Dallas Mavericks: Rick Carlisle could have shot at Coach of the Year

Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks are making an early case for the playoffs and Rick Carlisle should be considered for Coach of the Year if they do make the top eight in the West.

It has been a very unique year for the Dallas Mavericks so far. After winning five of their first seven games with the only losses coming to the refs, the Mavs put forth some horrible performances and lost three of the next four, two of which were to the New York Knicks. Since the second loss to the Knicks, the Mavs have won five straight.

It’s not just that the Mavs have won five games in a row, though, it is how the Mavs have won these last five games. After a hard fought game against a scrappy Toronto Raptors team that was shooting lights out, the Mavs decided that it was time to show the world what they are really capable of.

Over the next four games, the Mavs never trailed after the first quarter. They won each game by double-digits and were not involved in a game that hadn’t already been decided well before the buzzer. Despite playing both of their interstate rivals in the same week, the Mavs led each game wire-to-wire, never allowing either the Rockets or Spurs to go on any sort of run to take the lead.

This also speaks to how quickly the Mavs have jumped on their opponents. After some concerns about slow starts earlier in the year, Coach Carlisle made some changes that really got the starting unit going right off the bat. He has also gotten the starting unit to work together which has resulted in good team offense and team defense in pivotal times of the game.

It feels like Carlisle is getting closer to a rotation that he feels more confident in. After shuffling things day in and day out, the Mavs have used the same starting lineup for the past three games and have had obvious success with it. A lot of this success is going to be attributed to Luka Doncic (and rightly so), but Carlisle has put the team in position to have continuous success this year and going forward.

The improvement of Kristaps Porzingis is one area that you can see Carlisle’s hand. Although he still isn’t where he was before the injury and he is more than capable of doing the things that he has done up to this point, Carlisle is clearly doing everything he can to put KP in a position for success.

The same can be said about Tim Hardaway Jr., Delon Wright, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and even Luka. This team is running like a well-oiled machine and fans of the game are benefitting it. With more big games coming up, the Mavs need to stay focused and remember just how dominant they have been up to this point.

There are not a lot of coaches that could have this roster where they are at this early in the season. Luka has been absolutely incredible and deserves every ounce of praise he is getting, but he has been put in a situation where success has been attainable.

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Carlisle has done an excellent job and if the team can keep doing what they have been doing, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be in the conversation for the Coach of the Year award.