Lawrence Frank : Detroit Pistons Coach Worried About Transition Defense


If the Detroit Pistons are to be a legitimate NBA playoff contender, their defense has to get its act together and cut down heavily on the number of points allowed off the fast breaks.

The Pistons, in some respect, can be excused for giving up 36 points on the fast break to the Miami Heat Thursday night in preseason action. After all, it is the Miami Heat.

But the Pistons got killed again by an excellent team, something which will happen a lot again if coach Lawrence Frank can’t get his defense to be more disciplined.

“The speed they play at and the intensity is at such a high level, I think it is a great lesson for our guys,” Frank said. “There’s a reason why they’re champs; they aren’t waiting for the regular season, they play hard every night. It goes way beyond having great players, they compete, and they have speed off made baskets, layups, offensive rebounds and open shots.

“They compete at a very high level and we weren’t able to match it. They defend first, and have unbelievable pursuit of the ball, they share the ball, and are a good example of what a champion is. They had 36 fast break points by our count. They got it every which way and owned the paint.”

Tayshaun Prince admitted he was hoping this team could take another step and be a better challenge against a team like Miami. Well, not right now.

“Those guys are going to come out like that all the time, and hopefully the young guys that we have can understand that if you want a chance to compete for a title, you need to play like that every night, We also didn’t make them take any tough shots. They just picked us apart. On the offensive end, they sped us up. Hopefully this is a learning experience for us. After this game, there are no easy days and you can’t take anything for granted. We’ll get better. We’ve been trying to figure things out in practice. Now we can we watch film to see things that we need to correct.”

The Pistons had better correct their fast break defense in a hurry or they’re not going to be a playoff team for the fourth straight season.

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