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Blazers’ Win in Last Game of Season Had Big Impact on NBA Playoffs

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Terry Stotts talked with ESPN about his team’s playoffs-changing win in the last regular season game.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers just concluded an NBA Playoffs run all the way to the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors. However, that run might not have been possible without the team’s improbable comeback win against the Kings on the last day of the regular season. This win shook up the standings and sent the Rockets into the Warriors’ side of the bracket, while Portland faced the Thunder and Nuggets on their way to the WCF.

Head coach Terry Stotts talked with ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and Baxter Holmes about the impact that the win over Sacramento had on the entire playoffs:

“That comeback changed the dynamics of the playoffs for a lot of teams, but certainly for us,” Stotts said during the second round en route to a Western Conference finals loss to Golden State. “You’d like to think that we still would have won the first series and we would have been competitive in the second series, but it certainly did change the dynamics of the playoffs.”

Stotts’ Blazers completed a 28-point comeback that night. The head coach talked about the mentality while guarding, and trying to decrease, large deficits:

“[With a lead] I find myself and my coaching staff all throughout the fourth quarter saying, ‘Don’t give up 3s. Don’t give up 3s. Don’t give up 3s.’ I think that’s the biggest mentality,” Stotts said. “On the flip side of it, if you’re the team coming from behind, you’re basically saying, ‘If you’re open, let it fly. We’ve got to make up some ground.’”

You can read more from the piece here.