I reached out to a couple of fellow TrueHoop Network writers who have covered the Nets and Celtics, respectively, to get their thoughts from watching Lawrence Frank and his impact up close over the last few years. Here are their responses:
First, the good: Lawrence Frank is an absolute workhorse; as the Nets head coach, he was constantly watching video and prepping for games. I mean constantly. Basketball is his life. I’d say that gave him a good grasp of match-ups, and more often than not was able to maximize the talent on New Jersey’s roster.
It didn’t always come up roses, though. There were times when he didn’t command the players’ respect, and veterans occasionally tuned him out. While he’s certainly better than Kuester in this regard, I know that’s been an issue in Detroit. On the floor, I never thought his playbook was particularly diverse. That said, a season with Doc Rivers couldn’t have hurt him in either of these areas.
He was bound to get another head coaching job, given how hard he’s worked at this level. I don’t think he’ll change Detroit forever as we know it, but he’s an above-average coach who will always give you more effort than you expect. But that won’t always mean better results.
Watching Lawrence Frank sit on Doc Rivers’s right for a year, it’s pretty clear that he’s capable of being a great head coach, though his work with the Celtics might not appear to speak volumes about his ability to lead a team. He was mostly brought in to maintain the defensive system engineered by Tom Thibodeau and Rivers in previous years, a job that’s really about monitoring details and making sure nothing’s out of place. Frank did the job about as well as it could be done; with every timeout, he was the first coach out on the floor, intercepting players on their way to the bench and making quick tweaks. But beyond his coaching ability, Frank was just as valuable to the Celtics for his personality, which is probably his most relevant asset as a head coach. He’s a very friendly, very funny guy, and he managed to bring the players onto his side by the end of his first day in camp. For the veterans in Boston to listen to you, they have to like you first, and they all really liked Lawrence Frank.
Tags: Lawrence Frank