Dallas Mavericks head coach/guru has been put on a pedestal ever since bringing the team its first NBA Championship in franchise history. After now his first losing season with the team, we have to wonder, is Rick Carlisle‘s system still the answer? Or has the NBA outgrown it?
There are not very many coaches in the NBA that have really withstood the test of time. Obviously some coaches retire because they are getting old or get fired because the team wants to go in a different direction, but very few can stick around for a long time. Even fewer have been able to have success with multiple teams.
Some coaches who have been able to have success for multiple teams include Phil Jackson, Larry Brown, Pat Riley, and more. Rick Carlisle has earned his spot in that list as he has had regular season and playoff success with 3 different clubs: the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Dallas Mavericks.
The question for today, is Rick Carlisle’s coaching style becoming outdated? Let’s look at the facts. Carlisle has a career win percentage of 57.2% regular season and 48.3% playoffs. He has coached 1,214 total regular season games, which is in the top 25 in NBA history. With a win percentage like that, its hard to believe that the league is going to outgrow him.
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However, we have gotten so used to Coach Carlisle being a miracle worker with a squad that has been less than stellar, this season has caused all sorts of questions about the future coaching of the Mavs. Before Carlisle came to Dallas, he had one under .500 season, his last one before joining the Dallas Mavericks. Now, he is coming off his first losing season in Dallas.
It is hard to judge Carlisle on one bad season that was swamped by injuries and young players. His traditional style definitely favors experience over youth and his rotations have been brought to question on occasion, but just because his style didn’t work this season does not mean he is no longer equipped to coach the Mavs.
In my opinion, people need to calm down. The only reason Carlisle’s coaching methods were brought to question are because he had a bad year, much like most coaches do. That lack of success for one year does not counteract the great coaching he has done in the past, and it certainly does not mean that the league has changed too much for him. A lot of it stems from the changing perception of age in the NBA, which you can read about here.
All-in-all, forget about your concerns for Rick Carlisle. He is as good a coach as there is in the world and if he is loyal to the Mavs, the team should stay loyal to him. One bad season can’t take away as many good ones as he has given us.