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Frank Slade
09-22-2006, 02:56 PM
Is Extending Carlisle’s Contract The Right Move?

http://www.nba.com/media/pacers/carlisle_165_vertical.jpg
Rick Carlisle ranks among the most successful young coaches in NBA history.

Friday, Sept. 22, 2006


QUESTION OF THE DAY
Conrad Brunner

Q. On hearing the recent news Rick Carlisle will be given a contract extension before the start of training camp, do you think that that is a wise decision? I think Carlisle is a good coach but I am just not sure if he will be able to lead the Pacers in this new up-tempo offense. We have been playing very mediocre with the exception of one year under Carlisle. He seems to be distant from the players, and there is just no bond between him and the players. I think personally that the best decision would be to wait until the end of the year before an extension is given and see if this new system works for him and to see if he is the one for this team. What are your thoughts? (From Isaac in Indianapolis)


A. Carlisle's three seasons here have run the gamut. After a spectacular 61-victory debut, he and the team lived through the nightmare of 2004-05. In fact, though the team struggled to win 44 games, it represented a much more impressive coaching job because Carlisle had to essentially re-invent the team and offensive system several times throughout the course of the season because of the ever-changing nature of the personnel. In fact, when considering the first-round playoff victory, that might've been the singularly most impressive coaching job by anyone in the last decade.

Then came last season, when nothing went as planned for anyone, including Carlisle. Does that mean it's time to abandon the same coach that won 61 games, the same coach who then took a roster of misfits and castoffs to the second round of the playoffs? What, exactly, would be the point of that?

Like the players, Carlisle shares ownership in last season and is fully aware of the mistakes made along the way that contributed to the decline not only in team performance but morale. But it's important to remember he still is a relatively young head coach, one of the most successful in league history at this stage of his career. It's a safe bet that the experiences of the past two seasons have made him better because of both the lessons learned and the perspective gained.

The absence of Mike Brown last season left a void between the coaching staff and the locker room. The presence of Johnny Davis this season should help rebuild that bridge.

As for his ability to coach an up-tempo offense, it should be remembered that the only time in the last 12 seasons the Pacers averaged more than 100 points (1999-00), Carlisle was the offensive coordinator under Larry Bird and the roster wasn't exactly comprised of whippets. He developed a focus on defense in Detroit because that's what the personnel dictated. The current Pacers have been built more for speed and thus his focus can, and will, evolve.

It's important for the franchise to show the requisite faith in the man on the bench through a contract extension, though not necessary for the reason many assume. It's a common storyline that a coach in the final year of a contract is a powerless lame-duck.

Players in contract years, on the other hand, are assumed to be at peak motivation and productivity. Somewhere between those disparate perceptions lies reality. The bigger reason to extend the coach's contract is because it's the right thing to do for a man that has, on the whole, done a very good job in his time with the Pacers.

Pacers.com (http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question_060922.html)

ChicagoJ
09-22-2006, 03:06 PM
In a word: No.

http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20486

thunderbird1245
09-22-2006, 03:13 PM
My answer is yes, as has been discussed ad nauseum in other threads. I don't always agree with Bruno's opinions, but I think this article pretty much hits the nail on the head.

JMO

imawhat
09-22-2006, 03:58 PM
As for his ability to coach an up-tempo offense, it should be remembered that the only time in the last 12 seasons the Pacers averaged more than 100 points (1999-00), Carlisle was the offensive coordinator under Larry Bird and the roster wasn't exactly comprised of whippets. He developed a focus on defense in Detroit because that's what the personnel dictated. The current Pacers have been built more for speed and thus his focus can, and will, evolve.



This is a great, great point that is too often overlooked. The offense from late '97 to '00 was great. And everyone says how unflexible his coaching is, but look at how distinct the style changes were in the last two years while Carlisle dealt with injuries and suspensions.

Carlisle had some great things to say in the radio interview with JMV last month. I think he will follow through, and hopefully he'll be allowed to do that without a contract extension hanging over his head.

aero
09-22-2006, 03:58 PM
I agree with Thunderbirld

Kegboy
09-22-2006, 04:06 PM
http://www.nba.com/media/pacers/carlisle_165_vertical.jpg
Rick Carlisle entertains the crowd with his best Mark Monteith impersonation.

