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View Full Version : One reason why Rick Carlisle is a great coach



Unclebuck
01-28-2007, 10:02 AM
I'm not here to get into an argument as to who should be considered as a "great coach" if great is too strong a word, then let's just say excellent coach.

One of the easiest things to do as a fan is to criticize the coach especially one that has been here now almost 4 seasons. Most of us watch every game and by now we have seen Rick in about every imagineable situation and perhaps fatigue has set in.

But let me get to the point I want to make.

One reason why Rick is a great coach is because he's excellent at using his players correctly. He puts them in a position to succeed. He doesn't ask or expect players to do things they aren't capable of doing.

Look at the players that played under Rick as a Pacer but have moved on. (It is way too early to make any judgements on Jax, Al, Saras, Powell - so I will leave them out)

Ron Artest hasn't played nearly as well as he did when he was here in the 2004 and start of 2005 season he was an allstar and he hasn't gotten close to that level since moving on. I watch Kings games and I see Ron being put in positions on the court to fail. He isn't being used correctly and not nearly as well as Rick used him. I get into specifics but I won't for now. Let me move on.

AJ last year was playing great - in fact in the playoffs he outplayed Jason Kidd (yes I know what you are thinking Jay). AJ has done nothing in Dallas - he rarely plays. Same thing with Croshere, Rick knew exactly how to get the most out of him.

Fred Jones - there were times during suspensions and injuries where Freddie was the Pacers best player or at least close to it. Now look at him, he hardly ever plays.

I can't think of one player that Rick has coached here that was traded and now you see him and say wow, he wasn't this good as a Pacer. But the reverse - there are many examples.

Troy Murphy is a prime example. There is no doubt in my mind that Rick has and will use him in the correct way, we've already seen it and will continue to see it more in the future.

Rick is great at putting his players in a position to be successful - I see strong evidence that he gets the most out of his players, he doesn't ask or expect them to do more than they can. Of course the flip side of this is maybe he isn't great at getting his players to expand their games - maybe if he forced Jeff to shoot more, maybe he'd be a better shooter now. I know that side of the argument - we've discussed that side of things to death for several years now, but we rarely if ever look at the good side of that.

The Pistons fans who frequent this forum will agree with me if they were paying attention to the difference when Larry Brown took over for Carlisle. Brown was great at expanding the games of individual players where as Rick great at putting his players in positions on the court to succeed.

I realize there are a lot of arguments to dispute my theory, and I certainly welcome those arguments.

I just thought it was time to discuss something that makes Rick an excellent coach.

edc
01-28-2007, 10:52 AM
Yes Rick Carlisle is an excellent Coach.

Just remember when he coach the pistons before. He made them overachiever.

When Larry Brown coach the pistons it looks like he will fail until Rasheed came.

The only player that "look good" is Brad Miller.

BlueNGold
01-28-2007, 11:06 AM
Rick has this down to a science. I agree he does a good job of helping players succeed.

With Artest, he knew Ron's greatest strength on offense was posting him up. That's one of the reasons we had a slow it down, pound it in game. Ron does not fit as well in Sac because they have a different philosophy on offense.

As for AJ and Fred, I think their main issue is not that they are not being used properly...but that they are competing with better players. I actually think Toronto's style is better for Fred, in fact.

As for Troy, he is in the best situation he could possibly be under RC. A structured offense with a great post player. This is a perfect marriage with his rebounding and shooting. Heck, his defense is underrated as well. ...and he has a nice interior game.

The same could be said for MDJ. He is a cerebral player who will become more effective as he gets better integrated into the system. Basically, a structured system is a good fit for a player like MJD. Also, he gets a fresh start with relatively low expectations. Another good marriage.

McKeyFan
01-28-2007, 11:16 AM
Carlisle does a lot of things well.

He emphasizes professionalism. Translated, he expects players to adhere to precise schemes on offense and defense, to protect the ball, to play with effort, and to do their job whether in the mood or not. (Doesn't always enforce this correctly, but that's another thread).

He emphasizes defense. It's half the game, and it's the half that most teams and coaches don't emphasize, and almost no players. This emphasis places Rick in the top tier all by itself.

He is a helluva politician off the court. With rare exception, he does not criticize players or offer up much in the way of gossip and inside info and continues to keep a positive spin on everything. As much as I hate this as a fan wanting inside info, I respect it.

He clearly is a student of the game and knows his x's and o's well, although I don't enough about this to comment on it. But from what I can tell, he errs in the direction of being too good at this rather than good at the relational part of the job.

