Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making a commitment to toughness

In Dallas, new coach Rick Carlisle is working on establishing an identity for his club -- one that's grounded in toughness and a genuine dislike for the opponent. In terms of attitude and approach, think of Rick Mahorn with the Pistons.

Even better, think of Jack Lambert or Dick Butkus. That's the attitude Coach Carlisle is looking for.

According to Jerry Stackhouse, if a team makes a commitment to toughness, "it's not that hard."

"We had it when we were in Detroit (when Carlisle was the Pistons coach). We didn't like the other team. We made a conscious effort not to see other teams in shootarounds."

Added Coach Carlisle:

"How do you get guys to be nasty? Well, I think hating the opponent is a start. You've got to develop that as we go along."