Before I get to my main point let say a few things that this thread is not. This is not a bash Rick Carlisle thread, this is not "I have some inside information" thread. This is not a thread where I'm going discuss whether it should happen or not. Trust me I don't want to make this thread, but I do feel strongly about this. And for some of you newbies, it isn't often that I start threads like this.
I've been a Pacers fan since the late 70's, I've been following the NBA since that same time also. I've seen a lot of teams fire coaches I've seen what teams generally play like right before a coach is fired - and folks the way the Pacers have been playing the last 4 or 5 games looks that way to me. Teams start losing by 20 points per game. Players look like they don't know what is wrong or how to solve the problems. The reasons for losing is something different every game, one game it's offense, the next it is defense and the next it is rebounding. The fight from the players just doesn't seem like it is there.
You all know what I'm leading up to, so I'm just going to say it - My instincts tell me, my gut tells me that Rick is very close to being replaced on an interim basis by Johnny Davis. Don't worry JD won't be the coach next season. Let me reiterate, I have no inside information, zero, nada. But if TPTB really want to make the playoffs this season it appears to me a coaching change is needed. The players have stopped responding to Rick - he's lost the team.
When might it happen? After the Jazz game the Pacers don't play Thursday or Friday, if it is going to happen that is the time.
If JD does replace Rick, there will be a honeymoon period. Johnny Davis will immedietely "open up the offense" the players will feel free again - this will last about 4 or 5 games and then we'll see what we have.
Let me anticipate some questions that might come up.
1) DW and LB will never fire Rick especially during the season. Yes they will, if they truly believe Rick has lost the team and that he cannot get them back. Obviously I don't know if they are convinced of it yet.
2) Why can't Rick get it turned around, he's obviously a much better coach than JD. Yes he is, but at this point it doesn't matter, I fear things are too far gone.
3) UB, won't you feel foolish if the Pacers beat the Kings, play well but lose to the Jazz and then begin to win their fair share of games the rest of this month. I won't feel foolish, in fact I pray the Pacers do turn it around with Rick as their coach.
4) UB, aren't you just contributing to the knee-jerk anti Rick Carlisle stuff that has taken over Pacers Digest. I don't think I am, in fact there isn't one sentence in this post that bashes Rick Carlisle. There is no doubt in my mind that Rick is the second best head coach the NBA Pacers have ever had - second only to Hall of Famer Larry Brown.
5) UB, why did you decide to post this now - what is the purpose of it. Because I feel (and yes I freely admit it is just a feeling) a coaching change might be imminent. As I stated earlier, I don't believe I'm just throwing something out there on a whim. I've been following the NBA a lot of years and the signs I feel are on the wall.
So we'll see, I've been wrong many times before and will be wrong many times in the future and this might be one of those times.
Edit: I do have one request. Well actually two. 1) Please don't turn this thread into an excuse to bash Rick Carlisle (there are plenty of current and very active threads in which you can do that) 2) Please don't turn this into a "I'm so excited Rick is gone thread"