Here are some excerpts from an interview with Rick Carlisle on Mavs.com:
On the Larry Bird post-up demonstration with Dirk:
We were talking about some stuff that Bird used to do when he played that I thought would translate well to his game. Just some footwork stuff and leverage stuff. There’s no question that Dirk Nowitzki is a big attraction to this job and having played with Larry during his absolute prime, which was ’85-86-87, Dirk right now is about at the age Larry was when I was first with him in Boston. Dirk has a lot of great basketball left. The similarities between those two guys are striking on the one hand, and yet there are some things that Dirk can add to his game to make it a little more efficient at times.
We need him to be one of the best all-around players in the Western Conference for us to be as good as we can be. I’ve had a chance to visit with him on the phone a little bit. We’re going to get together in the next couple days when I’m down there and we’ll talk some more about it. He’s one of those guys that because of his size, length, quickness, agility and skill that is really important to what you do offensively. I just also believe that he has to be one of our best defensive players.
I see Josh bringing some of the all-purpose aspects to our team that Shawn Marion brought to Phoenix. I just don’t see any reason why he can’t do that based on his physical attributes. We’ve got to point him in the right direction and it’ll take a lot of sweat. It’s going to take time, but that’s what this is about. We’re excited about working with him. I think he’s going to be very motivated to get back to Western Conference All-Star level.
What is a Rick Carlisle team?
The things that have always been important to me are unselfishness at the offensive end, hard play and a commitment defensively. Our challenge is to be able to play with a flow on offense and still maintain possession-style mentality defensively. The teams that can do that well are teams that can play at different speeds and are teams that play a style of basketball that’s fun to watch, coach and play. That’s what we’re looking it. That’s our mission statement.
Read the rest here.