Terry Stotts Rumors
After 2 1/2 weeks, four exhibition games and more than 10 practices, Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts remains as evasive and ambiguous about his starting lineup — specifically his starting small forward spot — as ever. “I will have a decision by Oct. 25,” he said Saturday, when asked if he was inching closer to deciding whether Moe Harkless, Evan Turner or Allen Crabbe would start. Stotts wouldn’t even reveal whether one of the three players had distanced himself in the fight for the only open spot in the starting lineup.
How would you describe the job Stotts has done? Paul Allen: “I think he’s done an excellent job. I think it’s pretty unique to see a coach adjust to the talent he has and maximize the abilities of the players he has and help them keep growing. You have to realize, we’re a very, very young team. I was kidding Neil earlier, I said, ‘Well, there’s other teams that seem to try to perfect the art of using older players to their maximum, whereas our approach is to bring in young talent, in some cases unproven talent, and try to take that talent to another level.’ And I think you saw that in terms of player development last year. So both in terms of development and execution, obviously, and making it out of the first round last year and giving Golden State a real run for their money, that was all extremely encouraging.”
The Blazers ranked 20th in the NBA last season in terms of points allowed per possession. Stotts recognizes that Portland will have to improve on that side of the floor in order to make significant strides this season. “We have to get better defensively,” Stotts said. “And we were better defensively the second half of the season, which is one of the main reasons we made a push to make the playoffs. We have to get better. I think that will come with experience.”
The basic tenets of Stotts’ defensive scheme likely won’t change drastically this season. But Stotts hinted at some adjustments — even throwing out the possibility of zone defense — depending on the lineup combinations. “With our roster, I’d like to do a little bit more switching,” he said. “I’d like to go under ball screens a little bit more. I don’t want to get carried away. I do think fundamentally – and when you look at the analytics of what we want to do – we’re on the right course.”
The Portland Trail Blazers have finalized their coaching staff for the 2016-17 season, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. Assistant coach Dale Osbourne has been promoted to the front of the bench, and John McCullough has joined the coaching staff after spending the previous four seasons as the team’s advance scout. Osbourne, entering his fifth year as an assistant, returns to head coach Terry Stotts’ staff along with David Vanterpool (fifth season), Nate Tibbetts (fourth season) and Jim Moran (second season).