Rick Carlisle earned his reputation as one of the game’s top coaches by bending flexing and adjusting all the way to a six-game championship take-down of the Miami Heat in 2011.
Recall 5-foot-10 point guard J.J. Barea as an NBA Finals starting shooting guard?
The Dallas Mavericks have since gone 77-72 and haven’t won another playoff game. And despite a roster that’s read like a well-worn Rolodex Carlisle has seemed only to enhance his image as an elite tactician and motivator. Carlisle’s agility will be put to the test again this season in guiding a team that again barely resembles the one that preceded it.
From the 2010-11 championship team only Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion remain. From the revamped squad insufficiently stocked to defend the title add only Brandan Wright and Vince Carter as keepers. And from last season add draft picks Jae Crowder and Bernard James. It’s doubtful any coach especially one that won a ring with the same franchise just three Junes ago has witnessed...