With the Portland Trail Blazers fighting for a playoff spot in a weakened Western Conference, Sports Illustrated writer (and Blazer's Edge alumnus) Ben Golliver gave the team a C+ for its efforts.
Golliver had nothing but praise for coach Terry Stotts, and his lineups which draw out the potential of Allen Crabbe and CJ McCollum:
Coach Terry Stotts is the big winner from Portland’s first half: In the final guaranteed year of his current contract, he’s made a convincing case that he should be retained. First, he showed that his three-happy offensive system could maintain a top-10 rating despite losing four of his 2014–15 starters, getting increased contributions from promoted holdovers like C.J. McCollum and Allen Crabbe.
He also weighed in on the debate about whether or not the Blazers would be better served by not making the playoffs and thereby retaining their lottery-protected first-round draft choice, or making the playoffs and seeing where the young shooters like McCollum and Damian Lillard can take the team.
His biggest criticism for the team was that Lillard and McCollum are a poor defensive backcourt, which could hold back the team if they did make a post-season appearance.
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