Terry Stotts on hot seat in Portland?
Terry Stotts is one of the most tenured head coaches in the NBA, behind only Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Rick Carlisle. But with his team continuing to play poorly on the defensive end of the floor, he could be headed down a highway to the danger zone.
Jason Quick of The Athletic reported Monday that questions about Stotts’ defense have created a “tense” backdrop to his future with the Portland Trail Blazers. Quick notes that Stotts is well-liked by his players. But the report adds that the team’s overall lack of defense during Stotts’ tenure has become a topic of note with ownership.
Stotts, who is under contract through 2021-22, is in his ninth season as coach of the Blazers. He has accomplished a lot over that time with a 382-304 record (.557), two division titles, and seven playoff appearances (including a conference finals berth in 2019).
But the questions about Stotts’ defense are legitimate ones. Portland ranks a rancid 29th in defensive rating this year after finishing 28th in the category last season. In fact, the Blazers have finished in the top half of the league in defensive rating only three times during Stotts’ tenure.
Granted, Stotts is working with some below-average individual defenders in his starting lineup like Damian Lillard and Enes Kanter. Other top Blazers such as CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are also still missing due to injury. But Stotts has been on the hot seat before and may slowly be inching his way back there now.
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