Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will get credit someday, if he hasn’t already, for being a quality NBA coach. He’ll never get recognized as being one of the best of all-time although it’s almost possible to make an argument on his behalf.
His personality and conflicts with front office personnel over the years may have diminished Carlisle’s attractiveness, to some extent. Getting to 500 career wins is obviously significant.
Ironically, Carlisle hit that milestone during one of his poorest seasons as a coach record-wise. He’s only been below .500 once but that could happen again this season.
A 105-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers from earlier this week got Carlisle his 500th win.
It’s obviously been a disappointing season for the 2011 world champions. But so many things beyond Carlisle’s control, including injuries which has kept players like Dirk Nowitzki out off the lineup for many games, have contributed to that disappointment.
The talent that Carlisle has just hasn’t blended together that well for him. They’ve got a lot of work to do in the final weeks of the season if they expect to make the playoffs. But with the quality of teams they’d have to pass, it looks like a long shot right now.
Carlisle deserves credit for keeping the Mavericks competitive despite their struggles this season. The fact that he has stressed, for a long time, to finish strong and play good defense, is how he got to 500. The big question is if he’ll get to 600, and if so, when. He’s 219-142 (.607) since joining Dallas in 2008, which is very respectable. But in an era of ―what have you done for me lately―don’t be surprised that Carlisle is feeling more heat than he really should.