When Frank got the job in 2011, he was team president Joe Dumar’s fourth coach since 2008. Most of Detroit’s coaches in the past lasted one or two seasons. Some were lucky enough to stretch it to three like Flip Saunders, 2005-2008. Chuck Daly’s nine-year stretch started in 1993 and made him a rarity indeed among all-time Pistons coaches,
Frank might be in danger of a brief reign also unless he can reach five goals that would convince Dumars and grant him another season on the bench.
None of those five goals involves making the playoffs. Doing that would guarantee Frank maybe another two seasons. But whether or not his team makes the playoffs he can still keep his job after the 2012-13 campaign if he achieves five objectives:
1.) Get at least in the high 30′s for victories and miss the .500 mark and playoff spot by no more than a few games. It might be too much to expect Frank to turn the team to a playoff contender right away. But they obviously have to show signs of improvement from a year ago.
2.)Reassure fans and management that despite getting off a slow start, if that’s what happens to the Pistons, that they’ll be able to turn it around once their early season schedule allows them to play more games at the comfy confines of The Palace. A 4-20 start like a year ago won’t be tolerated, so Frank can’t let a slow start for Detroit become an extended one.
3.)Build up Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey as their own version of Miami’s vaunted “Big Three”, those players that must deliver big time game in and game out and serve as the franchise for the Pistons’ future. Frank needs to remind each player that much is expected of them.
4.)Remind veterans, mainly Corey Maggette, Tayshaun Prince and Charlie Villanueva, that the franchise still is invested in them for a high amount of quality court minutes. If either of those three wants an NBA season beyond 2012-13, it’s time to prove their worth with a memorable 2012-13 output. None of them, with their advanced ages, will figure in the long-term Piston plans. But they’re mighty important for the short term.
5.)Have the veteran players show everything they can to rookies such as Andre Drummond and Kyle Singler so that both can be ready to become standouts by their second or third seasons.
If Frank can achieve these five goals by the end of the season, then he has five good reasons to tell Joe Dumars why he should coach the team in 2013-14. But Frank still has a long way to go to beat Chuck Daly’s longevity mark.