It's power ranking season again, and they're coming fast and furious. Everyone has their own way and manner of ranking NFL teams, and that can get tiresome pretty quick, but rank NBA coaches? Now you have my attention.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports and Hardwood Paroxysm took on the challenge, giving every coach a grade on a 10-point scale. Rick Carlisle received a 9.5, falling only behind Gregg Popovich's perfect 10. Here's what Moore had to say about Rick:
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Comment: The Mavericks pushed the Spurs to seven games and the biggest reason how the 8-seed did so among media and folks in the league was "Carlisle."
Carlisle is a brilliant tactician, who adjusts as well minute-to-minute throughout a game as well as anyone. He gets the most out of veterans, has the trust of his players, and is a total pro. He can be gruff with the media, but a good coach always keeps them at arm's length and he's still insightful at times. Meanwhile, he took a team that was yogurt defensively and pushed them into the playoffs in the toughest division in the toughest conference.
The only knock? Carlisle hasn't developed much talent lately. He wants to win, and trusting young players gets in the way of that. Even Brandan Wright who has played well has struggled to get on the floor. But that's nitpicking a guy who could have the Mavericks back in the title hunt this season.
Doc Rivers was given a 9, Erik Spoelstra an 8.5 and Tom Thibodeau an 8, rounding out the "elite" coaches.
So is 9.5 a fair grade? C'mon now. Damn straight it is.
Ever since joining the team in 2008, Carlisle has been the guiding hand this franchise has needed to go with Dirk. It's almost hard to believe he's lost two previous jobs, but his first in Detroit was due to issues with ownership and his second with the Pacers saw him never recover from the Malice in the Palace incident.
Now, he's found a home that seems incredibly steady. He meshes well with Cuban and Donnie Nelson, a must for any Dallas head coach, and has shown his ability to succeed in virtually every area of coaching. It's true that player development has been a struggle at times, but he's also had very few high draft picks to deal with over the years.
I've seen a few people try and put Rivers or Spoelstra ahead of him, but that's just insanity to me. Taking the Spurs to seven game proves that, if nothing else.
I have a feeling Rick Carlisle will stick around in Dallas for a long time to come, and if you're a Mavericks fan, that has to fill you with happy thoughts.