Report: Frank is Pistons next head coach


Report: Frank is Pistons next head coach

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
BOSTON 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 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 "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 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 Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.

Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice


Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice

BOSTON - The Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front with Kelly Olynyk being cleared for full contact.
The 7-foot center participated in most of the Celtics’ drills on Saturday, some of which included contact.
Olynyk said he had been doing some contact work prior to practice Saturday, but in a more controlled setting.
“I’m just trying to ramp it up a little bit more, every day,” Olynyk said. “Just trying to take a step in the right direction every day.”
Olynyk had surgery on his right shoulder in May with him expected to be out for at least five months.
Danny Ainge, C's president of basketball operations, recently said that he anticipated Olynyk returning sometime in the middle of November.
That would put his return about six months out from the time of surgery.

“He did a lot more than he has done,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll see how he feels and progress at the appropriate rate after that.”
One of the strengths that Olynyk brought to the floor when he played was the ability to help space the floor because of his 3-point shooting.
Olynyk was not just a good 3-point shooter for a center, but one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA last season when he connected on 40.5 percent of his 3s last season.  And it’s clear that last season was not a fluke, evident by him shooting 37.3 percent on 3s for his career.
However, the addition of Al Horford not only solidified the Celtics’ interior defense but also provides them with another stretch center.
Horford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, shot 34 percent on 3s last season which at the very least, makes him a player that defenses have to respect when he’s outside of the 3-point line.