(This is another in a series of 30 guest columns that will run in October, when optimism reigns supreme across the NBA. The theme will be “Five Reasons to Feel Positive About … ” We encourage you to follow the authors on Twitter and visit their sites. – CS)
The early portion of the free agency period gave off the appearance that the sky was literally falling on the Dallas Mavericks. The chase to try to land Deron Williams fell short as the Mavericks lost a two-team race.
Then there was a radical rollercoaster of Jason Kidd updates shortly after the Williams news. Signs pointed to Kidd returning to the Mavericks, but he decided to take the same offer from the New York Knicks. The Mavericks also decided to let Jason Terry walk as a free agent. The former Sixth Man Award winner ended up joining the Boston Celtics.
The goal was to replenish the roster with a true running mate alongside Dirk Nowitzki, which ultimately didn’t work out. But the Mavericks’ front office pulled some rabbits out of their collective hat and put together a roster that could be one of the deepest teams Dallas has had in recent history and definitely takes the cake in name recognition.
So as the new-look Mavericks head into a new world, there are a few things fans can feel positive about for the 2012-13 season.
1. Rick Carlisle is still the coach
The Mavericks had eight free agents entering the offseason, and that didn’t include their coach. The front office of owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson made sure bringing back Rick Carlisle was the No. 1 priority. It appears Carlisle will be in the fold for at least another four years.
Carlisle pushed all of the right buttons en route to the team’s first NBA championship in 2011. He had the pulse of the team and had his players buy into his system of day-to-day progression. Known as one of the best in-game X-and-O coaches, he will have his hands full as he tries to incorporate essentially a brand new roster.
Carlisle has grown and developed as a person and coach, and that has shown over his last few years with the Mavericks. He is more open to suggestion from his players and tries to incorporate their skills within his system to form a symbiotic relationship.
The Mavericks have new pieces such as Elton Brand and Chris Kaman who can operate on the low block. They also have guards such as O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison who can push the tempo. Carlisle has new toys in the toy box. It’s hard not to have faith in the coach. He will do everything he can to ensure the team is successful.
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