The Portland Trail Blazers‘ season came to an end last night, but it sure was an incredible ride.
Despite losing four of their starting five players through free agency and trades, including franchise cornerstone LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers managed to prove the critics wrong and make a run to the second round of the playoffs.
Damian Lillard and Most Improved Player of the Year C.J. McCollum led the way, but the entire roster stepped up and filled their roles. It's a testament to the outstanding work of their head coach, Terry Stotts.
Stotts motivated his group to push the Golden State Warriors all series, even holding a lead for more minutes than the Dubs.
Time with lead
Trail Blazers 137 minutes
Warriors 95 minutes
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2016
The front office took notice, and they're confident that Stotts is the right man for this franchise for the foreseeable future.
According to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN, both Blazers management and Stotts plan to “explore a contract extension beyond 2016-17.”
In his four seasons in Portland, Stotts and the Blazers have gone 182-146 while making the playoffs each of the last three years. They've reached the second round twice, falling in five games on both occasions.
This year was more of a surprise, though. The Blazers were considered as a rebuilding franchise and few pundits predicted that they'd make the playoffs. Instead, they won 44 games, good for the 5th seed in the Western Conference.
Stotts finished second to Steve Kerr for Coach of the Year as a result.
With so much movement on the coaching front in the NBA, it's nice to hear that one of the game's great guys appears to have found stability in the Pacific Northwest.
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