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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Terry Stotts not taking credit for Rodney Hood substitution that won game

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts made a substitution late in Friday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets that propelled his team to victory in a four-overtime affair, but he is not ready to be hailed as a genius.

Rodney Hood entered Game 3 with 1:59 remaining in the fourth overtime and made three consecutive shots, including a three-pointer with 18.6 seconds left that put Portland up 138-136. When asked about subbing Hood in for Maurice Harkless, Stotts admitted he only made the move because Harkless was experiencing some cramping.

It’s better to be lucky than good, right?

As it turns out, the cramps Harkless dealt with opened the door for the Blazers to come out on the winning end of one of the longest NBA playoff games in decades. It was not fantastic coaching intuition from Stotts, though that doesn’t really matter.

Whether he was responsible for the Hood substitution or not, Stotts has done some of his best coaching this season. He’s also been entertaining at times during his press conferences, so he’s endearing himself to Blazers fans in many ways. Sometimes things just go your way, and that’s what happened for Portland and their coach late in Friday night’s thriller.

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