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Q. Is there a better coaching staff in the NBA than the Pacers? I just have to say that the Pacers coaching staff and leadership gets a tip of the hat and then some. Rick (Carlisle) has done a great job and it has shown especially with the fast start of the season then the Pacers had that little slide. That is when Rick stepped up and told the players his system works and defense takes care of the offense.
With the superstars we have and the bench this team is just dangerous. Everyone takes pride in their defense and, believe it or not, the offense can and will outscore the other team. (It) gives me great pride to see this team grow over the years and become who they are. How can you not like anyone on this team? That is right: team. Thanks for winning and having pride. (From Mark in West Lafayette, IN)
A. You have to wonder when Carlisle is going to begin getting some real credit not only for the job he’s doing here, but the remarkable start to his career. He isn’t a particularly colorful personality and he isn’t a self-promoter. He is, however, a straight-shooter and a tireless worker.
While he won’t promote himself, he will call reporters around the country to promote his players for various postseason awards when the time comes.
For reasons not entirely under their control, the Pacers are less talented than last season. They lost an All-Star starting center (Brad Miller), a potent backcourt scorer (Ron Mercer) and a combo guard who would be ideally suited to the current system (Erick Strickland). They do have more depth at point guard than last season, but that’s the only position that has been upgraded. Yet they are ahead of last season’s pace and are playing with a toughness, maturity and resiliency that bodes well for their postseason chances.
He also has navigated some potentially turbulent emotional waters by keeping himself, and his players, on an even keel. There are no soap opera plots, just basketball. And that has made for a very good show. For the productivity of his first two seasons, he has been categorized as one of the best young coaches in the NBA. If this team continues to progress, then breaks through the postseason wall, he’ll be established as one of the best coaches, period.