With that said, now that most of the players are gone who might provide relational difficulties for Rick, he is in a good position to use his excellent coaching gifts to take us someplace. I sure hope so.

edc
01-28-2007, 11:17 AM
The same could be said for MDJ. He is a cerebral player who will become more effective as he gets better integrated into the system. Basically, a structured system is a good fit for a player like MJD. Also, he gets a fresh start with relatively low expectations. Another good marriage.


Much like Duke.

aceace
01-28-2007, 11:18 AM
Ricks never been a question in my mind. Before the trade it was obvious we had chemistry problems. Jax and Al are still very good players, they are doing well in GS. It will be interesting to watch their next six games all on the road. GS is 2-2 since and could have won all 4. So this may work out good for both teams. If Dunleavy gets back to 45% from the field and 39% from 3 the rest of the league is in trouble.

avoidingtheclowns
01-28-2007, 11:49 AM
i don't think you can say that he did what was best for the player, as much as he utilized the players in the way that was best for the team. look, Al should have been playing the 4 but that wasn't working, putting him at the 3 was the best option at the time as Al wasn't going to take kindly to coming off the bench. Runi is a point guard and Rick didn't really use him as such BUT this makes sense because in Rick's style its not a wide open, fast-paced game and Runi isn't the floor general that Rick needed and defensively was a liability.

and UB's comment about ron... he hasn't had nearly the supporting cast he had in indiana, face it. that could be a huge reason he isn't the player he had been. i don't entirely know how you can credit a coach for the success of an uncoachable player.

AJ i think is in a situation where they have a clusterf&#k with the guards. you've got terry, harris, stackhouse, howard moves to the 2 some times ... so that doesn't leave many minutes for AJ. with Austin, i think a lot of it is about being behind Dirk and he just doesn't make it into the rotation, which is a shame. but remember, with both guys, Armstrong barely played for the Mavs last season. and Quis barely played for us until late.

i think right now we have a team that is more of rick's style. we just brought in two players maligned for not being stars but are fairly versatile and intelligent basketball players. they don't play with careless abandon like Al, Stephen and Runi... i don't mean careless in negative way. it was negative for our team but i think its going to work wonders in GS. nelson doesn't worry about mistakes while rick believes every possession to be important... thats what i mean by carelessness. and MDJ / TM don't have that. they think too much on the court which is totally rick's perspective. i think both teams made a great deal (although i would have kept powell and traded baston or harrison... look at the warriors thread for powell's performance last night)

i do agree that carlisle is a great coach. i think a lot of people know rick's hype and expected his coaching to overcome the brawl and injuries and malcontents... bobby knight just had an interesting quote about parcells retiring. he essentially said it was TO that made Parcells retire and that if he (knight) had to coach TO it would have driven him out of coaching long before it did parcells. now, Artest has been described as TO x 3... you don't think that weighs on a coach? plus the injuries plus other malcontents like Jax and Runi and from what it seems like post-trade Al (mainly Jax tho). and players that didn't really fit into his philosophy. i don't think you should judge carlisle on what happened before. we made the playoffs both years when we could have been the bucks or the hornets of this year. give the guy a little credit for not quitting and having some amount of success.

SoupIsGood
01-28-2007, 11:56 AM
primoz

Evan_The_Dude
01-28-2007, 11:58 AM
I guess we're just finally seeing that all this time maybe it wasn't the coach -- it was the players.

brichard
01-28-2007, 12:06 PM
Rick is definitely one of the best "X's" and "O's" guys in the business. I'll never forget when we would have all the debates about the open run game, and when JO would come back it would cease to exist. And as has been revealed this year, it is not b/c it is Carlisle's preference, it is b/c JO needs that type of system to succeed. And when you are developing a scheme, you want to make sure it caters to the talents of your best offensive players.

Where Carlisle lacks skill is on the personal front of things. Keeping bad attitude players in check and in genereal rallying the troops. The interpersonal skills are where he is probably most maligned, and it overshadows his competence in designing strategies. But what has been interesting is that TBTB has to know this isn't a strength of his, yet we have surrounded him with headcases that would make Phil Jackson's head spin.

I'm not sure if this team is good enough to do well in the post season, but I do think that for the first time since he has been here, that Carlisle has the best type of players to fit his coaching style. However, only time will tell if that is true or not.

