Everyone loves to complain about rankings, and now ESPN has give Mavericks fans something to get stirred up about. Rick Carlisle comes in at No. 4 in ESPN's Coach Rankings, behind San Antonio's Greg Popovich, Atlanta's Mike Budenholzer, and Golden State's Steve Kerr.
The full Top 10 is as follows:
- Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
- Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks
- Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
- Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks
- Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls
- Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
- Terry Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers
- Doc Rivers, L.A. Clippers
- Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics*
- Frank Vogel, Indiana Pacers*
*tied for 9th
ESPN notes that their rankings are determined in this manner:
In particular, we asked the voters to rate each coach on his guidance and leadership in terms of how it affects overall on-court success, both in the short and long term.
I think it's slightly ridiculous that Carlisle falls all the way to number four. I understand that the Hawks and Warriors are straight fire this season, but I'm not sure that type of short term success should outweigh what Carlisle has accomplished in Dallas. Not to mention, neither Budenholzer or Kerr can hold a candle to Carlisle's ability to compose a masterful plan of attack for his squad (especially come playoff time).
Sure, Carlisle has earned some warranted criticism over the years, but that's not because he's incompetent or lacking in ability.
If I was doing the rankings, I'd have Carlisle at No. 2 behind Popovich, with Kerr at No. 3, Thibs at No. 4, and Budenholzer at No. 5, really, whoever falls behind Pop and Carlisle doesn't matter. It has been Pop and Carlisle at No. 1 and No. 2 over the past few seasons, and that's no different in 2015.