TAG: terry stotts

NBA / Jan 17, 2014 / 2:00 pm

The Top 10 NBA Coach Of The Year Candidates

Frank Vogel

Doc Rivers, referee Gary Zielinski (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

Many NBA pundits are quick to tell you it’s a player’s league, and in many respects that’s true. Without a game-changing talent like LeBron James or Kevin Durant, it’s hard to compete with the league’s upper echelon.

Ignoring the impact of a good coach would be foolish, however, as we see from year to year the impact that an upgrade on the bench can bring to a team. Unless your team is one of the top seeds, coaches usually receive too much blame for failure and not enough credit in periods of success. Read More »

NBA / Dec 30, 2013 / 1:30 pm

How LaMarcus Aldridge Became Worthy MVP Candidate This Year

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge (Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports)

“The king stay the king.”

Those are loaded words from D’Angelo Barksdale as he explains the nuances of chess to Bodie and Wallace, but he could easily be referring to the MVP crown, which has belonged to LeBron James four out of the last five seasons. This year, as usual, it’s LeBron’s race to lose, but there’s a whole new crop of precocious upstarts looking to unseat the throne, not the least of whom are Indiana’s Paul George, who continues his meteoric rise to stardom, and perhaps more surprisingly, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, who has quietly lead his team to the franchise’s best start in more than two decades. Read More »

NBA / Dec 20, 2013 / 3:45 pm

Which Team Has Been The Bigger Surprise: Portland Or Phoenix?

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers teammates

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers teammates (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

If we ask this question again in May, the answer might be lopsided. Portland is fighting for a top seed in the West, and possible homecourt advantage, where their crazed fans have pushed them out to a 10-2 record. They have two likely All-Stars and at 22-5, are a sure bet to make the playoffs. And yet they might not be the Western Conference’s biggest surprise so far. Read More »

NBA / Dec 11, 2013 / 3:30 pm

7 Reasons Why The Blazers Are Serious NBA Finals Contenders

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard (photo. adidas Basketball)

As the calendar turns over to December and the snow begins to fall, a month of the NBA season has gone by just like that. Just like Drake reminded us in September, nothing was the same. Teams that looked poised to make deep playoff runs on paper have turned out to be vying for the rights to Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins instead of the Larry O’Brien trophy, while teams that everyone overlooked are emerging as serious title contenders. Read More »

GIFs, NBA, Video / Dec 5, 2013 / 10:30 am

Russell Westbrook Doesn’t Want Damian Lillard To Be Scared

Russell Westbrook

There was a little game within a game yesterday during Portland’s 111-104 victory over the visiting Thunder. A small battle between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook broke out, and Russ told Blazers coach Terry Stotts that Dame shouldn’t be scared after Wesley Matthews switched to cover Russ on defense. The back-and-forth became an empty gesture, though, when the Blazers got the big win. Read More »

NBA / Nov 8, 2013 / 11:15 am

Put Up Or Shut Up: Damian Lillard, Blazers Know Defense Is The Key

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

There’s no question that the Portland Trail Blazers made significant upgrades to their roster over the summer. They added a more formidable frontcourt presence in Robin Lopez, a highly serviceable backup point guard in Mo Williams, and a potentially intriguing prospect in Thomas Robinson. Through a series of carefully-orchestrated moves, general manager Neil Olshey managed to not only bolster a bench rotation that was literally the worst in the league last season, he did it without breaking the bank or coughing up any valuable assets. Read More »

Latest News, NBA / Dec 10, 2012 / 5:00 pm

Why Few Options Exist To Fix Portland’s League-Worst Bench

Meyers Leonard

(photo. @meyersleonard11)

An NBA basketball team has more than five players for a reason. No matter how badly a coach may want to play his starters a full 48 minutes on any given night, he knows it’s not an option. One of his starters may roll an ankle. His center could commit two early fouls. Maybe he’s playing the Nuggets and George Karl goes small with four guards and a stretch four. A trustworthy bench allows a coach to adapt his gameplan and can be the difference between a good team and a great one. Without a good bench, a playoff team can be one inopportune ACL tear away from a potentially disastrous season. Read More »

Smack / Aug 10, 2012 / 12:01 am

Dwight Howard Deal To L.A. Is Done; The U.S. Hits The Semis

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (photo. adidas)

Is this End of Dwightmare Eve? Could the league’s best center — who also leads the NBA in being publicly disgruntled — actually be leaving for Laker pastures? It’s almost a near certainty that by this time tomorrow, Howard will be readying for his official debut as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers’ storied tradition of centers. Wilt, Kareem and Shaq also arrived at Los Angeles from another stop elsewhere, and all went on to next-level careers in the purple and gold. It’s time to introduce the wet blanket on this party in Lakerland, however: “IF.” Read More »

Latest News, NBA / Aug 9, 2012 / 9:00 am

Portland’s New Coaching Staff Will Include Both Head Coach Finalists

Portland Trail Blazers

After Portland announced former top Mavericks assistant Terry Stotts as its head coach on Wednesday, Stotts talked about freeing up the Trail Blazers’ game plan. More threes, more running, more room for players to make instinctual plays based on their abilities to read and react. Stotts was the offensive mind behind Dallas’ NBA title run in 2011, and he’ll have his own 6-10 centerpiece who can shoot in Portland, too, in LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s not Dirk Nowitzki, but the Dallas native is an All-Star worth building around. Aldridge also is the guy who campaigned for the job to go to video intern turned interim head coach Kaleb Canales. Then Stotts threw a curveball that will surely keep Aldridge pleased: Canales will stay on as assistant. Well this could be awkward. Read More »

Smack / Aug 7, 2012 / 9:45 pm

Hawks Want Dwight Howard; Avery Bradley Calls Ray Allen A “Great Tutor”

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (photo. adidas)

For the first time since perhaps the days of the Human Highlight Film, people soon might actually want to go to Atlanta and check out the Hawks. The basketball team, stuck in the longest “decent but never good enough to scare anyone” mode of any NBA team, possibly ever, is apparently going to go after Dwight Howard if he becomes available as a free agent next summer. Since Howard can’t make up his mind and new Orlando GM Rob Hennigan struggles with the idea behind the word “trade,” the chances Howard plays out the year in Disney World, the Magic have the most dysfunctional NBA season we’ve ever seen, Dwight beats up three or four different Disney characters and ends up FINALLY leaving next summer are looking stronger than ever. Read More »