Unclebuck
01-28-2007, 12:11 PM
primoz

It wasn't that Rick used him incorrectly, he didn't use him at all. I would argue that if Rick would have played Primo, Rick would have put him in situations on the floor to maximize his game

avoidingtheclowns
01-28-2007, 12:15 PM
well you could also mention james jones as a player who flourished elsewhere... but doesn't steve nash make everyone look great? lol

another thing i'd like to add...

rick has only been a head coach for 5 seasons. he is #5 of active coaches winning percentage (with at least 2 seasons)

Rick Carlisle: 246-164 (60.0)

which is ahead of guys like jerry sloan, don nelson, george karl, etc...

don't forget this guy is still in the early years of his coaching career and has made the playoffs each time. took a previously struggling detroit team to back-to-back 50 win seasons. took an isiah thomas mess of a pacer team to the conf. finals. then had two and a half seasons destroyed by injury and player behavior and pieces that didn't work.

BobbyMac
01-28-2007, 12:35 PM
James Jones is playing 14 minutes a game and avg 5.6...about what he did here.

avoidingtheclowns
01-28-2007, 01:37 PM
i guess i was referring to last season... its really difficult to get minutes on the sun's team. good lord. when one of your bench players is barbosa...

Jermaniac
01-28-2007, 01:46 PM
I really agree with what you said about Ron. I have always said that Rick Carlisle made Ron Artest into an all star. Rick put him in that post up non stop, and got him those easy Ron buckets that no player in the world could defend. As soon as I saw what Ron was doing with the Kings I knew he wouldnt be as good as he was with us.

mcampbellarch
01-28-2007, 02:22 PM
Derrivative of the last comment. Is it me, or have Brad and Ron kind of gone on to not really reach their potential. I would say that good coaches do the best with what they have, and understand how to best use the people they have. Give people the opportunity to flourish to the extent that it fits the overall organizational plan.

imawhat
01-28-2007, 04:17 PM
It wasn't that Rick used him incorrectly, he didn't use him at all. I would argue that if Rick would have played Orimo, Rick would have put him in situations on the floor to maximize his game

Well then you have to use that angle for most of the players on your list, including Fred Jones, Croshere, AJ, etc. They all have lost significant minutes for the same exact reason as Primoz. Same dropoff in production.


I think Rick is very hit and miss with his use of players. I agree that he was great with Ron, but I can think of a lot more players that he misused at one time or another, including four major ones in the last two years:

1. Al Harrington- Never should've been used at SF. He's too slow to guard SF and is a very good post player. Supposedly Al's suggestion, but Rick IS the coach and it's his job to maximize his talent. Not a shocker his level of play drastically dropped.

2. Sarunas Jasikevicius- I have to question anyone who takes the ball out of a playmaker's hand. Using him at SG was a huge mistake, and fortunately Rick corrected that this year with a double PG set. Still, it shouldn't have taken an entire year to figure that out; maybe five games at the most.

3. Jermaine O'Neal- Has the second best post game in the Eastern Conference, as well as being quicker than most his size, yet Rick had him at the elbow for nearly two years. That's worse than taking the second best three point shooter in the Eastern Conference and putting him under the basket. Jermaine has always been our best option for the highest quality shot, and he spent most of the game not taking them.

4. Danny Granger- Using Danny at SG speaks for itself. He doesn't have the lateral movement to defend SG and he has a great all-around game. People will argue that he was the starting SF at the beginning of the season, but on offense he was playing SG. Now he's guarding players he shouldn't. And he's an excellent defender near the basket, which is now unused.



I understand that it's difficult to maximize your talent, and a lot of times Rick (up until the trade) had use a lot of overlapping skills, but two of these were major misuses, and shouldn't happen at all. I think Rick is a very good coach, but I don't neccessarily think player use is one of his strengths.

Unclebuck
01-28-2007, 05:11 PM
I think Rick is a very good coach, but I don't neccessarily think player use is one of his strengths.

Needless to say I completely dissagree as I think that is his greatest asset as a coach

Naptown_Seth
01-28-2007, 05:52 PM
Carlisle does a lot of things well.

He emphasizes professionalism. Translated, he expects players to adhere to precise schemes on offense and defense, to protect the ball, to play with effort, and to do their job whether in the mood or not. (Doesn't always enforce this correctly, but that's another thread).

He emphasizes defense. It's half the game, and it's the half that most teams and coaches don't emphasize, and almost no players. This emphasis places Rick in the top tier all by itself.

He is a helluva politician off the court. With rare exception, he does not criticize players or offer up much in the way of gossip and inside info and continues to keep a positive spin on everything. As much as I hate this as a fan wanting inside info, I respect it.

He clearly is a student of the game and knows his x's and o's well, although I don't enough about this to comment on it. But from what I can tell, he errs in the direction of being too good at this rather than good at the relational part of the job.

