People question the Rockets decision to overhaul their coaching staff. Legitimate questions were brought up. Maybe, deep down, the Rockets wish they had a different Rick.
Perhaps he needed an owner like Cuban to appreciate him. Cuban is an oddity because he’s as emotional as any owner in basketball, but behind that facade is an avid number-cruncher who hired Carlisle, in part, because Cuban studied his lineup usage and noted he used optimal line-ups with far greater frequency than most coaches.
Perhaps he needed a team like this too. Having a team full of veterans that cared little about personal agendas gave him a lot more leeway to mix and match lineups and roles. That, in turn, provided him the optimal environment to work his magic.
“The inflection point for the team this year,” said Cuban, “was when they got past learning Rick’s system, to finally just committing to it and executing Rick’s system. And with the analytics, understanding what it takes to execute it and how to execute it. So Rick did a phenomenal job.”
“Roland was a key part to all his,” Cuban said. “I give a lot of credit to Coach Carlisle for putting Roland on the bench and interfacing with him, and making sure we understood exactly what was going on. Knowing what lineups work, what the issues were in terms of play calls and training.”
“It makes a difference. I think Jason and JET and Dirk and Tyson Chandler make a whole lot more difference, but if you don’t know what’s going on it’s hard for you to get smarter and get better.”