The Nets beat the even more pathetic and shorthanded Bucks tonight, 111-98. In a way, it's a pity - perhaps if the Nets had completely let go of the rope for the season, Thorn might be convinced to "go in another direction" with respect to the coach.
He continued his baffling exile of Sean Williams, a player who could really help out the team, in favor of Trent Hassell, a player who cannot and does not. SWill was the only non-phantom (Van Horn) non-injured (Boone) player not to get out on the court despite the obvious blow out last night in Toronto. He played exactly 1 minute in a game in Cleveland where his presence, energy and shot blocking might have made up for Frank's bonehead coaching. Last night he was again the only non-injured, non-phantom player not to play, even when Frank emptied the bench at the end. I think it's safe to say that one of those two will not be here next year. Regrettably, the Nets will probably keep Frank and flush Williams, one of the very, very few bright spots in this Franked up season.
Nonetheless, Frank gets props for the Rule of Seven - If your team has a double digit lead, and it gets cut to 7, call time out. Stop the bleeding. Stop the momentum. Set up a play. End their hope.
Imagine if he had done that vs Cleveland... Or over 20 other games in this travesty of a season...
After a close first half they had built up a 15 point lead with 10 to go in the 4th. But by 8:27 it was down to 89-80. Marcus (I'm the One Who Gets to Play) Williams took an ill-advised 3 pointer (which, btw, the Nets do a lot when they are losing leads - instead of slowing the game down and working it in, looking for a high percentage shot, they seem to want the heroic dagger, which nearly never comes - a mark of a poorly coached team), the Bucks get the rebound. I'm saying to the TV, Call timeout. Call timeout.... The Bucks score. Lead down to 7 with just under 8 to play. Call timeout. Call timeout!
Devin Harris brings the ball up. Call timeout! CALL TIMEOUT!
Then what to my wondering eyes does appear but a TIMEOUT on the court of the tiny reindeer!
Good. That's the right thing to do.
And it was the right thing to do. The Nets set up a play. Get RJ an open rhythm jumper. 9 point lead, momentum broken. Back and forth a little 7-9, 7-10, 7-8, but before you know it 3 minutes have been burned off the clock. When the Nets go up by 13 at the 5 minute mark, everyone knows that this game is over.
It wasn't that the Bucks had run out of gas trying to catch up, as the coach's excuse goes - it's just that Frank didn't give them the gasoline can as he has so frequently this season. His team had amassed a good sized lead fairly late in the game and then started to struggle. Okay, so PRESERVE AS MUCH OF IT AS YOU CAN without calling an unnecessary time out. The best last place to do that is the 7 point mark. (Nine is better, but seven is the limit.)
This is not a secret or a big discovery on my part. Most coaches have a feel for this. That's why you don't notice them coaching.
You notice brain boy coaching because of his incredible tone deafness to this obvious fact as he clutches his timeouts for that magical last minute so he can demoralize his team even more. (How many games did we see this year when he did just that? 30? See below!)
But tonite he calls a timeout immediately when the lead shrinks to 7 and winds up winning a laugher. On the road.
He could have won 10 more games like this this year, very conservatively. A 10 victory swing and the Nets are 43-37 and the 4 seed in the East. Very conservatively. If he won half of those games where his stunningly stupid coaching did not come into play they are 48-32, with two shots at winning 50. That's how much Frank has cost this team this year.
He is responsible for at least 10-15 losses with poor in game coaching. He -not a disaffected Kidd (and exactly why was he disaffected?), nor an injured Carter, nor a disappearing Jefferson, nor a major trade - is the reason the Nets will finish with their worst record since 2001. He is.
He came in with a 14 game winning streak. After that his record is 176-176. And that's with The Big Three. And that's with a 49 win season, ie, a +16 win season in the middle.
The Nets have a talented roster, with potentially a deep bench, minus Hassell and plus Sean Williams. Even without Kidd this is at least a 47-55 win team. They are 25th in the league in offense, 23rd in defense.
He should be gone after this season. He brings nothing.
Rod Thorn knows that. The question is, does Bruce Ratner know?
And does he even care?