With that said, now that most of the players are gone who might provide relational difficulties for Rick, he is in a good position to use his excellent coaching gifts to take us someplace. I sure hope so.
I know people hate QFT, but McKeyFan already touched on every point that I would mention in basically the exact same way.

He got more out of Stackhouse as well.

And take the time to review all his rosters, find me a player beside Prince and James Jones (rookie year) that didn't get some decent minutes despite deep rosters. He'll get the 12th man 400-500 minutes even. A lot of coaches just don't do that. That's why that "won't play young" is total crap. Heck, he had Foster on the bench so SOPHMORE Granger could start. He's even worked Greene, Shawne, Rawle and Powell into rotations outside of garbage time on occasion.

The last few years he didn't even have the option not to play young guys or go deep with the roster. I never understood that rep at all. Just because of Prince. (how much did Isiah play Fred Jones that same season...now how much did RC play Fred in his 2nd year on a 61 win team?)

Naptown_Seth
01-28-2007, 06:02 PM
Rick's style its not a wide open, fast-paced game and Runi isn't the floor general
No one thinks Golden State isn't wide open though. Runi so far:

21, 11, 11, 14...and that 14 ALL came after the Warriors were up by 24 late in the 3rd. Saras came in and finished out the game once it was wide open and never got close again. He got 0 minutes in the first half of that one.

He's not seeing more PT with them than he did with Indy. That says quite a bit, especially since his game high came with Baron out and his first game with the team.

Since then he's been asked to start with Baron AT THE TWO...DOH! Baron controls the ball, racks up all the assists, even if he does shoot a lot. Nothing changed for him with the Warriors, except that after they tried that they decided to move him farther down the bench even.

To me it says "it wasn't the style, it was the player".

After his first game going 4-7 FG he has gone 3-13 (hmm, probably because Nellie also doesn't understand that he has to play 20 minutes just to get warmed up, right? :rolleyes:

He's shot 35% FG and 20% 3P with them so far. Not the system. It's not the new team thing either. Jack is 47% from 3 so far. Al is 65% from 3!!! Both have taken more shots too, so it isn't a case of 2 for 3 lucky PCT.

Runi isn't the floor general ANY coach needs him to be. He's an okay backup, period.

imawhat
01-28-2007, 06:56 PM
Needless to say I completely dissagree as I think that is his greatest asset as a coach

Do you disagree with any of my four points?


I think Rick's greatest strength is the ability to have a consistent mindset regardless of the situation. The way he handled the team through the suspensions and injuries was inspiring. I also think he is great at adapting to situations. It has to be difficult to completely change your offense and defense, but he did it when Jermaine went out last year.


I've noticed a lot of players complain about his coaching style, but most every single one of them is in a position to regret that now, even Artest. I'm not sure why they were better off in his system, but I still think he's misused his talent.

quiller
01-28-2007, 07:37 PM
I always thought Rick did a great job of making both jones's better and went out of his way last year to use Harrison...

I mean come on at times Freddie played like a alstar 2 guard for us.. and James he was very effective with us doing more then just hitting the three

Yet at tor Freddie not reliable enough shooter to start at the 2 guard and does no have a good enough over all game to see any minutes and James frankly sees hardly any minutes with Phoe...

Yeah Aj burried on the bench but lets see Dallas continue to win being "forced" to use him 40 minutes a game....

avoidingtheclowns
01-28-2007, 07:38 PM
I think Rick's greatest strength is the ability to have a consistent mindset regardless of the situation. The way he handled the team through the suspensions and injuries was inspiring. I also think he is great at adapting to situations. It has to be difficult to completely change your offense and defense, but he did it when Jermaine went out last year.


maybe im misreading your point, but dont your point contradict each other?

1. he has a consistent mindset regardless of the situation (i.e. he approaches situations in the same way)

2. he is great at adapting to situations, changing offense (i.e. he doesn't approach each situation in the same way)

imawhat
01-28-2007, 08:56 PM
maybe im misreading your point, but dont your point contradict each other?

1. he has a consistent mindset regardless of the situation (i.e. he approaches situations in the same way)

2. he is great at adapting to situations, changing offense (i.e. he doesn't approach each situation in the same way)


1 is mental and 2 is physical. The mental approach (mindset) is the same regardless, and he's able to adapt to physical changes (injuries, suspensions).

Unclebuck
01-29-2007, 10:05 AM
Do you disagree with any of my four points?




Do you want me to go point by point.


