The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, February 27, 2006
Now that Herm Edwards has left the Jets, it's time attention is paid to another local head coach who is lauded by the media despite his mediocre performance.
To be sure, Nets coach Lawrence Frank is not nearly in Edwards' league when it comes to ineptitude. Unlike Edwards, Frank prepares his team well, and is proficient in game strategy. He doesn't panic in the final minutes and consistently snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The problem with Frank is that he gets almost nothing out of his bench, and overplays his starters. Prior to this season, the excuse was that the Nets had no talent on the bench. Last offseason, however, the Nets stocked up their bench, adding forwards Marc Jackson, Scott Padgett and Linton Johnson, and guards Jeff McInnis, Lamond Murray and first round pick Antoine Wright. Guard Zoran Planinic, a former first round pick, was also expected to contribute to what was seen as a very deep bench.
Almost immediately, Jackson, McInnis, Murray and Planinic found themselves in Frank's doghouse, a doghouse from which they have not been given a chance to dig their way out.
Johnson was never given a chance to play, logging a pathetic 35 minutes in the Nets first 52 games. He and Jackson were traded last week to the Hornets in a salary dump. In Johnson's first two games with New Orleans, he's played 36 minutes and scored 21 points while grabbing 16 rebounds. Sounds like just the guy the Nets desperately need.
Instead of playing his bench, Frank overuses his starting five. As a result, when a starter gets hurt (like Vince Carter did last night) or is in foul trouble (as Nenad Kristic was last night), the Nets have little chance to win.
Perhaps most egregious is Frank's failure to get Jason Kidd off the court. Last night, Kidd played 43 minutes. This is the same Jason Kidd who had major knee surgery last year and is not getting younger. How much will he have left in the playoffs if he plays 40 or more minutes each game during the long regular season?
It is interesting that Frank is given a free pass by the media, while ex-Nets coach Byron Scott was often criticized. Yet Scott twice led the Nets to the NBA Finals, whereas Frank has not gotten past the second round of the playoffs.
If the Nets exit early from the playoffs, they should seriously consider whether Lawrence Frank is the man best suited to lead them back to the Eastern Conference elite.