Close Article Return to stream X
NBA

Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle Faces Multiple Challenges This Season

+Read full article
Rick Carlisle

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Carlisle enters his season sixth season as the Dallas Mavericks head coach, and you could argue that this will be one of the most challenging seasons he has ever faced. With a roster filled with nine new members for the second straight year, an aging super star in Dirk Nowitzki, and one of the league’s worse defensive, Carlisle has his work cut out for him.

Creating winning team chemistry is a challenge for every team at the beginning of the year, but most teams have a core unit that has a few years of experience playing together on their side. Dallas has nine new players that were added to the roster this season, including six players acquired through free agency and three rookies. When I spoke with 15-year veteran Vince Carter regarding this matter, he simply said, “I actually think having veteran guys with experience may help create team chemistry, because they have played in different systems and know how to pick up a new system quickly.” That may be true, but the faster this new group can learn each other’s tendencies and buy into Carlisle’s schemes, the faster wins will start accumulating.

Carlisle must quickly find out which lineups work best. Last year, Carlisle used the line up of Elton Brand, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo for 101 minutes in 21 games (more than any other lineup). That lineup, in my opinion, was the best mix of athleticism and basketball skill that the Mavericks had. I’m sure Maverick fans are surprised to find that their franchise player, Nowitzki, wasn’t a part of that lineup, but remember, last season Nowitzki only played in 53 games for the Mavericks, as he was sidelined for most of the season after arthroscopic knee surgery.

This season, Carlisle will have to closely manage minutes for his veterans. Carlisle said, “We have younger guys that need to step it up and establish themselves more, going into their second year.” Carlisle added that it’s going to come down to defense.

I couldn’t agree with you more coach! Defense is the main obstacle the Mavericks will face this season. Last year, the Mavericks finished with a 500 record (41-41); opponents  in every defensive statistical category bested them. Dallas was ranked 27th in team defense last season, and with the addition of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon in the back court, Dallas did not sure up any defensive holes. Ellis and Calderon are not lock down defenders; both are known mostly for their offensive attributes and lack of defensive presence across the league. This doesn’t boast well for the Mavericks in the Western Conference, where almost every night they face an All-Star point guard.

Carlisle will have to put his faith in a “collective team effort” type of defense, anchored by Center Samuel Dalembert. At 6-foot-11, the 11-year veteran averaged 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, and will do his best to recreate the presence of Center Tyson Chandler during the 2010 season.

Success by the Mavericks this season boils down to the coaching performance Carlisle can pull off. He will need all 11 years of his coaching experience to steer this Maverick ship back to the playoffs. The first preseason action for the Mavericks begins on Oct. 7  against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ready, set, coach!

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Dirk Nails Game-Winner, Gets Love From Kobe

Kobe Bryant wasn't able to lace up for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, but he still managed to make the highlight reels on multiple occasions. After Dirk Nowitzki nailed what turned out to be the game-winning jumper, he stumbled backward into Bryant and received a pat of approval. This encounter is the definition of the saying 'game recognizes game' as the two players are both legends and future Hall of Famers.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Josh Smith Fakes Dirk Nowitzki Out of His Shoes

Josh Smith has returned to the Houston Rockets via trade, and he made the most of his first game back. He scored 16 points off the bench, including this drive on Dirk Nowitzki that made Smith look like Hakeem Olajuwon. Could Ty Lawson and Josh Smith be the spark duo off the bench that rejuvenates this Rockets team?

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Watch Nowitzki Spoof Trump In Hilarious Ad

Although he may not look like it, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is one of the funniest guys in the NBA. He was up to his old tricks again in this video, and I couldn't stop laughing after watching this.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Watch Kings' Rondo Attempt To Trip Mavs' Williams

Last night's game between the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks was one of the most entertaining of the season. It was a back-and-forth contest that ended on a Deron Williams three-pointer as time expired in double-overtime. Unfortunately, Williams almost didn't get to take that shot as Rajon Rondo attempted to trip him from the bench earlier in the game which could have caused serious injury. Rondo should be suspended for his actions.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Deron Williams Hits Game-Winning 3 In Double OT

The Sacramento Kings had a two-point lead in double overtime against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday evening, but Deron Williams came through with a clutch three as time expired to cement a one-point victory.

Comment 0 Comments