It appears that the Pistons have narrowed in on one of two candidates, Lawrence Frank or Mike Woodson, to be their next coach. I don’t think either guy qualifies as the worst hire the team could make, but both certainly have drawbacks as well.
Zach Lowe of SI.com did a nice job of looking at the strengths of each:
Frank is a defense-first guy filling Tom Thiboeau’s old role in Boston, and he’d bring that mentality — and a set of clear principles — to the Pistons.
Then again, this team was a mess of competing agendas last season, and Woodson is known around the league (by some, at least) as a strong voice capable of controlling difficult locker rooms. He had the Hawks playing borderline top-10 defense during his final two years with the team, and that was with Mike Bibby playing point guard and Al Horford working mostly as the team’s nominal center. Jamal Crawford wasn’t helping either. Woodson famously used a lot of switches to defend pick-and-rolls, a strategy that worked decently because his shooting guard (Joe Johnson) is a strong guy, and his two primary bigs (Josh Smith and Horford) are capable of sliding along with guards.
Could that work in Detroit, with Ben Gordon as Bibby, Rodney Stuckey as Johnson and Daye/Jerebko/Wallace/Monroe/Jason Maxiell switching onto smaller guys? Probably not as the team’s de facto strategy, but Woodson could mix and match philosophies. The Pistons face an interesting choice here.