Enough is Enough with Lawrence Frank

After many analysts have dubbed the Nets the surprise team this year, ESPN was quick on nominating Lawrence Frank for the Coach of the Year award (link, for those interested.) If it is fair to give the credit for a “bad team” to have success to the coach, than the same can be said when the same franchise has seen the same patterns in losing over Lawrence Franks tenure as the Nets head coach.

Before going into details about the patterns of Lawrence Frank which will result in the Nets inability to achieve the goal of every team, every single year, winning the Championship. Let’s first explain what happened in the game against the Knicks on December 10th. The game started out with the Nets scorching hot, Devin Harris was dominating, the Nets were attacking and finding the open players on the perimeter and the shots were falling. The Nets built up a 15 point lead which looked like it was just the start to a great night of whooping the Knicks around. With the game seemingly out of reach for the Knicks, they needed a miracle to gain the momentum to beat the Nets in the Izod Center. But that miracle came from the Knicks head coach, Mike D’Antoni, something Knicks fans would have never expected to see last season. D’Antoni quickly went for his energy players looking for a boost, calling on his team to control the tempo of the game, and that they did. The Knicks beat the Nets in what used to be the Nets game, running.*

The Nets were unable to keep up or slow the tempo of the game, and the Knicks brought the score to within reach by halftime only trailing by 6 points. The Nets, like they have many times during the tenure of Lawrence Frank, came out flat when they came out to play the second half. They go rocked in the 3rd quarter, 33-21, and outscored by a total of 18 in the entire second half. But there was a point in the game when it seemed as if the Nets caught a break and were going to be able to control the tempo of the game once again. With 6:21 to go in the 3rd quarter, the Knicks best post defender and rebounder, David Lee left the game for the remainder of the night. That left Jared Jeffries being the biggest man, and only hope to stopping Brook Lopez. Brook Lopez is that 7 foot 260 pound top rookie center the Nets have, he had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and was constantly commanding a double team in the 23 minutes and 22 seconds he was in the game prior to David Lee leaving. After David Lee’s injury the Nets took Lopez out of the game only 2 minutes and 30 seconds later, and he never returned, not even for a single rotation in the 4th quarter.

Now Brook Lopez being on the court would have helped more than just the Nets offense, but could have helped the Nets contain Al Harrington, who scorched the Nets with 39 points. How many of you saw how effective Vince Carter was at guarding Al Harrington at the top of the key in the 4th quarter, the only problem was the help defense came in too little and too late, with the helpers being Stromile Swift and Sean Williams. Those two compiled a total of 7 fouls in their combined 17 minutes and 28 seconds on the court, effectively contributing to helping the Knicks get 35 attempts from the free throw line. Perhaps the Nets would have done better had that defender coming over to help Carter defend Harrington down low been a 7 foot 260 pound center named Brook Lopez. This game has a coaching loss written all over it, and it’s doubtful many will blame him, because after all, the Nets are a “bad team”.

That wraps up the summary of the Knicks game, it is now time to demonstrate a patterns that have been consistent while Frank has been the Nets head coach. Remember, any attempt to blame these patterns on the players is a failed attempt to support Lawrence Frank, the Nets have a total of 4 new starters on the team from last years opening line up. Lets take a look at the past two seasons and each seasons west coast trip during November. In the 2007-2008 season, they went 3-1, and were starting to gain confidence, and had what everyone called an easy game waiting for them at home when they were hosting the 4-9 Memphis Grizzlies. They lost that game and ultimately and all momentum gained from their strong west coast trip. This season they traveled to the west to dominate 3 out 4 very strong opponents. This time they were coming home to face an even worse team than the previous years 4-9 Grizzlies, they had to play the 2-12 Wizards. Guess what? They lost by 20 points!

Now I certainly wouldn’t write all this to only document 1 pattern, so allow me to demonstrate another pattern that comes from Lawrence Frank which has shortened my life by many years, and is a clear-cut reason to back up my point that Lawrence Frank is not an NBA-caliber head coach. Take a look at the scores for the following games going into half-time, and the scores in the 2nd half:

Example 1.

Example 2.

Example 3 – examine the 4th quarter.

Example 4 – came out flat in the 2nd half.

Example 5 – 4th quarter collapse after Carter ejection.

And dont forget the Nets most recent game, Example 6.

What happens is these games is not just a coincidence, but a pattern that has consistently plagued the Nets for as long as Lawrence Frank has been here, Frank does not know how to prepare his team to come out into the 2nd half of games to close them out and get a win. He has been given his chances, and at this point the is the longest tenured coach in the Eastern Conference. He may be a hard worker, but it doesn’t matter how hard he works if he doesn’t know what he\’s doing, because if he doesn’t know what he\’s doing he\’ll go nowhere. And that’s where the Nets have gone ever since Lawrence Frank has taken over as the head coach of the Nets.

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