The first thing you need to pay attention to is the coach. Rick Carlisle. He turned 60 this season. But he’s not the oldest coach in the League. The same Gregg Popovich is ahead of Rick by more than 10 years. By this season, he had seen and experienced everything in the League. The most vivid memory is winning the NBA finals in 2011 with our club. It was then that this revolutionary attack was developed. Then it was called Flow. However, after a couple of seasons, Carlisle himself began to call it and Pace (pace). For this is what he wanted them to achieve.
Two-thirds of the League now uses Rick’s expertise. “If you look at the evolution of the League after our victory in 2011, you will immediately see that almost all the teams switched to the Flow attack,” said Jason Terry, who was a direct participant in those events. – I don’t know the exact percentage, but it’s more than half. “We, for example, call this attack Open. Someone calls it Basic. The rest – still somehow. In 2011, this was something new for everyone. Playing Flow… Without any combinations. Rick had already realized that the League was already so studied by the scouts of all teams that once you order a combination, the opponents already know how to prevent it(as proof, you can cite at least this news). But if you play in the Flow, scouting becomes almost impossible, ” – this comment was given by Dwayne Casey. Once Carlyle’s head assistant during the championship season, and now the head coach of Detroit. Casey also highlighted another difficulty associated with the Flow – it is extremely difficult to find suitable players. They must not only be smart, but also have good instincts to react quickly to changes in defensive structures. And, of course, they must be able to throw three-pointers or pass the opponent on the dribble.
“Mavericks” 2011 was the team of one star – Dirk Nowitzki (if anyone has not read the wonderful text about Dirk in our blog, be sure to do it). But he got a cool point guard with a lot of experience-Jason Kidd, stick-to-the-rescue Terry, a few not-selfish role players in the face of Marion and Stevenson, as well as the perfect center for such an attack-Tyson Chandler. “Tyson was a great number 5 for our team because of the fact that he understood the importance of barriers and pick-and-roll. He was a constant source of energy for our team, ” Carlyle said. And we can easily see the same criteria for Dwight Powell from our coach’s side.
But Flow was not born immediately. Rick’s understanding of basketball began to form at a young age, when he played for his school in new York. “I always hated ordering combinations,” Rick explained. – When I was growing up, I was surrounded by players who played on the feeling of the game. And I loved that style.” But after starting to train on his own, he moved away from his preferences in order to achieve results. This allowed Detroit and Indiana to advance to the conference finals. These teams were famous for their defense. The next thing that affected Rick was a break in his coaching career. This was the 2007/2008 season, when he worked as an analyst at ESPN studios, and a training camp in Phoenix, where he helped Mike D’antoni create his explosive offense. The following year, he was called to Dallas.
Having such a player, it is not surprising that Carlyle decided to get his old work again and again try to repeat the success of those years. “The style of play is a serious issue for both the coaching staff and the entire team. When pre-season camp was just getting closer, I spoke to the players. It was obvious to me that this was the way to play. And the team supported me. But to be successful with such an attack, you need to make the right decisions on the floor in the shortest possible time, correctly stretch the defense and play as unpredictable as possible,” explained Rick.
What does this system look like from the player’s side? I think the most characteristic comment is from Seth Curry. After all, he found both the “transition period” and the”new era”. “Everything is different, like day and night. When I was here last time, we played at a much slower pace with a lot of prepared combinations. Now everything was much more unpredictable. Therefore, the number of my shots may be reduced in one match, and in another – the opposite.”
I hope that now you have at least a little more understanding of how the best offense in the League works. And I want to finish with a quote from Carlyle’s colleague in the coaching shop – Mike Budenholzer. “Rick is a coach that I like to watch. The way he manipulates the team’s game on offense, how he puts players in positions where they can perform best. It seems to me that he is always ahead of time and others steal his ideas. Well, I mean, we all look at each other’s good ideas, but he really manages to develop ideas aimed at attacking, spacing, pick-and-roll. He’s good at that!»