Fixed.

:bunny:

Hicks
09-22-2006, 04:11 PM
My answer is yes.

Bball
09-22-2006, 04:31 PM
How old is Rick Carlisle and when will he cease being a 'young coach'?

-Bball

ChicagoJ
09-22-2006, 04:32 PM
He developed a focus on defense in Detroit because that's what the personnel dictated. The current Pacers have been built more for speed and thus his focus can, and will, evolve.

Carlisle's Indiana teams have all been more capable, presonnel wise, on the offensive end than Carlisle's Detroit teams. And he's slightly loosened up the reigns.

I think it would be more apporpriate to re-write Bruno's sentence to say,


He developed a focus on defense in Detroit because that's what coaches do when they slide over one seat to the head coach's chair.

Hicks
09-22-2006, 04:37 PM
How old is Rick Carlisle and when will he cease being a 'young coach'?

-Bball

He's completed 5 seasons as a head coach. I'd say he's beyond "rookie" status, but you could think of him as a "sophomore" until he's finished his 10th, IMO. But that's just me.

vapacersfan
09-22-2006, 04:45 PM
In one word.

Yes.

BlueNGold
09-22-2006, 10:50 PM
The absence of Mike Brown last season left a void between the coaching staff and the locker room. The presence of Johnny Davis this season should help rebuild that bridge.


I think this quote says a lot about RC's disconnect with the players. Let's just say he ain't no Gregg Popovich.

The one and only reason I am ok with RC coming back is that I believe he is an excellent tactician. He will win over 45 games with his eyes closed as long as he has a healthy team.

Maybe Armstrong and Johnny Davis can buffer the apparent problem with how RC (and LB IMO) interact with the players.

Miller4ever
09-22-2006, 10:51 PM
Yes. I think its dumb to blame carlisle for everything that happened these 2 years.. in fact.. i got something to remember.

Somebody else will be your NBA Coach of the Year. The likeliest somebody is Scott Skiles, the former Plymouth High star who has led the Bulls back from lottery purgatory. And there are persuasive cases to be made, too, for Phoenix's Mike D'Antoni and Seattle's Nate McMillan.

There's virtually no way Indiana's Rick Carlisle will win that award because: A.) the other candidates have built up so much public momentum; and B.) he won it in 2002.

But he deserves something.

An FTD floral bouquet. A hearty pat on the back. Free oil changes for life from your local, participating Jiffy Lube. An additional stroke or two on each side.

Something.

Because what he and his staff have done with this team -- or the skeletal remains of this team -- is utterly remarkable. Forget the job Carlisle did in resurrecting the Pistons, or winning 61 games last season with the Pacers. This has been his best job, maybe the best job in the NBA, even if it doesn't get him any hardware.

"I think Rick could be a candidate every year," Pacers president Larry Bird said before Wednesday night's playoff-clinching 90-86 victory over the New Jersey Nets. "But this year has been pretty special because of how our team has played through all the adversity, how he's held them together."

What kind of year has it been? Carlisle has looked at more lineups than an FBI mob informant. The Pacers have had 28 starting combinations, none for more than seven games.

When Carlisle was asked before Wednesday's game about the season's worth of madness, he mused, "What's your definition of normal?"

At the risk of delving into Clintonian semantics, let's say that while normalcy is a relative term, this season has not been normal by anybody's definition.

It started with the Nov. 19 brawl in Auburn Hills, Mich., and it hasn't gotten much saner since. There was a game when the Pacers fielded a team of six players. There were nights when we were introduced to Marcus Haislip, Tremaine Fowlkes and the immortal Britten Johnson. There was the bomb threat in Auburn Hills. And there were injuries, plenty of them.

Now look.

The playoffs.

"I'm really proud of them because they know it's (Reggie Miller's) last year, and they've stepped up, with Reggie, to get us to the playoffs," Bird said. "And you hear things -- nobody wants to play us in the playoffs -- and that's a lot to say about a team that's gone through the stuff we've gone through this year."

