NBA Insider Shams Charania has released a recent article that details how Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts could be fired in the off-season if the team doesn’t have playoff success.
Stotts has been the Blazers coach for nine years but has made just one conference finals appearance in this time. In the article, Charania cites a lack of adjustments and progress over the season alongside this lack of playoff success as reasons for a potential firing. Shams says that Stotts would need to ” pull a rabbit out of the hat in the playoffs ” to keep his job.
The article can be found here – behind paywall.
The Blazers have one of the worst defenses of all time, ranking 29th in the league and conceding a whopping 117.1 points per 100 possessions. The Blazers inability to get stops and make in-game adjustments, has been a massive issue this year. Terrible teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets have better team defenses, and they are full of rookies and non-defensive pieces.
Stotts has had success in the regular season and also in developing talent like Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, as well as a multitude of second-round picks. Stotts is a good development coach, but this hasn’t translated to success at a playoff level.
He seems to carry some weight in the locker room, but the pressure of maximizing Dame’s prime and his pending $50 million salary weighs on ownership and the front office. Dame may only have two more years at an All-NBA level, and if Stotts is unable to produce a competent defense, then he needs to be shown the door.
Charania’s article does list some potential replacements that include NBA great Jason Kidd, and ex-Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan, but I can’t see the Blazers not doing a full search if they went down the road of firing Stotts.