Frank Vogel has been chosen to coach the Eastern Conference All-Star team, per an official release on the Indiana Pacers portion of NBA.com. This comes as no surprise, since the Pacers boast the best record in the Eastern Conference (30-7).
What’s interesting here, is that the Western Conference All-Star coach remains to be determined. According to the report, the coach will be chosen based upon which team has the best record by the end of February 2nd, two weeks before the All-Star Game.
“The West All-Star coach will be determined by the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 2. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich coached last year’s All-Star Game, making them ineligible for the honor this year.”
Right now, the Trail Blazers (28-9) have the second best record in the Western Conference. The best? That would be the Spurs (30-8). However; as you’ve just read, Gregg Popovich is ineligible to coach the team. Terry Stotts is currently the frontrunner for the honors.
The Portland Trail Blazers have a half-game lead on the Oklahoma City Thunder, so it will be exceedingly difficult for them to hold on until February 2nd. Their schedule leading up to the cutoff will prove to be more challenging than any stretch they’ve endured thus far.
January 15th: Cleveland (14-24)
January 17th: @ San Antonio (30-8)
January 18th: @ Dallas (23-16)
January 20th: @ Houston (25-14)
January 21st: @ Oklahoma City (28-10)
January 23rd: Denver (19-18)
January 25th: Minnesota (18-19)
January 26th: @ Golden State (25-14)
January 28th: Memphis (18-19)
February 1st: Toronto (19-17)
If Portland can run the gauntlet without losing ground, Terry Stotts will be crowned Head Coach of the Western Conference in just his second year as Head Coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. And why not? The Trail Blazers are having their best season since 1999-2000 (also 28-9 after 37 games) when they made it to the Western Conference Finals.
Terry Stotts has already received recognition as the Western Conference Coach of the Month for November, as well as a ringing endorsement from ESPN’s Marc Stein as the NBA’s Coach of the first trimester. The Trail Blazers are within five wins of their 2012-2013 record and the season isn’t even half over.
Only two Trail Blazers coaches have ever coached in the All-Star game: Jack Ramsay in 1978 and Rick Adelman in 1991. Each traveled with a trio of players (Bill Walton, Lionel Hollins, Maurice Lucas / Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Kevin Duckworth). For Terry Stotts to join these NBA legends would be a tremendous honor. Could he make it to New Orleans with LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard?
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