Originally Posted by Jackson Filth
i still don't agree with your point. a change of culture needs to come with a change of personnel. i've never seen a team of noteworthy poor defenders improve with a new coach at the helm.
regarding casey, he did wonders with dallas getting them to work in a strong system. i also think that people are giving both him too much credit and cuban not enough for changing the culture of that team. from top to bottom, they have strong defenders at every position. i think people are stuck on identifying that team with the soft mavericks of the past.
Um, personally, I think people are just completely missing the point in general, including you, to a degree.
Hello, people, the Mavs were not even a top 5 defensive team this year with Casey. But you know what? They were a top 5 defensive team under Avery Johnson before Casey ever arrived and before Kidd, Marion, or Chandler was on the team.
If the culture was changed, and I agree it was, it was changed to a culture of experience that can perform late in games and overcome adversity. Overall, Avery Johnson's Mavs were very good defensively, no matter how you measure it. At one point, Johnson's Mavs were top 5 in defensive rating (per 100 possesions) as well as standard opponents PPG.
I know people don't always like stats, but you'd be missing the point if you ignore them. No matter what measure you take, Johnson's pre-Casey Mavs could stop the fucking basketball. And really, really well.
The notion that the Mavs didn't play defense in the past is a total myth, at least during the post-Nash and Finley era. By 2006, the Mavs were improving defensively.
2011 Mavs were clutch. That's what distinguished them from the Avery Johnson era, not defense.
Edit - to be clear, both teams played defense - Johnson and post-Johnson Mavs. The point is that they didn't suddenly get better at defense. They were always playing it.