By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Supposition: Set in his conservative ways, Carlisle—as with his teams in Indiana and Detroit—will try to grind out victories with his point guard walking the ball up the court.
Conclusion: "One of the things that attracts me to this situation is that it is a different roster than I've had in the past," Carlisle said. "This is not about me coming in here with my style. This is about fitting the style to the personnel." Hallelujah! Still, a coaching leopard transforming spots into speckles is difficult. Pat Riley's transition from Los Angeles Lakers' "Showtime" to the Miami Heat's "Dwyane Wade Show" is one of the rare title-winning examples. But evidenced by the fact that he spent time last off-season studying the up-tempo design of Phoenix Suns' coach Mike D'Antoni, Carlisle appears to have arrived with an open mind for the open court.
Supposition: As we saw in half a season under Johnson, Kidd is washed up.
Conclusion: "He's kicked my ass many times," said Carlisle. The new coach will not—a la Avery—plant Kidd and his woeful 3-point shooting as a weak-side, third-option shooter. Hinting at a creativity we didn't think existed, Carlisle says he may play Nowitzki at small forward and will let his point guard run wild. While Johnson tried to rewire Kidd, Carlisle will simply release him. Said the new boss, "The thing that Jason does better than any point guard probably in the history of the game is push the ball."
Supposition: Carlisle looks stiff and carries an unflappable demeanor tiptoeing toward stoic.
Conclusion: In his debut, he was charming, self-effacing and, I'll be darned, a dead ringer for Jim Carrey.
Supposition: The new coach, like any new coach, will bend the truth in order to say all the right things on "Meet the Teacher" day.
Conclusion: "We're going to find a way," Carlisle said. "I can't tell you exactly what it's going to be right now. But we are going to find a way." Funny, that's the same thing I told my son when Mom initially rejected our bright idea of getting a bigger TV. Eventually, still not sure exactly how, she relented.
Of course, I also preach at my son to "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."
And what do you know? Firecarlisle.com is already under construction.