Pistons coach Lawrence Frank finally able to speak about players
On Greg Monroe
"I think with Greg you saw great improvement. He went from a guy that didn’t play his first couple games to earning more and more time as the season went to being virtually a double-double guy post All-Star break. A guy who early on was trying to figure out, ‘How do I get my shot off without it getting blocked?’ to a guy who really figured out how to use his body. And able to use the rim to keep it between him and his defender. I think he’s a very good pick-and-roll defender. He has very active hands. He has a unique gift to be able to flick the ball to his outside hand to either get a deflection or a steal on pick-and-roll defense. He started to understand help-side defense as the season went along. The rules of verticality, pulling your hands up and back. I thought he made great strides throughout the season."
On Austin Daye
"Austin I think is extremely skilled and extremely versatile. Really from an offensive standpoint, he’s a very gifted package from an offensive standpoint. We’ll play him at multiple positions. He has various skills that can exploit the matchup because of his size and skill level."
On Brandon Knight
"Obviously with Brandon, he’s the hardest one to evaluate just because it’s at the collegiate level. I think everything that we’ve said about him still holds true. You’re looking at an extremely high character, extremely intelligent, extremely motivated, extremely competitive person, who has a great background. You saw throughout his season at Kentucky, his maturity in terms of playing. Initially they were running a lot of dribble hand-offs for him, eventually there was more pick-and-rolls for him. Obviously does not shy away from the big moment. Plays with a great deal of courage. I would say he’s, especially for his age, a very gifted shot maker and shot creator. He has little runners in the lane, has a good feel for the midrange game and all reports have been nothing short of basically what all you guys have read."
On Rodney Stuckey
"I think he’s one hell of a player. I think many times there’s always a focus on trying to label a guy. I just look at it this way, as a coach the one thing I really dislike is when someone tries to label me. Aw, he’s this guy. He look people are complex. So with Rodney again, having never coached him, but Rodney’s a guard. And I know probably your reference is, ‘Well is he a point guard?’ Well what I’d say is he’s guard. He can play both on and off the ball. He’s shown that, going through both the stretches of him playing “point guard” and “off the ball.” Well he had that five-game stretch off the ball where he was tremendous. Starting with that Memphis game then Dallas. I was fortunate enough to coach Jason Kidd for seven years, we never called him a point guard. He’s just a guard. The way I look at it, you get your best players that fit together on the court and I don’t get caught up in positions. That’s on me as a coach to figure out how to best utilize them. But I think Rodney got better last year and will continue to make jumps with everything that I’ve heard about him."
On Ben Gordon
"Without a doubt. Ben Gordon is a gifted, gifted player. He’s a game changer. He has the ability to turn a whole game around. He’s proven it. This isn’t a guy who only has a couple years of a body of work. This guy has shown what he can do. Again, having never met Ben, but having coached against him both in Chicago and here in Detroit, you have to game plan for Ben Gordon. Every opposing coach is very concerned about him and what he can do to change the game. He’s shown it. Heck, his rookie year he led all players in fourth quarter scoring. He has a closer mentality. Ben’s a very, very gifted player. I have no doubt he’ll play like Ben Gordon. I always say, ‘Hey, if they say, just be you,’ then that means you is pretty damn good. They never tell me, ‘Coach like you.’ They say, ‘Coach like someone else.’ I don’t know Ben Gordon, but there’s no doubt in my mind that’s nothing changed, that he won’t play at a high level."
On Richard Hamilton
"Rip’s a Piston and he’s been a hell of a Piston. I’m still pissed off at him for Game 6 in New Jersey. It’s been well documented, I wasn’t here last year, all I can say is Rip is a heck of a player. ... If not the best, one of (top) one or two midrange jump shooters in the game. Rip is still a very, very good player."
On Jonas Jerebko
"Extremely impressive his first year. Plays with an unbelievable amount of effort and energy. Gives you versatility in that he can play two positions. Everything I’ve heard about is, he’s extremely coachable, wants to improve, did an unbelievable job with his rehab. We want to retain all our free agents."