The Dallas Mavericks have 14 games remaining, and now just need nine more wins to hit the 50-win mark again after defeating the Boston Celtics on Monday night. Not sure this is in the best interests of the Mavs, but they are going to make the playoffs one season after they finished 41-41.
The Mavs may will not win an NBA title this, or win a first round series, but this season once again shows why hiring Rick Carlisle was the best basketball move Mark Cuban ever made.
In his 12 NBA seasons as a head coach - two in Detroit, four in Indiana and now six and counting with the Mavericks - Carlisle will likely hit 50 wins a sixth time. Winning 50 games with this roster and this starting lineup is one of his best coaching jobs.
For most coaches, winning 50 games with this roster would be considered A-list material. For Carlisle, this season will rank as his third-best season.
1. 2010-'11: Mavericks, 57-25. The Mavs' NBA-title winning team. They went 16-5 in the playoffs, topped off by their 4-2 series win against LeBron James.
2. 2004-'05: Pacers, 44-38. This may have been Carlisle's best team, but the Malice at the Palice gutted his roster. The Pacers will managed to win the first round series against the Celtics before losing to the Pistons in the Eastern semis.
3. 2014-'15: Mavericks, 41-27. By this point the Mavs had lost out in free agency on Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Chris Paul and instead were left to pick from Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Brendan Wright, DeJuan Blair, etc.
Carlisle has had a healthy Dirk Nowitzki all season, but again his team has been professional and plays every night despite any weakness or vulnerability.
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