DALLAS – Watching the Mavs’ win over the Thunder from home confirmed what Rick Carlisle already knew.
Dwane Casey, who filled in while Carlisle skipped the one-game road trip while recovering from minor knee surgery, can be a heck of a head coach.
“I can’t believe he’s not a head coach in this league, but everyone’s loss is our gain," Carlisle said. "Everyone that’s passed him up probably wishes that they would have hired him. He does a great job for us and he’ll be back doing that at some point.”
Casey, the mastermind behind the Mavs’ impressive defensive improvement, had a 53-69 record as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ head coach from June 2005 to January 2007. He was fired after a 20-20 start in his second season, a decision that seems dumber by the day.
The Timberwolves went 12-30 the rest of that season. Their best record since then has been 24-58.
Casey has been considered a candidate for a handful of head coaching jobs since joining the Mavs’ staff after Carlisle was hired. The Mavs’ road win against the Thunder despite Dirk Nowitzki’s knee injury won’t count on his record, but it ought to remind owners and general managers around the NBA that Casey can coach.