21. Lawrence Frank, Detroit Pistons (NR): The onetime New Jersey Nets coach is back with the Detroit Pistons, and I’m curious to see what he learned from serving as Doc Rivers’ lead assistant in Boston. Prior to that stint, Frank was a tireless worker and innovative thinker, but maybe didn’t have the motivational skills of some of his colleagues. He will need to brush up on those in Detroit, a team with some veterans who are difficult to prod.
I think 21 is about right for Frank. He’s ahead of the other new head coaches in the rankings and ahead of Vinny Del Negro, Larry Drew, Paul Westphal and Byron Scott among established coaches. There’s not really anyone in front of Frank, other than maybe Avery Johnson, who I could make a legit case for deserving to be ranked lower.
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