Why Firing Lawrence Frank Was the Right Move for Detroit Pistons
USA TODAY Sports
After they finished the regular season with a 29-53 record, the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Lawrence Frank. The Pistons made the correct decision by firing Frank, as he didn't produce in two seasons and had lost the confidence of his locker room.
In two seasons with the Pistons, Frank managed to win just 54 games. This season they won just four of their 30 games against Western Conference teams, and not a single one of those wins came on the road. And his 0-8 start brought to mind the 0-16 start that got him fired in New Jersey.
As a team, the Pistons lacked a real identity. They struggled on both ends of the court, as his systems failed to be effective. They ranked 22nd in both offensive and defensive efficiency this season, per NBA.com.
And while the Pistons clearly did not have enough talent to be truly competitive this season, Frank refused to play guys who could help him win.
Andre Drummond was one of their best players this season, but the rookie averaged just 20 minutes per game. The Pistons would have benefited greatly had he played upwards of 30 minutes per night; they were 3.3 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court, per NBA.com.
Even more telling of Frank's mismanagement of Drummond's minutes is that Jason Maxiell played four more minutes per game than he did. Frank should have known in the preseason that Drummond was his second-best big man:
Also, he never gave Corey Maggette a real chance. The veteran forward had averaged at least 10 points per game for 12 straight seasons before joining the Pistons. Under Frank, Maggette averaged just 14 minutes in the 18 games he played before being benched for the season. For a team that seriously struggled offensively and started Kyle Singler at small forward, Maggette could have helped mightily.
For all of these reasons, the Pistons lost confidence in Frank this season, which was evidenced throughout the season. Most of the team appeared to be going through the motions down the stretch. It seems like so long ago when the Pistons roster was buying what Frank was selling:
By firing Frank, the Pistons once again get a fresh start with a head coach. Whomever they sign will join a team with two young post players with tremendous upside, a draft pick in the lottery and $20 million in cap space.
With those assets, the Pistons have plenty to offer to an available coach willing to take on a rebuilding project. Any coach joining the team would have plenty of flexibility while working with general manager Joe Dumars to assemble a team that fits his system.
Frank's dismissal gives the Pistons a clean slate after two forgettable seasons. And if they sign the right coach, it will give their players and fans reason to be excited for the Pistons' future.
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