Losing games is bad for any franchise, but winning in ways that aren’t sustainable can be just as damaging long-term. Head Coach Terry Stotts of the Portland Trail Blazers tried to get that across to his players after their overtime victory against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night, according to Jason Quick of NBCSNW. Quick relays the story through the words of Portland stalwarts Ed Davis and CJ McCollum.
“He knows we are capable of much more,’’ CJ McCollum said. “We haven’t played our best basketball. We have been pissing away games and not executing. We have to do some things better so we are not in those situations where … we could have lost tonight.’’
“Unacceptable,’’ Davis said. “We want to be one of those elite teams and elite teams don’t play around at home, especially a game we are supposed to win and had control of the whole game.’’
The Blazers own a 30-25 record, good for 6th in the Western Conference, but they sit only a half game ahead of the 7th-place Denver Nuggets and only 1.5 games above 9th place, outside of the playoffs bracket. Portland owns a relatively modest 16-10 home record. They have been embroiled in multiple close contests, some of their own making, and are clinging to a +1.0 average margin of victory this season. That’s good enough for a playoffs team but far short of the marks set by serious contenders.
Quick’s article contains more quotes, including an unforgettable exchange between Stotts and guard Evan Turner.