Blog Entry

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

Posted on: April 24, 2010 1:23 am
Mark Cuban hired Rick Carlisle to coach the Mavericks because his research showed this: Carlisle was the best in the NBA at getting production out of players he was coaching for the first time.

In Game 3 of what has evolved into the most physical and compelling playoff series thus far, the three players Cuban acquired for Carlisle at the trade deadline hardly played at all in the second half Friday night. Caron Butler, the cornerstone of the Mavs' big deadline deal with the Wizards, didn't play at all after the second quarter. With a 94-90 loss to the Spurs, the Mavericks fell into more than a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-7 series. They fell into an identity crisis.

Sitting in his usual spot next to the bench, Cuban must've had no idea he would've been in such close proximity to the players he so painstakingly acquired to push the Mavs into title contention. Dallas got virtually nothing from Butler (two points in 14:48) and Brendan Haywood (four points and four rebounds in 17:57). DeShawn Stevenson, the other player who came over from Washington in the Josh Howard trade, got a DNP-CD. Shawn Marion, acquired by Cuban last summer in a blockbuster deal, was 3-for-9 from the field with seven points in 16:34.

Forced into another undesirable halfcourt slugfest with the Spurs, Carlisle decided to play small throughout the second half with J.J. Barea instead of Butler -- hoping to push the pace. It's not that it was a bad idea. It's just that the Spurs were still able to exert their advantages defensively and attack Dallas' suspect defense off the dribble at key moments -- especially in the fourth quarter. Butler didn't return to the floor again after committing his third turnover, a defensive three-second violation, with 3:38 left in the second quarter.

The way this series has unfolded, there seems to be no way around it going seven games. So the Mavs aren't in deep trouble. Not yet. Once they gave up home-court advantage by losing Game 1, the Mavs knew they'd have to win one game in San Antonio. That game pretty much has to be Game 4 on Sunday, because nobody is winning three straight games between these two old rivals.

"Anything can happen," Tony Parker said in the TV interview after the game. "Any time we play Dallas, we know they can win here. There's going to be another big one here on Sunday."

To beat the Spurs in San Antonio, I think it was pretty well proven Friday night that the Mavs need Butler not only to play, but to play at a high level. Getting some sort of contribution from Marion would be nice, too. The Mavs, who entered the playoffs feeling they had their best shot at a championship since they were up 2-0 on the Miami Heat in the 2006 Finals, have a real problem on their hands. That problem is a proud, crafty, championship-tested Spurs team that is starting to look and feel like its old championship self at just the right time.

Carlisle has until Sunday to come up with the right formula to send this series back to Dallas tied 2-2. As much as Cuban trusts Carlisle -- he sings his praises to anyone who will listen -- the pressure that comes with ignoring the millions of dollars in talent that Cuban handed him at the trade deadline cannot be overstated. 

As hard as it would be for Cuban to accept losing in the playoffs to the Spurs, just imagine how hard it would be to accept losing to the Spurs with his prized acquisitions sitting a few feet away from him on the bench.


Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2010 1:26 am

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

They lost home court when they lost game 2. Boy yoo iz a smat wun rnt ya.

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2010 9:03 pm

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

Someone said leaving Cutler on the bench was a travisty.  The travisty is the way he is playing.  He has to be benched.  Marion, he has been a liability on the offensive end, he chose to bench him after seeing little production. 

During this series the 3 guard lineup and show to be one of Dallas' best, helping the close gaps in deficits.   Carlisle is basically going with the hot hand and what seems to be giving him the best chance.  He is not letting the size of the contract dictate who is on the floor but who the best 5 players are.

I honestly wonder who was watching the game that knows its a decision that has lots of merit.   Barea a liabiltiy on defense?  Just dont see that.

Right now, the Spurs are hotter and playing a bit better.  It has nothing to do with who is on the bench.  Their best 5 is beating Dallas' best fiver right now.  Give credit to the Spurs, do not blame Carlisle (the American way, blame with no credit)

Since: Apr 11, 2010
Posted on: April 24, 2010 6:04 pm

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

"There seems to be no way around it going seven games...?"  I can easily see this NOT happening if the Mavs don't play the aggressor coming out in this next game.  Butler isn't the only one who is living/dying by the jump shot - hopefully the bench time will fire him up to drive to the basket, get the Spurs in foul trouble and make it to the free throw line.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 24, 2010 5:09 pm

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

Berger try proofreading
When did Dallas lose home court?
Who won game 1 of the series?

Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: April 24, 2010 2:25 pm

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

Barea played well for Barea, but he is a liability on the defensive end.  Having Butler on the bench for the whole second half is a travesty.  Granted he didn't play well early, but Carlisle has got to go back to him.  I thought he was injured for christ sakes...poor coaching there, and I never have said that about Carlisle.

Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: April 24, 2010 12:47 pm

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

This has nothing to do with the Caron, Barea but has everything to do with DIRK.

The same criticism that is used when the Lakers lose and Kobe scores 45 pts applies with the MAVS. <br />Dirk requires sooo many touches that at times it's hard to get others involved. Dirk is virtually forced to shoot such a high field goal percentage that the team suffers when he doesn't. <br /><br /><br />GO SPURS GO!!!

Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: April 24, 2010 3:31 am

Carlisle leaves Cuban's riches on the bench

Personally, I loved the move going to Barea in the 3rd quarter. It was evident that he was bringing more to the game than Caron... who at times falls in love w/ the jumpshot.  But it became evident in the 4th that the Mavs needed more muscle. Someone who wasn't going to keep letting Manu drive right past them (uhhh...Jet). Barea is a GREAT change of pace guy... plays w/ great energy and actually drives to the hoop, but I DO think Rick should've went back to Butler in the 4th. He would've came out w/ a chip on his shoulder.
That said, I think Caron will have something to prove in game 4.

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