Rick Carlisle; Why Mavs Are Closer Than We Think
By Asher Feltman
First off, that is a semicolon not a colon. The bottom dot is squiggly and…not a dot. Our Head Coach did not say these words to me or say them at all, because it’s a semicolon and not a colon. Meanwhile, in my brain…
Even though our Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs nearly two weeks ago, the games haven’t stopped. Can you imagine if they did? Like, no more Dirk no more basketball…that’s it.
Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
After a historically competitive round one of the tournament that saw the Mavericks take the top seeded and league best San Antonio Spurs all the way to an elimination Game 7, things returned to what has been the norm for the National Basketball Association for about 20 years now.
The stars shined and the same franchised took hold of things.
The Spurs are back in the Western Conference Finals – their third straight trip – to face the Oklahoma City Thunder – their third trip in four seasons.
LeBron James and other humans in Heat uniforms have delivered Miami their fourth straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance. They will face the Indiana Pacers, who will be making their second consecutive trip and also will get their third shot in three seasons to take down the Miami Heat, the first coming in the East Semi-Finals in 2012.
Spurs and Thunder. Heat and Pacers. Surprised, are you?
But throughout the playoffs we have seen a bunch of teams with young talent maturing on the big stage. The assumption is that clubs like the Wizards with John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Clippers with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Blazers with Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as a handful of other teams will be in the mix for years to come with what they’re building.
As talented as these sets of players are and with years ahead of them to get even better, the amount of mistakes, blunders, errors or simply put…utter stupidity that have been on display in the 2014 NBA Playoffs is startling.
Still no Conference Finals for #CP3 Photo Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Shot selection, technical fouls, late game decision making, fouling three point shooters and hell, some players have decided to foul half court shooters. These mistakes aren’t made by championship basketball teams, and there’s no coincidence one of the “hot young” squads has yet to climb to the top of the NBA mountain. I would comfortably bet this year will be no different.
Unless the NBA front office and referees really pull one out of their hats (don’t put it past Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy or Bennett Salvatore to make sure Kevin, Russell and @MamaDurant get to take a trip to the Finals) then there’s no reason to believe the disciplined and holy-%$#&-coaches-can-call-plays approach puts San Antonio back in the NBA Finals. Both East teams are well coaches, one is deeper than the other with less to lose. The other has LeBron…and Toney “Strugglas” Douglas.
On that note, I’d like to point out that it’s no coincidence that teams utilizing the simplified ball movement and help the helper defense make up 3/4 of the NBA’s Final 4. The exception. Because they have Kevin Durant and that unstable other really good guy.
Every season fans and analysts and whatever Jalen Rose is fall in love with the exciting and/or young and/or fast pace teams. The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards are some examples, especially the Warriors. Jump shooting teams without a bench don’t usually travel far down the bracket.
Coach Rick’s Knowledge: Have It All
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Talent wins sports games, but there’s talent on every team and there’s talent waiting to join teams. There’s talent everywhere, is the gist of what I am saying. There’s rare talent that can overcome a less than desirable supporting cast or an inept coach. But let’s look at the list of Head Coaches who have won NBA championships in recent memory.
Erik Spoelstra, Erik Spoelstra, Rick Carlisle, Phil Jackson, Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Larry Brown, Gregg Popovich, and a couple more Phil Jackson’s.
Point being…well, the point makes itself.
The Dallas Mavericks as is are not a championship contender. But they have a foundation, a lot of cap room, Dirk Nowitzki to lead the troops, and they have one of the seven coaches listed above that can make even O.J. Mayo seem formidable and bring a team with nine new players to 49 wins.
Bottom line, the Mavericks will be a different team on the floor personnel wise, but as long as we have Coach Carlisle, we’re never too far from being back in the mix to win it all.