The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t expect a sweep out of the NBA Playoffs by the New Orleans Pelicans, but it’s now their reality. Damian Lillard was frustrated all series long and it trickled down to most of the team. With the season over, attention turns to the offseason — which could be busy (head coach Terry Stotts is already reportedly on the hot seat).
Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest caught up with the “shocked” Blazers following their loss in New Orleans. Ed Davis summed up what most basketball followers are probably thinking right now:
“I felt like coming into this playoffs, there was no way you were going to tell me we weren’t going to have a Game 5. You know?’’ Blazers big man Ed Davis said. “I mean, you can tell me, somebody was going to beat us in six or seven, but no way swept.’’
Stotts, who is in aforementioned rumors about his job, acknowledges possible roster changes:
“Ultimately, you are defined by the postseason,’’ coach Terry Stotts said. “I think it’s a little early to say what direction we are going to go and what needs to be done moving forward, but one thing is Neil (Olshey) is really good. We’ve been to the playoffs five straight years and he continues to change and build the roster. I’m pretty confident with that.’’
Lillard knows Portland can improve, but he hasn’t lost faith in his team:
“We’ve done what we can, but obviously there is room for improvement, especially when you come up short in the playoffs and get swept. Obviously there are a lot of things that can be done better on our part as an organization and as players.”
Davis, who will be a free agent this summer, knows his tenure in Portland is up in the air. But he’s doubling down on his desire to stay in Portland:
“Like I’ve been saying since Day One: I hope I’m back here,’’ Davis said. “I hope July 1 at midnight we have something done and it’s over with. That’s what I’m hoping and banking on.’’
Exit interviews for the team will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. PT where they’ll reflect on the season and what comes next.
You can read more reaction from the Blazers here.