Rick Carlisle does not mind play-in tournament despite Doncic, Cuban criticisms
Luka Doncic is not a fan of the NBA's play-in tournament, but his coach, Rick Carlisle seems to be OK with it. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is zigging where the rest of his organization seems to be zagging.

Before his team’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Carlisle addressed the divisive topic of the league’s upcoming play-in tournament.

“My take on it is this,” Carlisle said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “If it’s in place and it’s going to happen, it’s great, and you’ve got to embrace it. If you’re in a situation where you end up playing in a play-in tournament, that’s going to be a great experience. That’s how you’ve got to look at it.

“Now that said, everybody’s trying to avoid it,” he went on. “Everybody wants that. I don’t know that they’re going to call it going forward, that guaranteed playoff position, the one through six. But look, my attitude about it is simply that. If it’s there, you’ve got to love it, and you’ve got to do your best to avoid it.”

Carlisle’s comments are a sharp contrast from those of other key figures on his team. Mavs star Luka Doncic recently called out the play-in format. Team owner Mark Cuban has also expressed his displeasure with the tournament. For what it’s worth, the Mavs entered Friday in fifth place in the West but only one game above the play-in zone.

The tournament has been a controversial topic among other teams as well. But Carlisle’s stance of “embrace it if you’re there, but try like heck to avoid it” does sound like a pretty reasonable take.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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