In today's roundtable, we discuss Rick Carlisle and his rotations. Here's the question that was posed to our staff.
Do you have criticisms of Rick Carlisle's rotations this season? What is he doing right? Where do you think he could improve?
Bailey Rogers (@BRogers789): I have the same criticism that I always have, but I always feel a bit odd saying it given that Rick Carlisle is one of the best NBA coaches ever, and I'm just a dumb blogger. But since you asked... why are all the tired, washed up vets getting PT over the talented young guys who might eventually help this team if they can just get some time to figure things out? The man just signed a lengthy extension--he's entrenched here, and it feels like he isn't thinking about the future as much as he should. If Carlisle has a flaw, it's that he uses his trusted vets as a crutch, even when there's more upside with younger guys he hasn't learned to trust yet.
Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace): It's hard to be critical of a guy who knows a lot more about basketball than I do.... and yet, there are times when I want to throw my controller at the television when it comes to rotations. Dallas has a lot of glaring and obvious holes (starting with the depth of the front court), and he's managed to work well with what the team has. More than anything else, I want to know why it's taken nearly half the season for Jeremy Evans and Justin Anderson to get burn at all. I'd also like to know why Carlisle sticks with certain line ups (mainly featuring JJ Barea) when both the eye test and data say they aren't working. Past those minor questions, there's not a ton we can complain about given the injuries.
Saad Yousuf (@126_saad): I don't have too much criticism to offer in regards to Rick Carlisle's rotation only because I have way too much trust in how he is handling the minutes. For example, I did not understand why he didn't play Powell at all against the Kings when Dirk struggled all game. Turns out, Dirk turned it on down the stretch and Powell was vital to the JV Mavs win the next night. Also, with all the injuries he's dealing with, Parsons, Matthews, McGee coming into the season and Deron Williams and Devin Harris as of late, it's hard to juggle all of that. The one thing that I do think he can improve at is making sure Parsons plays most, if not all of his minutes with JaVale McGee on the floor. If that means to lower Parsons' minutes, fine. If it means up McGee's playing time, do it.
Josh Bowe (@Boweman55): It seems odd to even think about criticizing Carlisle, who continues to get wins despite roster turnover unlike any other winning organization has seen in the last decade. No matter what the roster looks like, Carlisle just doesn't lose. Yet you can't help but see Charlie V's sub-20 percent three point percentage, J.J. Barea's bad defense and just think what ifs with Jeremy Evans and Justin Anderson.
In reality, we have no idea how those guys are practicing or if they're ready. We can't really know until they see time of course, but if that means a bad 5-minute stretch that costs the Mavs a game, is it worth it with how tight things are in the standings? It's tough. I see it both ways. I just hope eventually the young guys prove themselves enough outside of gameday to earn Carlisle's trust.
Tim Cato (@tim_cato): I've slowly learned to trust Rick. You could go way back in my story archives (although gosh, why the heck would you!?*) and find instances where I've been much more critical of the way Carlisle has handled his rotations, but in the past year or so, I've really backed off from that after seeing him take all these hodge-podge teams into the woodshed and come out with a squad that seemingly outperforms any and every expectation we have for them. I'd like to see Jeremy Evans or Justin Anderson, but I don't think their absence is a crime. The backup quarterback syndrome is present here, no doubt. It's not always perfect, but this is a marriage, and sometimes there's just one nagging trait you have to look past. If Rick doesn't play youngsters that may or may not be able to help the team then alright, OK, I can look past that.
*Sorry, I watched both seasons of Fargo over the past month and I guess that Minnesotan lingo is rubbing off a little.