The Pistons fired their coach Thursday, and this is news only by the flimsiest of definitions. The Pistons always fire their coach, more often than any team in the NBA, more often than almost any team in professional sports.

Lawrence Frank is gone and there's nowhere else to look now. It's squarely on Joe Dumars, as the spinning wheel turns.

Dumars rightly gets credit for a lot of the team's success the previous decade. And he rightly gets blame for this mess, as the Pistons stagger aimlessly with a muddied roster and sullied hopes.

Frank deserved to get fired, if only because he stepped into a bad situation and did nothing to improve it. He's a solid basketball mind, but name one thing the Pistons do better now than two years ago. They tuned out Frank and went 54-94 as attendance plummeted to new lows.

Dumars' job should be in jeopardy, too, although I don't think owner Tom Gores will fire him. Gores is new to this and likely thinking as many of us have — Dumars did so much right early, there has to be something left.

I've always maintained Dumars could turn this around, even after owner Bill Davidson passed away and the franchise entered a two-year limbo. I have doubts now. For the sake of basketball in this area, I hope Dumars proves us wrong, that his plan will work, that Andre Drummond is the centerpiece of a revival and $20 million in cap space will be wisely spent.

The problem is, the Pistons tilt-a-whirl has become such a joke, how do they land a good coach even if Dumars can identify one? There's reason to cling to faith in Dumars, who has made some shrewd moves the past two years. But here's the concern: I'm not sure Gores has total faith in him. And if the owner has lingering doubts about the direction, it won't work.