Report: Frank is Pistons next head coach

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Report: Frank is Pistons next head coach

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
BOSTON CSNNE.com has learned that Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank will be the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons, with an announcement to be made within the next day or two.

The story was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

Frank, who spent six-plus seasons as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, has been in a two-man race for the Pistons job with ex-Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson who was an assistant on the Pistons' 2004 NBA championship team.

The job became available when the Pistons fired head coach, and former Celtics assistant, John Kuester.

With Frank becoming the next head coach of the Pistons, that creates another void on the coaching staff. Former Celtics coaching assistant Darren Erman accepted a similar coaching position with the Golden State Warriors earlier this month.

Of the two, filling the void left by Frank would be a greater priority.

The man the Celtics may turn to may very well be the man Frank beat out for the Pistons job.

Woodson has maintained that he wants back in as a head coach.

"I think I did enough during my first head coaching stint to deserve another shot at running a team," Woodson told CSNNE.com earlier.

After winning just 13 games during his first season in Atlanta, the Hawks improved their winning percentage every season afterward under Woodson which included three consecutive trips to the playoffs -- something no Atlanta coach had done since Lenny Wilkens, the all-time winningest coach in NBA history, in the mid-to-late 1990s.

But there's a reason why the Hawks didn't renew his contract. Woodson proved what he could do with a young, moldable group of players. But it was unclear if Woodson could take the Hawks beyond being a team that every now and then would get out of the first round, but go no further than that.

When you look at the Celtics moving forward, there's little doubt that they'll continue to get younger and more athletic.

They took steps in addressing that by drafting Purdue All-American Jajuan Johnson in the first round of last month's NBA draft.

One of Woodson's strengths, even dating back to his days as an assistant with Larry Brown in Philadelphia and later in Detroit, was his ability to help develop young players.

Joe Johnson is talented and showed flashes of that in Phoenix, but the former first round pick of the Celtics didn't become an all-star talent until he arrived in Atlanta. And Josh Smith, one of the most freakishly athletic players in the NBA, is still a work in progress.

But there's no denying he is a more complete player now in part because of the many run-ins he had with Woodson, who has never shied away from pushing a younger player if he sees more in them than they're showcasing.

Woodson actually spent some time in Boston this past season checking out a couple Celtics practices.

Doc Rivers has made a habit of inviting recently fired coaches to his practices during the season.

"I don't get to sit in anybody's veterans camp," Woodson told CSNNE.com. "To be invited in, get a chance to sit in and see what these other guys are doing, it's kind of nice. You're always competing on the sidelines against them during the season; just to watch them conduct practice and the various things they do. I take a few notes, and try to incorporate some things in what you do and move on."

Don't think for a minute it's a one-way street.

"It's just great to have a fresh set of eyes see your team, and give you feedback," Rivers told CSNNE.com earlier this past season. "They'll all say this helps them, but I get something out of it, too."

Rivers did the same thing with Frank when he was fired by the Nets a couple years ago.

While that didn't necessarily seal the deal for him coming to Boston, "it didn't hurt," Rivers said.

We'll see if a similar ending plays out with Woodson.

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

WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Rockets in Houston. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game Preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

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- Live Extra FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Celtics: All of the most recent news and notes

- Talk about the game via social media on CSN's Pulse, presented by Ford

Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Earlier this month the Boston Celtics took a season-high 42 three-pointers in a game which raised a few eyebrows. 

And you know what?

No one would be surprised if the Celtics (12-8) surpassed that total tonight when they face the Houston Rockets who have set the pace when it comes to launching 3-point bombs in the NBA this season with 37.0 attempts per game. 

The Celtics aren’t too far behind, averaging 30.8 three-pointers which ranks fifth in the NBA.

But what makes these two teams so unique is that in addition to taking a lot of 3s, they also rank among the NBA’s leaders when it comes to knocking them down. 

The Rockets (13-7) make an NBA-high 14.0 three-pointers per game while the Celtics are fifth in the league with 11.1 made 3s per game. 

And the key to that stat is that both teams shoot a surprisingly high percentage from 3-point range as well. 

Houston’s 37.8 percent from 3-point range is the fifth-best mark in the NBA while the Celtics shoot 36.0 percent on 3's which ranks 10th in the league. 

So what does all this 3-ball shooting mean? 

It means get your popcorn ready for what should be one of the more exciting, high-scoring games on the Boston Celtics’ schedule this season.

Here are some other key stats to keep tabs on during tonight’s game. 

 

FIRST QUARTER SCORING

There is no team in the NBA better at jumping on you from the outset, then Houston. They lead the NBA in first-quarter scoring with 31.2 points per game while shooting 51.9 percent in the quarter which is also tops in the NBA. But there’s a downside to their first quarter success. Houston’s first quarter defense is pretty bad, ranking 27th in the league in first-quarter points allowed (28.5) while allowing teams to shoot a league-worst 52.3 percent from the field in the game’s first 12 minutes. 

 

FOURTH QUARTER SCORING

As impressive as Houston is to start games, the Boston Celtics are just as dominant offensively in the fourth quarter. Boston averages a league-best 29.1 points per game in the fourth compared to the Rockets whose 24.4 points in the fourth ranks 21st in the NBA. Boston’s strong finish to games is aided by a defense that seems to save its best work for the fourth quarter. Opponents are shooting just 40.6 percent against the Celtics in the fourth which ranks as the third-best fourth quarter defense in the NBA.

 

OFFENSIVE REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Boston’s struggles on the boards are well documented which includes - but is certainly not limited to - offensive rebounding. The Rockets will present a major problem to Boston when it comes to trying to avoid Houston getting second and third-shot opportunities. The Rockets rank fifth in the NBA in second-chance points (15.3) per game while the Celtics’ defense allows 15.2 second-chance points which ranks 27th in the league. And Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage for opponents ranks dead-last in the NBA at .265.

 

BALL MOVEMENT

Both teams rank among the league leaders in assists per game with Boston’s 24.4 assists per game average No. 2 in the NBA and Houston’s 24.3 assists ranks fourth. But more telling is how the Celtics rely more heavily on keeping the ball moving, more so than the Rockets. You see this in Boston averaging 329.2 passes per game which ranks third in the NBA while the Rockets’ 273.5 passes per game average is 29th in the league. Still, Houston’s passing game is to be respected especially when you consider the lofty assists numbers they’ve racked up in addition to them getting 59.2 points created via the assist according to nba.com/stats

 

TURNOVERS

These two are at opposite ends of the basketball world when it comes to turnovers. Boston commits 12.3 per game which is the fourth-fewest committed in the NBA while the Rockets are turning the ball over 16.1 times per game and that ranks 27th in the league. And these two remain widely far apart in the fourth quarter which is when the Celtics turn the ball over a league-low 2.2 times per game in the fourth while Houston turns the ball more than twice as much (4.5) which ranks 29th in the league.