Regular season: Terry Stotts was mentioned as a Coach of the Year candidate after leading the Portland Trail Blazers to 49 wins and the three seed in the West, led by a top 10 defense.
Playoffs: Portland was swept out of the postseason in the first round by Anthony Davis.
The latter part of that is going to lead to some real soul searching and changes coming to the Trail Blazers. That could include Stotts losing his job, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.
There is plenty of blame to go around for Portland’s quick exit from the postseason, Stein is right that it’s not all on Stott’s shoulders. In fact, I would argue most of it is not.
However, this is the third time in four years Portland is out in the first round, and it leads to the question “what is it about their style that makes them so defendable and beatable in the playoffs?” This is a little like Toronto in recent years, where despite a lot of talent they were predictable and therefore defendable in the postseason. How much of that falls on Stotts vs. the roster he has to coach?
After a period of reflection in Portland, there are going to be changes in the wake of this sweep. Stotts’ job will be part of that discussion, no matter how good a job he did. The question for Blazers management is, if not Stotts then who is next? Who are they getting that’s better?
That said, if Stotts were to be let go he would hand on his feet very quickly.
The NBA has been impossible to ignore the first week of the season — and not just because players are spitting on each other and throwing punches.
Pace and scoring are way up, which has made the league even more entertaining.
A few teams — Denver, Milwaukee, even Detroit among others — have been very hot, while a couple of teams we thought would be good have stumbled.
Keith Smith from Real GM and Celtics Blog joins Kurt Helin of NBC Sports to talk about their early season impressions, and take questions/comments from listeners on Twitter. That means the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks even get some love. The Thunder defense… not so much.
We want your questions for the podcast, and your comments, email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com. As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.
The general consensus to the NBA’s suspensions – Brandon Ingram four games, Rajon Rondo three games, Chris Paul two games – for the Lakers-Rockets fight: Too lenient for the Lakers.
Even Ingram said he expected a harsher penalty.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Ingram started the incident by pushing James Harden, and then Ingram hostilely confronted a referee. Once Rondo and Paul began exchanging punches, Ingram came in swinging. Not long ago, Ingram would have received a longer suspension.
But under NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league hasn’t cracked down as hard.
This comes down to a bigger question: Why does the NBA suspend players? Prohibiting good players from playing lowers the quality of the product on the court in future games. It’s at least somewhat self-sabotaging. To some degree suspensions are designed deterrents, though players often don’t consider the repercussions during heated moments. But suspensions are also about appeasing fans who want to see an orderly system that keeps players in check.
So, with so many people calling Ingram’s suspension too short, maybe the league failed here. On the other hand, the objections don’t rise to the level of outrage. Most people seem OK with Ingram’s suspension, even if they would have preferred longer.
I doubt Ingram – or any player, for that matter – feels emboldened to fight because he got suspended just four games. Silver has been more lenient because fighting has mostly disappeared from the league. If it became rampant again, David Stern-era penalties might return. That potential deterrent still hovers, and we’ll all move on fairly quickly from Ingram’s suspension while enjoying watching him play again soon.
So, this seems about right.
Rondo getting just three games for spitting on and punching Paul, though…
Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul got into it. Rondo’s girlfriend and Paul’s wife reportedly got into it.
And if that weren’t enough, Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis angrily challenged Paul during Saturday’s Lakers-Rockets fracas.
“California, show your teeth,” indeed.
Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose has already played two games better than he had all of last season. He scored 12 points with eight assists and no turnovers in a win over the Cavaliers on Friday then posted 28-5-5-2 against the Mavericks on Saturday.
But let’s not overreact to such a small –
Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press:
If Tom Thibodeau is referring to a level of health Rose hasn’t had in several years and will never have again, that’s fine. Rose won MVP while healthy.
But if Thibodeau means just available to play without a limp, wow. His love of former Bulls extends even further than we realized.
Rose could help Minnesota in a limited role. He started to find a groove late last season, and he’s obviously starting strong this year. But this type of praise only prompts mocking.