Of all the things Carlisle did with this team, the most important was his refusal to let them wallow in self-pity. They could have felt like victims when commissioner David Stern came down harshly upon them. They could have felt like the season was doomed when the injuries mounted. Who could have blamed them? They had every conceivable excuse for failure at their disposal.

Carlisle, though, wouldn't let anybody take the easy way out, remaining relentlessly optimistic and emotionally unflappable, no matter how crazy things got.

And he had help.

He had a lot of help in a locker room filled with professionals -- especially Miller, who refused to let his final season go down the drain, leaving the locals with one more memory to cherish Wednesday.

And he had help from Indiana's fans, who kept showing up and refused to let this team quit.

"I can only think of one small stretch when I think we felt a little bit sorry for ourselves," Pacers forward Austin Croshere said before the game. "It was when we played with just six guys. We played well early, but then that wore off. We kind of went through this weird mental thing where we were always thinking, 'Well, we've got Jermaine (O'Neal) coming back. Or well, we've got (Stephen) Jackson coming back.'

"It really wasn't until this last 15 games, after J.O. got hurt and Dale Davis came in, we realized, 'We're not waiting on anybody anymore. Nobody's going to come back now. So either we make it happen or we don't.' "

Somehow, they've made it happen.

They've made it happen with Anthony Johnson playing out of his mind, with Miller acting like he's 24 again, with role players such as James Jones and Eddie Gill making unlikely contributions.

And Carlisle has adjusted.

So, are they better off without O'Neal?

That's great talk-radio fodder, but it's dumb as can be, especially given the quality of Indiana's opponents through this stretch. They need a healthy, productive O'Neal in the playoffs, or they're not going to stick around long enough to see Miami or Detroit.

Still, could anybody have imagined this would be the Pacers' lineup in the final moments of a game when the playoffs were on the line?

Jackson and Miller, sure. But James Jones? Johnson? Davis? Not a chance.

Somebody has done a brilliant coaching job.

He just won't have an award to show for it.

Will Galen
09-22-2006, 11:13 PM
GREAT, GREAT, POST BY CONRAD!

One of his best ever! I agree wholeheartedly with every word he said!

Really I do. I just felt like hyperboling it up a bit. (snort)

Leisure Suit Larry
09-23-2006, 03:04 AM
I agree with Thunderbirld

I agree with Aero

Bball
09-23-2006, 03:51 AM
He just won't have an award to show for it.

An extension would itself be a nice reward... would it not?

-Bball

Eindar
09-23-2006, 06:54 AM
If you were Bernie Bickerstaff, and you'd seen Carlisle lead essentially an NBDL All-Star team to the playoffs, wouldn't you be throwing a rediculous amount of money at him in order to get him for the cap-starved Bobcats?

Kaufman
09-23-2006, 07:46 AM
If you were Bernie Bickerstaff, and you'd seen Carlisle lead essentially an NBDL All-Star team to the playoffs, wouldn't you be throwing a rediculous amount of money at him in order to get him for the cap-starved Bobcats?

Wouldn't that be Michael Jordan's call?

Miller4ever
09-23-2006, 01:15 PM
An extension would itself be a nice reward... would it not?

-Bball

Yes... i just quoted an article heh

ABADays
09-23-2006, 01:41 PM
This is not 20-20 hindsight or anything similar but when we named IT head coach I nearly keeled over when we had the like of Carlisle and Scott to pick from. While I was a little more pro-Scott, Rick is and remains a great choice. I'm not sure I can ever remember a coach having to go through so much BS in such a short period of time. He can stay and I welcome it.

Bball
09-23-2006, 02:19 PM
He's completed 5 seasons as a head coach. I'd say he's beyond "rookie" status, but you could think of him as a "sophomore" until he's finished his 10th, IMO. But that's just me.

But these past two seasons have probably been more like dog years and so it's been more like he's coached the Pacers 15 years now. Add a couple years from Detroit and he's a 17 year head coaching veteran. ;)

-Bball

Unclebuck
09-23-2006, 02:21 PM
I'm really sick and tired of discussing whether Rick will uptempo the offense, at this point I just want to wait and see. Haven't we talked this to death