It is an inevitable part of a postseason loss, someone goes on Twitter calling for the losing coach to be fired. It has happened to literally every NBA coach, including Gregg Popovich.
Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the playoffs by the Clippers. That of course, led to some questions about Rick Carlise as the coach of the Mavericks.
Dallas have been to the playoffs 9 times with Rick Carlisle as Head Coach.
They have lost in the 1st. rd. 7 times.
6 first rd. exits in a row since winning a championship in 2011.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 6, 2021
It led Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to ask Carlisle postgame, “Why do you feel like you’re the right guy to continue on and lead this franchise in the future?”
“That’s a question you’ll have to ask Mark (Cuban),” Carlisle responded. “I obviously do. But I’d text him and see what he has to say about it.”
So, Tim MacMahon of ESPN texted Cuban, who shot down the idea of a coaching change.
Mark Cuban tells ESPN that he will not consider a coaching change. "Let me tell you how I look at coaching. You don't make a change to make a change. Unless you have someone that you know is much, much, much better, the grass is rarely greener on the other side." https://t.co/Rmr1411xBl
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 6, 2021
It’s good to hear an owner be rational in the moment and not reactive. His general philosophy of coaching change is a good one: If you’re making a change, who are you getting that’s better? There are not many better coaches, and certainly not better Xs and Os tacticians, than Carlise.
What Tyronn Lue had in this series was depth. In Game 1 against Dallas, he started Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac, but by Game 7, Beverley never even saw the court and Zubac played three minutes. Terance Mann played 14 seconds in that first game; he was a critical sixth man by the end of the series. Luke Kennard came on and made big plays in Game 7, he was nearly forgotten in the opening games of the series. Lue had the depth on his roster experiment and adjust.
Carlisle did what he could, he won Game 5 going big with Boban Marjanovic and Kristaps Porzingis, but Lue had more pieces on the chessboard and could keep making tweaks well beyond what Carlise could counter. That’s not about the quality of the coach (both Lue and Carlisle are outstanding NBA coaches). It’s ultimately about talent and the players.
That’s where Dallas needs to improve. It has the coach.