As his Detroit Pistons were closing the 2011-12 regular season, coach Lawrence Frank realized plenty of work had to be done before the team could be satisfied with the finished product.
“We’ll continue to fight and claw, but obviously we are far from the finished product,” said Frank.
But for Pistons fans, a record worse than last season’s 25-41 mark and 10th place standing in the Eastern Conference will be unacceptable to the franchise and its fans. Frank agrees.
“You look at the start and then the finish; we know we have a lot of work to do,” he said late last season. “Hopefully, it gives us an opportunity to reflect in terms of getting off to a better start and building some momentum going in to the off-season.”
The NBA preseason starts on Oct. 10 against Toronto at home while the regular season tips off Halloween night against Houston. The recently released schedule shows that after opening the season at home with Houston, the Pistons play, in order, at Phoenix, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver, Sacramento, Oklahoma City and Houston
No one would dare think the Pistons could start out 4-20 again. If they do, Frank will be out of a job. But that’s not an easy schedule for Frank to get his team off to the start he wants.
“I’m a miserable person to be around whenever we lose,” he said. “The fact is 4-20 is part of the process of getting to wherever the heck our record was after that. But then, I see us reverting back. I see us taking steps backwards and that’s frustrating. We’re all a part of it. You can’t absolve yourself, starting with me. We’ve got to figure out which group we want to be.”
The addition of Corey Maggette, Andre Drummond, Kyle Singler and others just might give Frank the firepower he needs to get off to a good start. Frank will enter the preseason focused on balanced scoring
“That is the way that we want to play,” he said. “I think that the games, at least from a coaching and a playing standpoint, when everyone is involved there is just a deeper seated commitment opposed to just watching one guy play and four guys standing. Turnovers need to be cut down, especially the turnovers that directly relate to leading to the (other team’s) points.”