Terry Stotts has to be counting the days before he can open preseason camp as the second-year coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.
There are reasons for him to feel upbeat about this team, but the pressure will be on.
Some observers were a little surprised that the Blazers retained Stotts after the late-season collapse in which Portland lost 13 straight games. They had been considered solid playoff contenders at one time, but Stotts was given some slack considering the depleted roster he had to endure, and the fact he had such a young team to work with at such a critical time of the season.
He entered his first year with Portland with a 115–168 NBA coaching mark, which had made his previous appointment to the job even more confusing for some.
Being just a rookie coach, Stotts has been given another chance.
However, 33-49 obviously won’t cut it again, especially when the Blazers have outstanding players like LaMarcus Aldridge (provided he stays), Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum. The Blazers are going to need more depth this season and it seems like they’ve secured that, considering the caliber of some of their offseason moves, including picking up first-round draft choice C.J. McCollum.
Stotts has to take the Blazers to the playoffs, which won’t be easy in the NBA West. The Blazers front office doesn’t want to be denied a postseason for another year. They tolerated what happened last year, and Stotts’ team must make the playoffs this season or he will be looking for a new job.