June 27, 2019

Lawrence Frank Grinds On

February 01, 2012

Lawrence Frank, head coach of the Detroit Pistons has seen better days. The first year has not started kindly for the guy who as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics. Frank helped the Celtics give up the fewest points in the NBA. However, that hasn't been the case in the first 22 games this year, his first with the Pistons.

They came into Madison Square Garden having lost 18 of those games. It hasn't helped that his key player, Ben Gordon from Yonkers, has been out the last 5 games with a shoulder injury. In the 15 games he's played, Gordon averaged 33 minutes and 15 points. Will Bynum (strained right foot) and Charlie Villanueva (sore right ankle) have missed significant time as well. It's life in a league that had to start the year with a shortened training camp and an abbreviated pre-season schedule. Those facts have not been lost on Frank.

"It is what it is," Frank said after watching his team get romped by the Knicks 113-86 on a night where they allowed New York to shoot 60% from the floor and 50% from 3-point land. "There's no excuse. We have to do better with what we have."

For more than 7 years, Frank was the head coach of the New Jersey Nets taking over after then head coach Byron Scott was fired at the end of January during the 2004 season. He quickly made news by winning his first 13 games. No other coach in the four major professional sports began their career in such fashion. Six of those games came on the road, setting another record. When he was let go at the end of the 2009-10 season, Frank was the Nets all-time leader in coaching victories. Under his guidance, Frank's team made the playoffs 4 years in a row, including winning the Atlantic Division twice and advancing to the Conference Semi-Finals three times. Taking over a Detroit franchise that has seen better days may be Frank's most daunting task.

The Detroit Pistons championships years has been well documented. Led by Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars they won back-to-back NBA Titles in 1989 and 1990 against the Lakers and Portland respectfully. Those teams were led by legendary head coach Chuck Daly and the Bad Boys moniker was established by their hardcore defensive players, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer.

"When I was in New Jersey they (the Pistons) had to go through us in the eastern conference semi-finals. They were a hard-nosed, blue-collar defense first. Share the basketball, team first, grind it out team. Very tough-minded," said Frank.

It would take them 14 years (2004) to win their next championship, with a team that was built more on finesse and athleticism. Larry Brown was at the helm coaching Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Tashuan Prince and Ben Wallace. They defeated a heavily favored Lakers team that included Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O' Neal. Prince and Wallace are still with the Pistons and although they lost the following year to San Antonio, neither has been close to another final. Prince, who finished with 10 points on 5 of 10 shooting, believes the core is there to build another winner. Prince knows he and Wallace can guide the rest of the team in the right direction.

"At some point, we have to build a foundation to where we're going to get to that."

It would help if they could get Gordon, Bynum and Villanueva back and healthy, as soon as possible.

Today, the New York Liberty, a WNBA team, issued a statement that Tanisha Wright will not be joining the team during the 2017 WNBA Season.

“I want to inform our fans that Tanisha Wright has decided she will take time away from the game to rest during the 2017 WNBA season,” Isiah Thomas, New York Liberty President, said via a press release. “Tanisha has the full support of the New York Liberty organization as she does what is best for her health and future.”

“Tanisha has played a pivotal role in all our success both on and off the court over the past two seasons,” Thomas continued. “As a leader in the locker room and the community; she has been a tremendous ambassador for the WNBA and our franchise. We wish her all of the best as she takes time to rest and recover, and hope to see her back in a New York Liberty uniform in the future.”

A graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, Wright was drafted by the Seattle Storm (WNBA) 12th overall in 2005. Wright helped the Seattle Storm win its second championship in 2010. On February 2, 2015, Wright signed as a free agent with the New York Liberty. In between WNBA seasons, Wright has played on overseas teams in Israel, France, Poland, and Turkey, where she is currently playing according to Wikipedia.

Brooklyn Nets stayed competitive up to close of 2nd Quarter; Utah’s 37-point third quarter doomed Nets recovery

Different opponent. Same result. Same old Brooklyn Nets.

It doesn’t matter who lines up as the next challenger, the Nets just can’t catch a break. Tonight the same old tune repeated itself, this time, featuring the Utah Jazz. With Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, and Alec Burks all out of the rotation due to injuries, Gordon Hayward, one of the league's most underrated players, scored a team-high 21 points with nine assists, leading the Jazz to a commanding 108-86 win over the Nets. The Nets fell to 11-33 on the season, their fifth straight loss while the Jazz improved to 19-24, a half-game out of the 8th spot in the west.

