The Portland Trail Blazers’ terry stotts is one of the few NBA coaches who have benefited from the Coach’s Challenge. Records show that he is 13-9 in the challenges which is a relatively good record. But according to Stotts, credit should also be given to his star guard Damian Lillard.
In the Blazers’ win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, Stotts successfully used a challenge which led to free throws for C.J. McCollum. After the game, Stotts shared his thoughts on the matter during his media availability. He shared what he told players early on upon the introduction of the new rule. He also commended Lillard’s good eye for spotting such critical plays.
“A lot of times I trust the players. This one, and the one against Boston, both plays happened at the other end of the floor and Dame had a better view of it than I did. The one tonight I did think that CJ got fouled. … A lot of times when it’s on the other end of the floor, Dame’s been very good in seeing what he sees on the floor, and back at the beginning of the season I told the players, ‘I gotta be able to trust you. Don’t say you didn’t foul if you really fouled him.’ They have a better view of it than I do and I trust them on that,” Stotts said, as transcribed by Isaiah De Los Santos of SB Nation.
So far, the Blazers are 2-1 in the bubble and are sitting in the ninth spot in the West. Every win is critical for them to snatch the eighth spot. So don’t be surprised if the Blazers decide to challenge a play late in the game and win.