind.

Is it possible for a coach in any sport to take a team to an elite level given the coach never played the game at any kind of an elite level? 

The coach does not have to be a star, but should at least have some credible experience, right?  Doesn’t the actual experience of playing the game count?

Sure, Lawrence Frank may know what to do in a given situation after the fact, after looking from afar, but his knowledge is somewhat stymied due to the fact that he never really actually experienced what he is preaching. 

His lack of experience changes everything.

It is time for a new voice. Frank has run his course in New Jersey, and it is time for a different approach. 

Here’s an idea: Bring back Eddie Jordan and keep Frank on the staff, as long as he will accept a lesser role.  It is not like Frank really has options if and when he finally gets fired.