Abbott: Blazers Coach Terry Stotts Talks Overtime Success, Playoff Chances

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts discusses his team's success in overtime this year and his team's chances of making the playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts joined Henry Abbott of TrueHoop to discuss his team's success in overtimethis year and his team's chances of making the playoffs.

Here's a link to the video.

Here's the video; a partial transcript follows.

Success in overtime

Confidence is one of those things that feeds on itself. We won our first one down in Houston. That was a confidence builder. Some of it is innate. It's in the character of our players. They have a belief in what they can do and have grown to trust each other in those times and they play together. They play hard and play together in those situation. That help a lot.

John Hollinger has argued that the records in close games tend to even out most of the time but that you guys were really good in Dallas in close games

It's innate to the character of the players. In Dallas, if you have Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki you're going to win your fair share of close games. When I was in Milwaukee, the first half of the season we won an inordinate amount of close games. It tapered off obviously at the end of the year and the next year we didn't win them.

I think John is right. I love having statistical arguments with John. Over time, things do even out to the norm.

I know you stat guys are looking at our point differential and saying there's no way this team is a playoff team with that point differential. The fact is we have it and we're playing well. Our schedule is going to catch up to us. We have a tough schedule going forward. But we're certainly not going to trivialize the success we've had up to this point.

Damian Lillard comes off as the most serious young man

He has a good sense of humor. What he is, is he's serious about the game and serious about improving and becoming a better player. He's certainly not satisfied with where he is today.

Will Blazers make playoffs?

Well, that's why you play the whole season. We're not there yet. I've been around long enough not to predict those things. I think that we can but we have a lot of work ahead of us.

The Blazers, currently in 7th in the West right now, have a -1.9 point differential, the only team among the Western Conference's top-eight teams with a negative point differential. The Denver Nuggets (8th), Minnesota Timberwolves 9th), Utah Jazz (10th) and Los Angeles Lakers (11th) all have better point differentials than the Blazers, which helps explain why John Hollinger's Power Rankings are not as high on the Blazers as the "human" power rankings.

Here's Hollinger's explanation on that...

One of my goals was to create a system that told us more about a team's quality than the standings do.

So instead of winning percentage, these rankings use points scored and points allowed, which are better indicators of a team's quality than wins and losses.

This might not sound right at first, but studies have shown scoring margin to be a better predictor of future success than a team's win-loss record. Thus, scoring margin is a more accurate sign of a team's quality.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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