1. Al Harrington- Never should've been used at SF. He's too slow to guard SF and is a very good post player. Supposedly Al's suggestion, but Rick IS the coach and it's his job to maximize his talent. Not a shocker his level of play drastically dropped.

Al should have been benched and he should have been the 6th man. and he should have played power forward. But I will say this in Rick's defense the team started playing better when Al moved to small forward. And Al shouldn't have been finishing games. But if Rick does that what would Al do - he would have lost it and Rick would have lost him.



2. Sarunas Jasikevicius- I have to question anyone who takes the ball out of a playmaker's hand. Using him at SG was a huge mistake, and fortunately Rick corrected that this year with a double PG set. Still, it shouldn't have taken an entire year to figure that out; maybe five games at the most.

Rick had to take the ball out of his hands. Saras poor ball handling was killing the Pacers offense. And the reason why Rick didn't go to a two point guard offense last season is because we had Fred Jones backing up at the shooting guard position and Rick wanted to use him and I agreed with that decision. The two guard set worked this year because of DA



3. Jermaine O'Neal- Has the second best post game in the Eastern Conference, as well as being quicker than most his size, yet Rick had him at the elbow for nearly two years. That's worse than taking the second best three point shooter in the Eastern Conference and putting him under the basket. Jermaine has always been our best option for the highest quality shot, and he spent most of the game not taking them.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. JO has never been a high post player, Rick did not put him there. All I heard from fans for years was how the pacers offense was so boring, all we do is throw it down to JO and space the floor



4. Danny Granger- Using Danny at SG speaks for itself. He doesn't have the lateral movement to defend SG and he has a great all-around game. People will argue that he was the starting SF at the beginning of the season, but on offense he was playing SG. Now he's guarding players he shouldn't. And he's an excellent defender near the basket, which is now unused.


In Rick's offensive system there is no difference between the 2 and 3 position - generally speaking. Certainly when we play two point guards Rick runs different plays, and when Daniels is in he doesn't spot up like Jax or Granger did.

As far as not wanting Granger to guard shooting guards - well we certainly don't want Dunleavy guarding them. When Jax was here, Granger with rare exceptions guarded the small forwards.

OTD
01-29-2007, 10:40 AM
I will agree that there is no other coach go through what Rick did for 2 years. But last night was a prime exsample of misuse. Troy on Wallace and Wallace ate hi a live. The staters dig a deep hole, and the bench pulled them out. Then Rick put the staters back in and they dig another deep hole. And then the bench came in and pulled them out and tire the game. What did Rick do pull them off and put the regs back in. And Foster who can control Wallace setting on the bench. The best rebounder per min in the NBA. To me that is not using people the right way

FlavaDave
01-29-2007, 12:01 PM
I will agree that there is no other coach go through what Rick did for 2 years. But last night was a prime exsample of misuse. Troy on Wallace and Wallace ate hi a live. The staters dig a deep hole, and the bench pulled them out. Then Rick put the staters back in and they dig another deep hole. And then the bench came in and pulled them out and tire the game. What did Rick do pull them off and put the regs back in. And Foster who can control Wallace setting on the bench. The best rebounder per min in the NBA. To me that is not using people the right way


He should have played the bench for all 48 minutes in a row?

ChicagoJ
01-29-2007, 06:50 PM
Rick is a great x's and o's coach.

Part of that is his ability to put players in position to maximize thier strenghts.

Except when he gets it wrong, and then he seems to have a hard time letting go of it.

As bball says, "Rick is a great coach, except when he's not a great coach."

But last year when everyone else was bellyaching about all the iso's we were running, I didn't have a problem with those...

Again, Rick's medium-term X's and O's (not his halftime adjustments, not his season-long vision) are what keeps him employed as a NBA HC and puts him in the top-half of an otherwise unremarkable pool of NBA coaches.

He has plenty of other negatives, of course. But I generally agree with UB here. I keep thinking of the two or three really important things Rick did in 2003-04, when Brad left and we heard that the sky would be falling without him.


After 2 games, he benched Pollard and then he played JO at center > 80% of the time.
He played Al off the bench but at Powerforward > 80% of the time, and Al and Jeff split the PF minutes.
He could hide Jeff's offensive weaknesses in the way he used Arterst in the post and wing.
He didn't play Ron in the backcourt because he knew he didn't have the lateral quickness. When forced into game action, Fred Jones grew up a bit and earned a spot in the rotation for the rest of his Pacers career.
When KA and AJ were really struggling, and that team went 7-8 over a fifteen game span in December, he brought back Tinsley and the team took off... oh wait, that was Mike Brown. Nevermind.