Sources: Lawrence Frank a frontrunner for Vols' job

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Sources: Lawrence Frank a frontrunner for Vols' job

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Multiple league sources have confirmed that Boston Celtics lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank is among the early frontrunners to become the next head coach at the University of Tennessee.

Although Frank is known primarily for his time as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, he also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee under then-head coach Kevin O'Neill.

That experience, more than anything else, is why the Vols are indeed an option that Frank is considering.

His interest in the Tennesee job speaks not only about his desire to once again become a head coach -- regardless of the level of play -- but also about the likelihood of Doc Rivers returning next season as the Celtics' head coach.

If Frank had any inclination that Rivers was indeed planning to step down after this season as the Celtics head coach, he understands that he would be one of the first to get serious consideration for the job.

Rivers has maintained all season that he won't make that decision until after this season.

If Tennessee were to name Frank as their new head coach, he would inherit a team that in all likelihood will be hit with some sanctions courtesy of his predecessor, Bruce Pearl.

Frank would certainly demand a long-term contract that in all likelihood include some type of out-clause that would allow him to return to the NBA.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!