At almost the quarter mark of the season, the New Jersey Nets are one of the biggest surprises in the NBA.
At 11-8 they are looking like a team that can run with most of the league and many throughout the league are finally coming to the conclusion that the Nets are not going to fade into the sunset anytime soon.
Some of this falls on the players of the team. Devin Harris is having a career year, and is making everyone forget all about Jason Kidd.
Vince Carter is playing like a man possessed up to this point.
The younger players are playing to their strengths, and while, at times they have not looked all that great on the court, they have not taken the team down with their play yet.
The players are only part of this unique equation that the Nets currently have.
Head coach Lawrence Frank, in what may go down as his best season to date, has the team playing well almost each and every night, and considering that he was almost thrown into the middle of the ocean without life support before the season started, this is a miracle of sorts.
He is making his players better with his coaching tactics and because of this the Nets are winning, to the surprise of many.
Could he possibly be the Coach of the Year?
Without a doubt, yes he can be.
While the Nets are a part of the weaker Eastern Conference, but the conference is slowly getting closer to the West in terms of overall quality from top to bottom.
This cannot be held against Frank.
In addition, the Nets, on any given night have to deal with some of the best players throughout the NBA.
Whether it is LeBron James of the Cavs, Dwayne Wade of the Heat, Elton Brand of the 76ers, Chris Bosh of the Raptors, along with many others as well, the Nets have to worry about a countless number of players.
Also, the East has a number of very young players who both can bring it each and every night, and players who do not have a lot of reports on them because of their incredibly young age.
Yes, the West is better as usual, but how many young players are as important to the success of their given team out there?
The answer is not nearly as many.
Frank has to worry about things that cannot be seen yet. Things are a lot clearer out in the West.
At the same time, Frank has one of the youngest teams in the league playing better than some teams that should be way above them in the standings.
The eighth youngest team in the league, the Nets should be at a level that is just slightly above cellar dwellers such as the Timberwolves, and the Grizzles.
Instead though, they are in prime position to make the playoffs.
They are competing with a team of players that are still learning how to play with each other.
They are playing well each and every night while Frank is still learning all of the strengths and weaknesses of his new group.
He is pushing all of the right buttons up to this point, and since this is the case, the team is winning.
If another coach was the leader of the Nets, would they be playing as well?
Probably not. Look at what Larry Brown is doing out in Charlotte for instance. While one of the greatest coaches of all-time, the Bobcats have not taken that next step yet.
Many thought that they would, but in their place, the Nets have. They have jumped over many other teams at the same time as well, and Frank is one of the main reasons why up to this point.
Just imagine if he had another huge star on this team. What could he do then?
Unfortunately, this cannot be figured out as of yet anyway.
While the team is solid, there are still plenty of holes.
Frank has the Nets forgetting all about this though because of his coaching tactics, and as a result, the Nets are one of the biggest surprises throughout all of the NBA.
If the season ended today, would he be Coach of the Year? No, probably not.
The season is still very young though, and if the Nets keep on playing as well as they are, Frank's name has to be in the mix for the honor of being Coach of the Year.
Will it happen?
As long as nothing takes a turn for the worse, more than likely, it will.
He may even have a chance to take home the award if all goes well moving forward for him and the Nets.
Considering that he was not given that much clay to mold at the start of the season, and considering what he has done, he is in the running for Coach of the Year honors in the NBA.