Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts joined Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey for an interview on Blazers Courtside on Tuesday for an interview.
Here's a transcript. The video can be found right here.
Did you get any award or the key to the city for winning Coach of the Month?
Not yet. Right now I've just gotten a lot of pats on the back and that's fine with me. Handshakes, well wishes, I've gotten a lot of texts.
What's most impressive: Record, road record, record when leading after three quarters, etc.?
Those are all pretty impressive. I knew some of them but when you rattle them off like that, it's something to be proud of. There's no two ways about it, we've certainly gotten off to a great start. I don't want to downplay what a good start it's been in a lot of areas. But I try to temper that with the fact that we have a long season to go. We don't want to be complacent or satisfied, we've got a tough schedule coming up.
Probably from my standpoint, with defense being the biggest priority coming into the season, the fact that we've got a certain number of wins when not shooting over 44 percent is to me the best indicator for us as to the direction that we're going.
The priorities going into this season was to have a better road record. To be a playoff team you have to win half your road games. To get off to a good start like that was one of our goals. I don't like to say, 'Beating teams you're supposed to beat.' But beating teams with a lesser record is important, you have to take care of business like that. Those are two of the things we wanted to improve going into the season and up to this point we've done that.
More than anything else, it's about our demeanor and our approach to the game. We're playing like we have something to prove and we need to keep that edge no matter what our record is. I keep saying this, we haven't accomplished anything, obviously we've won a lot of games and we've done some things up to this point, but we've done it because we played with an edge and we have to do that every night. I'm worried about the schedule, I'm worried about our demeanor, I'm worried about sustaining it. Every indication from our team, I don't anticipate that changing because of how we approach the games.
Helpful to play Paul George with Kevin Durant coming to town
I hope Durant doesn't do what Paul George did, that's for sure. They're very similar players in that they're very effective from the perimeter and they can put the ball on the floor, they're hard to guard. From a team standpoint, nothing really changes. We have to stick to our defensive principles, stay the course with what we're doing, play the percentages, I think in the long run that will pay off for us.
Oklahoma City has three losses, Kevin Durant is a great player, Westbrook is a great player, Serge Ibaka is a paint presence much like [Roy] Hibbert. The challenges are going to be there. Oklahoma City plays at a faster pace than Indiana. Playing Indiana and Oklahoma City back-to-back is certainly a good test and I think we'll be up for it.
Consistent demeanor of team, like Spurs, etc.
That's the goal. Throw Indiana into that mix. I think that's what the great teams do, not just the good teams. That's where we all want to get to. We may not do it consistently, I was really pleased with our consistency more from a mental standpoint last night, more than anything else, but that's what the great things do. If we want to achieve the things we want to achieve this season, we need to stay the course and we have to continue to do the things we know we have to do to be a good team.
Nets coach Jason Kidd demotes assistant Lawrence Frank
One of the things I've learned in the NBA is that you really don't know what's going on behind the scenes. There's a lot of things going on behind the scenes with every team that no one knows. It's certainly not my place to even speculate on what's going on. Certainly losing and not meeting expectations is a catalyst for change. Whatever the reason, I do know Jason Kidd was a great player when I was in Dallas and has an extremely intelligent basketball mind. I have a lot of respect for Lawrence Frank and what he's done during his basketball career.
Whatever happened -- it sounds like Lawrence will be doing daily reports. I don't know [what that means], but trying to keep it in perspective, I know Lawrence has a great basketball mind -- if he's still having his input but not being around the team, but still having his input and analysis, on opponents. It would be a shame to waste a talent like Lawrence Frank.
Are some coaches happy that Kidd is struggling because he didn't pay his coaching dues?
You really expect me to answer that? The question went on and on and on and on. No. Coaching can be very miserable at times. I know what Jason is going through, I know what [Knicks coach] Mike Woodson is going through, [Bucks coach] Larry Drew. Teams that are not living up to early expectations, it's miserable. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter