Blog Entry

Carlisle adjusts first to bring Mavs to victory

Posted on: June 11, 2011 2:52 am
Edited on: June 11, 2011 10:33 am

Posted by Matt Moore

DALLAS -- Never blink first. That's the rule. You're never supposed to let the other guy see you're affected, that there's anything wrong with your plan. Confidence through everything is the way. And in the NBA, you're never supposed to be the coach who makes the first major adjustment to anything. Lineup, scheme, rotation, approach, anything. Because if you do, and you lose, there's no way you can blame the players. The questions will all come back to you and why you "went away from what worked all season" or "got away form what your team did so well." You're supposed to sit idly by and hope that a trend which had not benefitted you somehow begins to. Because the alternative is far scarier, the dreaded "unknown."

Rick Carlisle didn't want to have to make such a jump. He spoke all week about playing "their" game. He repeatedly said the Mavericks just needed to get back to doing what they do best, rebounding and defense. Except that hasn't been the model for the Dallas Mavericks at all in these playoffs and it was his direct move away from from the stubborness that dooms so many coaches that has his team up 3-2 against the mighty Heat.

Carlisle was the first to make a change in his starting rotation. His insertion of J.J. Barea into the starting lineup accomplished two things. It gave the Mavericks an offensive spark-plug to immediately torch the Heat on perimeter. It also allowed DeShawn Stevenson to combo with Shawn Marion, meaning Marion didn't have to play himself into the ground. Bringing a fresh defender to guard LeBron James has had more to do with this series swinging in Dallas' favor than James' effort.

(Psst! Don't tell the rest of the media! I'm supposed to keep you hanging on to every word about LeBron's heart being made of eel skin!)

Carlisle admitted after Game 3 that changes had to be made. The same signs were present for Erik Spoelstra, but instead, he has elected to stick with Mike Bibby and company. The Heat are stubborn, the Mavericks quietly adaptable. And while Carlisle would deny and defer any praise for his strategic adjustments, it has been Carlisle that has led the Mavericks here, to this point.

Never blink. That's the thought process that turns coaching into a game of chicken. Entering into such a game is what causes you to lose in the first place.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 2:07 am

Carlisle adjusts first to bring Mavs to victory

Who the heck is Matt Moore, and has he ever followed playoff basketball at ALL??  Everyone (except him, I guess) knows that the playoffs are ALL ABOUT adjustments!  The team that loses game 1 has to make some adjustments for game 2 or face being down 0-2.  If they win, then the OTHER team's coach has to make adjustments for game 3, and so on...what the heck has little Mattie been watching, and why is he such an ignoramus about this..."don't blink", for Christ sake?  Seriously??  Geez.

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