At this point in the season, the topic merits some attention. Has Stotts (and staff) surpassed expectations or not? Has he led this team to about expected results? More importantly, is he the answer going forward?
Peeking at his track record, Stotts defines mediocrity. Granted, the material he was provided to work with as far as roster compositions wasn't all that great. But a good coach certainly knows how to utilize most of his players to fit a his system to the extent they play winning basketball, regardless of individual quality on the roster.That has not happened with Stotts as he has shown an adherence to overuse (to put it midly) the proven talent on the squad - Matthews, Batum, LA, HIckson - and whom soon enough would fit that category, Lillard.
In the process of stubbornly adopting this strategy, Stotts has not only missed his primary objective (playoffs) but also, as a direct product of previously mentioned tactic, failed to seriously assess most rookies on the roster in terms of playing time.
Adjustments during the season, defensively? 70 games in, the Blazers still get outscored by wide margins.
What about character? Does he have a positive influence on his players? Is he perhaps a drill-sergeant? Judging by the interviews and press conferences - he is neither. Looks rather depressed and sometimes overly defensive when asked by media about his decisions concerning coaching and roster issues.
Is Stotts really the long-term answer? Personally, considering all outlined deficiencies, i would like to see Portland have another coach next season.
What options are there to consider?
SVG is obviously the one who owns a CV with the heaviest credentials.However, several other teams could look to be switching head coaches thereby providing competition for the more renowned coaches available. AT least those U.S. based...
What other routes are there, then to turn to?
Consider this - Euro coaches. Adjustment periods caveat, right? Phil Jackson was a second year coach when he won a title. Mike Brown did well as a rookie. Popovich. Sloan. There are numerous names. Point being, if you know how to coach and manage players - the sky is the limit.
Has anyone heard of Ettore Messina? Was a Lakers assistant last year. He has won multiple titles nationally as well as in the Euroleague. He is also very proficient in english. I was a bit flabbergasted when i stumbled across this interview below by the Los Angeles time last year with Messina, what a striking dissimilarity in thinking and talking he posed to many current nba coaches. Watch and resonate yourselves:
please watch as many of them as possible (5 total).
Of course, there is also David Blatt , an Israel-American who won the Eurobasket with Russia and bronze at the olympic games this year with the same national team. And then there is the most accomplished Euroleague coach of all time , Obradovic , with 8 Euroleague titles in total.
They are all great basketball minds in their fifties, i would love if the blazers surprised everyone with this type of outside-the-box move.