NBA / Apr 24, 2014 / 1:45 pm

Rick Carlisle Calls Gregg Popovich “The Greatest Coach In NBA History”

Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle won a title in 2011 with Dallas after leading some — in our opinion — underrated Pistons teams after Larry Brown left early in the millennia. His Mavs also put a dent in the Spurs’ seemingly impenetrable “force” in Game 2 Wed. night with a dominating 113-92 win on San Antonio’s home court. But he still says Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is, “The greatest coach in NBA history.”

The self-proclaimed “Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Express-News coverage team,” Dan McCarney, offered up these gems after Carlisle’s Mavs spanked Popovich’s Spurs during Game 2 in San Antonio:

Carlisle’s love for Pop led to a pretty spot-on impression during a sideline interview earlier in the regular season. But his Mavs crushed the Spurs on their home court, and were a fourth-quarter collapse in Game 1 from sweeping the team with the NBA’s best regular season record this year in the first two games of their best-of-seven opening round series.

But before you accuse Carlisle of attempting to play some sort of head game with Pop, like Phil Jackson would, and which would fail because Gregg Popovich is basically a field agent for the CIA, McCarney reveals just how earnest Carlisle’s praise was last night:

Dirk Nowitzki, for his part, isn’t letting Dallas’ excellent play in the first two games prevent him from buckling down when the Mavs return home for the next two games. In fact, he’s a little worried about playing the next two in the cozy confines of American Airlines Arena:

The NBA’s 2014 Coach of the Year deserves Carlisle’s praise, and we agree with his assessment — even if his self-deprecation is just that. Popovich and the experienced Spurs are the biggest reason the Mavs aren’t exactly resting on their laurels following an impressive opening salvo at the AT&T Center.

Should the Spurs be worried heading to Dallas?

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