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MFFL
05-07-2002, 09:36 AM
Another award for the weak-ass East
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LINK (http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/piston7_20020507.htm)

Carlisle likely coach of the year
May 7, 2002
PERRY A. FARRELL
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Not bad for a rookie.

Rick Carlisle, who took the Pistons to the Central Division title and the Eastern Conference semifinals, is expected to be named NBA coach of the year.

The Pistons and the league have scheduled a press conference today at the Palace.

Carlisle, 42, turned around a team that finished 32-50 last season. Despite the lack of an All-Star, the Pistons went 50-32 in the regular season and have reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

The Pistons won Game 1 on Sunday, 96-84, with Game 2 against Boston coming Wednesday night at the Palace.

Carlisle was hired by team president Joe Dumars last May after an 11-year career as an assistant.

"If you would've asked us at the start of the season if we thought this would happen in our first year, we all probably would've said no," assistant coach Tony Brown said. "We had a plan, we stuck with the plan and we've had some outstanding results. It's surprising, but we're quite happy with where we are right now."

Carlisle was helped by the additions of Cliff Robinson, Jon Barry and Zeljko Rebraca in the off-season. Early on, he won over key players Jerry Stackhouse, Ben Wallace and Michael Curry. After the team lost 11 straight road games and then fell to 17-19, Carlisle didn't abandon his system. He used first-round pick Rodney White very little, rolling the dice with the low-scoring Curry. The move worked.

Another move didn't work -- benching Corliss Williamson and Chucky Atkins early in the season. But Carlisle realized he had made a mistake, and they have become valuable players. Williamson was voted NBA sixth man of the year.

Wallace was named defensive player of the year, reflecting Carlisle's emphasis since training camp. The Pistons gave up 92.2 points a game, sixth best in the league.

Through it all, Carlisle has deflected praise to his players and assistants -- Brown, Kevin O'Neill and Bob Ociepka.

"I'm surprised he didn't get a head coaching job before now; I can't believe it took him this long," Curry said. "What he has done is great. You knew right away that he was going to be a good head coach. He had everything that it took.

"He was always prepared. His seriousness about the game. His ability to handle all situations with a calmness. I think what happened was because of his personality and the way he handled situations, the team picked up on that.

"When we get in tough situations this team has fought through it. We haven't gotten too low in tough situations, and in good situations we haven't gotten too high. It all goes back to the type of person Carlisle is."

No other first-year Pistons coach has won as many games.

"I think Rick, for a rookie head coach, for any head coach, has not performed like a rookie," O'Neill said. "He has a plan. He thinks things through. He sticks with his plan. He doesn't change things because things don't go well. He never gets too high or too low. He stays steady.

"I think the way he has conducted himself with the players has made them believe in what we do. I think that's always really, really important.

"I think when a guy gets a coach of the year award, it says a lot about your players. Our players have responded extremely well to the fact that they believe in what Rick does.

"When we went through that tough stretch, they didn't waver."

Hales233
05-07-2002, 10:10 AM
if you want to post your articles, fine...but we don't need your mean spirited comments as the header.

DTL
05-07-2002, 11:10 AM
Complete transformation of his team's superstar from ball-hog to team player, taking a team no on expected to be in the playoffs to top of the division, with a whole bunch of undrafted players on the roster. Yup, Carlisle did a pretty impressive job. Congratulations!

Murphy3
05-07-2002, 11:14 AM
hales, calm down..he's allowed to have his opinion about the east

damn..most people around the nba share his opinion
it's a very mediocre conference..getting better, but still not good

Hales233
05-07-2002, 11:31 AM
i'm not your son murph, don't tell me what to do.

carlisle deserved this award as much as anybody.

Murphy3
05-07-2002, 12:32 PM
i don't have a problem with him getting the award... i mean..you take a team from t-ball to the little leagues, that's a pretty good jump

madape
05-07-2002, 12:34 PM
The award ususally goes to the coach who wins with the least amount of talent. While now the Pistons seem to have as much talent as anyone in the East <cough>, they weren't very highly regarded during the pre-season.

btw - is there any question why the East has won this award six out of the last seven years, and three years in a row?

Murphy3
05-07-2002, 12:38 PM
the answer is..
the east sucks so badly that very bad teams can go to decent or good teams in the east really quickly..
whereas it's a much more difficult task in the west because of the competition

Drbio
05-07-2002, 07:28 PM
Not sure why they win it a lot, but the more important question is how many Championships has the East won lately?


Not so good.

Murphy3
05-07-2002, 07:30 PM
i think my answer pretty much sums it up

Hales233
05-07-2002, 10:25 PM
celtics: most championships ever
bulls 6 in the 90's

so murph, suck on that!

Murphy3
05-07-2002, 10:29 PM
i'm not talking about the past...
the east sucks right now
not even very competitive with the west

i'm not saying this to piss you off..i'm saying it because it's true

Hales233
05-07-2002, 10:30 PM
the west is a better conference...but that does NOT mean that the east sucks just because it is the weaker of the two conferences.