It is one of the surprises of the summer, the passage of Rick Carlisle from Dallas to Indiana. A kind of homecoming for the technician since he was first assistant to Larry Bird for the best years of the franchise with three conference finals in a row, and even an NBA final, in 2000 against the Lakers . Then, in 2003, he returned for the first time as a coach, with a season of 61 wins, a franchise record.
“The Dallas team was very different from any team I had coached before. It was a team that shot much further… So it was an extraordinary experience and training to learn to work with this kind of group ” Carlisle explains to the Indianapolis Business Journal. “And then the game has changed a lot over the past 13 years, especially the past five. Because of the pace, the level of individual qualities, the 3-point shooting, everything. Two years ago we set offensive points per possession records, and last year Brooklyn broke them. These records will continue to fall because of the level of play. “
A big fan of the current game, the former Dallas coach believes that today, any player must have a good shot to make his place in the NBA, and he anticipates another change in the years to come.
« The game has evolved to the point that shooting skills have become of critical importance. If you don’t know how to shoot, it is very difficult to be a top player in today’s basketball. The next phase of NBA basketball will be the pivots that shoot 3-point, raise the ball and throw systems. Guys like [Kristaps] Porzingis already do. Guys like Anthony Davis are already doing it. We have [Domantas] Sabonis, who is a great playmaker, who is working on his long distance shot. It opens up so many possibilities for any player in this league. »
A confirmed all-star, Domantas Sabonis has become one of the best wingers in the NBA, and Carlisle obviously intends to rely on him, while developing his game.
« I was in Los Angeles last week and spent a few days with him, working on some adjustments to try and help him. Things don’t happen overnight. It is a process. But I know his past. I trained his father. It’s in the genes, the feeling is there. He will continue to improve. He is 25 years old. [Myles] Turner is 25 too. It feels like these guys have been around forever, but they’re very young.«