Hayward scored 10 of his 21 in the 1st quarter alone, hitting four of his first five shots which included two threes. Despite Haywards hot-start, the Nets, surprisingly enough got off to a good start. They held a narrow one-point lead over the Jazz going into the second quarter, but like most of the Nets losses this year, the 2nd half continues to be a problem and on Friday night that fact was validated once again.

The Nets gave up a whopping 37 points to their 17 in the third quarter. After ending the 2nd quarter on a run, the Jazz‘s offensive success carried over to the beginning of the third where they would enjoy a 13-4 run in the first five minutes of the quarter. Rudy Gobert, who provided highlights all night on both ends, along with Rodney Hood, Raul Neto and Trey Lyles are all responsible for increasing what was a reasonable eight-point lead to a 17-point advantage with a little over seven minutes left in the third.

Moments later, the Nets would call a 20-second timeout to regroup, with under five minutes to go, while hopefully disrupting the Jazz’s momentum but it didn’t matter. Seconds later, Hayward would evade Thaddeus Young, using a nifty crossover dribble between his legs, drive baseline, and convert a beautiful reverse layup, putting the Jazz up by 20, 71-51 with 4:23 left in the third.

“He’s scoring the ball and drawing a lot of attention now and the guy is stepping up and knocking down shots when they come to him,” said Hood reflecting on Hayward’s big night. “He’s just being aggressive, being who he is, being who he’s been all season really.”

It signaled one of the highlights of the game. It signaled what was going right for Hayward and the Jazz who clearly did not want to leave NY 0-2 after losing to the New York Knicks in OT on Wednesday night. It signaled another Nets loss. The Jazz would continue to pile on the points in the third entering the fourth with a 28-point lead, 85-57. Hood finished with 16 points, and Gobert, Neto and Lyles all chipped in 10 points each.

When the final buzzer sounded, the crowd treated the Nets like a Knicks loss during the Isiah Thomas era. The boos rained down on the home team and it felt like some of the darkest days the Knicks had to endure during that era.

It was too bad because the Brooklyn Nets had an encouraging first quarter. Every Nets starter scored, except Donald Sloan who recorded four assists. After that, the offense fell apart.

“I thought we had a good rhythm to start the game, and after the first quarter, we kind of lost it,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Tony Brown said post-game.

Brown continued to say that after giving up 37 points in the third quarter, the game was over which compelled him to give some minutes to other guys like Sergey Karasev and in the process, ending Brook Lopez’s night. The team’s best player scored eight points in just 19 minutes of play which could be one of his worst outings of the year. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 14 points coming off of the bench which is a major problem.

Joe Johnson wasn’t much of a factor scoring only eight points and Sloan ended his night with just two points. Offensively, the Nets are definitely challenged but it doesn’t help that the team is struggling to take care of the orange as well. The Nets only committed 11 turnovers on Friday night but it’s the timing of the turnovers that are hurting the Nets the most.

“The same song and story as it’s been the last couple of games,” a dejected Young said in the locker-room. “We get off to good starts, we have good first halves then in the second half we’ll have two or three crucial turnovers that kind of turns the momentum of the game and it just slips away from us.”

As bad as this year has gone for the Nets with no letup in sight as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat in their next two games before they head westward, Brown is not giving up on his squad.

Brown wants to continue encouraging the guys to do things the right way.

“I am not going to change my approach,” Brown said. “I am going to keep coaching, but you know, there is some soul-searching to be done. I am going to keep fighting, I just hope they do.”

Don’t, we all.

New York Rangers to Meet Tampa Bay Lightning; Phil Jackson May Be Unhappy With Isiah Thomas’ Presence at MSG; and lots more!

 

Watch the video of What's The 411Sports Episode 34:

Featuring What's The 411Sports hosts Glenn Gilliam and Gregory Alcala; and special guest panelist, Jason E. Schott, Reporter/Assignment Editor at BrooklynFans.com.

 

What’s Poppin’

Congratulations to the owner of American Pharoah; jockey, Victor Espinosa; and of course American Pharoah for winning the Preakness on the heels of winning the Kentucky Derby. Triple Crown madness is starting already!

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The New York Rangers needed extra time to beat the Washington Capitals, 2-1, in game 7 of the 2nd of the NHL playoffs. The Rangers have advanced to play the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Eastern Conference Championship. How good are the Rangers chances to advance to the Stanley Cup Championship round?

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According to The New York Daily News, New York Knicks president, Phil Jackson, is not happy with Isiah Thomas being named president of the New York Liberty and given a stake in the women’s professional basketball team.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to hear New England Patriots QB-Tom Brady’s appeal regarding his four-game suspension associated with deflating footballs during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. However, the NFL Players Association says no way to Goodell’s reigning over the arbitration proceedings. What does this mean for Brady?

