Saturday, May 3, 2008

An Extensive Coach Hunt

The Mavericks concluded their terribly long process of finding Avery Johnson's successor only two days after his firing. Rick Carlisle is the first true coach hiring of Mark Cuban since buying the team eight years ago. The right man for the job? You decide.


1) Unlike many coaches, Carlisle has the rare blend of offensive and defensive coaching skills, unlike the other candidates, who are seemingly either offensive geniuses ( Mike D'Antoni) or defensive geniuses ( Jeff Van Gundy). Neither appears competent on the other side of the ball, while Carlisle has proficiency in both areas.

2) Two out of his last five seasons as a coach, Carlisle's teams twice held teams to under 90 points per game, and averaged an opponent score of 91 points. This is great, especially when four of these years were with the Pacers--a team not of on the Mavericks level. Comparitively, Under Avery Johnson (the man who put the "D" in Dallas), the Mavs allowed an average of 94 points per game, peaking at 95.9 ppg allowed this season.

3) Similar to Avery (and yes, this is still a positive), Carlisle is a great motivator.

4) As well, we can finally depart from watching the isolation offense and shift to the more enjoyable (and hopefully successful) motion offense run by Rick.


1) His coaching style is too similar to Avery's. We thought the new coach would be a departure from a hands on, call-every-play style, but that is exactly Rick Carlisle's approach. Will the players still want to put up with all the structure?

2) In both of his coaching stints, Rick has never improved upon his record of the first season. In Detroit he went 50-32 in year one and again in year two before his removal. In 2003, his first season with Indiana, he won an astounding 61 games. The following year this number scarily dwindled to 44, then to 41, and finally to 35, sealing his firing.

3) Can such a control freak co-exist with fellow control whore Mark Cuban? We thought Avery could, until we heard all about his spat with Cuban...and the cool "Avery's Team" shirt. That isn't sarcastic, i tried to buy it on eBay.

4) Possibly the most potentially frightening point: Carlisle has a career record of 30-32 in the playoffs. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal, as he has advanced to the conference finals--in the East--twice (once being swept, however), but was not a large reason of Avery's firing due to his recent inability to win in the playoffs? Would we not want to hire someone who has a proven record of success in the playoffs? Maybe a championship? I thought that was the ultimate goal.

Avery proved he could win in the regular season; that was not the problem.

In other news, we might not be able to beat the Hornets, but at least we've mastered routine mascot tricks.


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