Rick Carlisle has become a zen-like figure for the Dallas Mavericks, but this coming year may be his toughest challenge to date.
Mavs Head Coach, Rick Carlisle, is known in NBA circles as being one of the most tactically gifted coaches and poised minds in the league. His sophisticated philosophies, carefully crafted schemes, and ability to coach to a player’s strengths are what make him one of the most respected coaches in the league.
Now that the Mavericks are not in a position to truly contend for some time, Carlisle will have a complete shift of philosophies starting this year. Carlisle has been an accomplished coach when it comes to driving contending teams closer to a championship and getting average teams to overachieve.
Rarely, however, has Carlisle entered a season the way he is entering this one. At the helm of one of the youngest teams in the league, Carlisle is entering new territory. It all begins with Dennis Smith Jr, and the rest of the team’s young core.
Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel and Seth Curry are also part of this development, but Smith is where Carlisle will be tested the most. Not once during his tenure as the coach of the Mavericks has Carlisle coached a player with this much anticipation heading into his rookie year. The talented guard is a smooth passer, capable penetrator, and ruthless competitor who will bring a nasty temperament and flashy aspect to an otherwise boring roster.
Carlisle will exhibit his coaching abilities this season from a completely different and new perspective. His success in the past has been primarily through coaching veteran stars such as Reggie Miller, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, and of course, Dirk Nowitzki. Rarely has he seen too many rookies, and never before has there been the kind of pressure to play one of them as much as their is to play Smith this coming season.
The Mavericks are lucky to have Carlisle running the show, but this year will be a telling revelation for a team trying to find which way it is going in the long term. Rick Carlisle is unquestionably the best coach in the team’s history, and this coming year will be the newest, harshest, and possibly toughest test to date.