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NY Mets Manager Terry Collins speaks out. After suffering a four-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs, the Mets received a passionate speech by manager Terry Collins revolving around the issues the ball-club’s struggles as of late.

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Jason, as a reporter for www.Brooklynfans.com, you know that soccer is drawing huge crowds in New York, but like hockey, it is not a media darling. Give us a synopsis of the soccer picture in New York and what will it take for soccer to be a breakout star?

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The WNBA suspended Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and her wife, Tulsa Shock Forward Glory Johnson for seven games for their roles in a domestic dispute last month. WNBA president Laurel J. Richie said in a statement on the league’s website:

"WITH CONSIDERATION OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS MATTER, WE ARE SUSPENDING BRITTNEY GRINER AND GLORY JOHNSON EACH WITHOUT PAY FOR A PERIOD OF SEVEN REGULAR-SEASON GAMES. BRITTNEY AND GLORY'S CONDUCT IS DETRIMENTAL TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE WNBA AND VIOLATES APPLICABLE LAW."

Under The Radar

The Cleveland Cavaliers won game 6 against the Chicago Bulls to advance to the eastern conference finals round and J.R. Smith took to Instagram to take a jab at the New York Knicks. Smith posted side-by-side pics of him and Iman Shumpert in both Knicks and Cavs gear stating:

“ONE MAN’S TRASH…..IS ANOTHER MANS TREASURE”

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The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee announced that it would recommend shortening the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30, increase the restricted area arc in front of the basket from three feet to four feet, and three other changes aimed at reducing timeouts.

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File this one under sports meets pop culture. While the Washington Wizards John Wall was sitting on the sideline during Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks, J.R. Smith, who won the NBA fashion show during the NBA All-Star Week, took to twitter to comment on John Wall’s suit.

#JWall your suit tho! #Turrrbile #WorstThenCrCharlesDraftSuit

John Wall retorted according to Adam Mcginnis from truth about it:

"I LOVED MY OUTFIT IN GAME 4," WALL TOLD MCGINNIS. "I DON’T CARE WHAT DECISION NOBODY MAKES, I AM GOING TO BE ME. I AM GOING TO WEAR WHAT JOHN WALL IS COMFORTABLE WITH. THE ONLY SOMEBODY WHO SAID SOMETHING BECAUSE HE WON A FASHION CONTEST, ONCE."

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Springfield Gardens High School, the high school that the late New York Knicks player Anthony Mason attended, named its gymnasium “MASE COURT”, in his honor.

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And in memoriam, just two days after the death of pro golfer Calvin Peete, winner of the 1985 Players Champion, we have lost yet another pioneering African-American golfer.

African-American Golfer's Digest reports that Pete Brown, first black golfer to win on PGA tour, died on May 1st at 80-years old.

Brown was among those who blazed the trail for Calvin Peete and Tiger Woods.

In the Dog House

Greg Alcala stated: I picked the Cleveland Cavaliers to beat the Chicago Bulls in round 2 of the NBA playoffs, but I am putting the Chicago Bulls in the Dog House for not showing up in Game 6.

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Glenn Gilliam stated that he is putting the NFL in the Dog House. According To NJ.com, The National Guard has made deals with 14 NFL teams to honor the veterans of this country from 2011 To 2014.

According to federal contracts from the Department of Defense, the National Guard spent over $5 million to teams during that time span.

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake ripped the entire practice carried out by the National Guard.

“THOSE OF US GO TO SPORTING EVENTS AND SEE THEM HONORING THE HEROES,” SAID FLAKE. “YOU GET A GOOD FEELING IN YOUR HEART. THEN TO FIND OUT THEY’RE DOING IT BECAUSE THEY’RE COMPENSATED FOR IT, IT LEAVES YOU UNDERWHELMED. IT SEEMS A LITTLE UNSEEMLY…IT JUST LEAVES A BAD TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH.”

Pipeline:

Come cheer on KEISHER “FIRE” MCLEOD-WELLS AKA KEISHER THE BOXING DIVA, as she goes for her second professional title championship belt on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Resorts World Casino in Queens brought to you by New Legend Promotions.

Tickets can be purchased through www.KeisherMcleodWells.com or call Gleason's Gym AT (718) 797-2872 or (646) 537-5059

The French Open, held in Paris, France, IS May 24-June 7, so if you’re not booked already, it may be too late!

The 2015 NBA Draft is on June 25th.

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