Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has earned a reputation as one of the league’s best when it comes to the coach’s challenge, a rule added this year where coaches can “trigger one instant replay review per game of a called foul, called out-of-bounds violation, or called goaltending or basket interference violation.” Stotts successfully used the challenge once again in Portland’s win against the Houston Rockets to reverse an offensive foul on CJ McCollum that instead led to McCollum earning two free throws.
After the game, Stotts said trusting his players is a key factor in his challenge success:
“A lot of times I trust the players. This one, and the one against Boston, both plays happened at the other end of the floor and Dame had a better view of it than I did. The one tonight I did think that CJ got fouled. ... A lot of times when it’s on the other end of the floor, Dame’s been very good in seeing what he sees on the floor, and back at the beginning of the season I told the players, ‘I gotta be able to trust you. Don’t say you didn’t foul if you really fouled him.’ They have a better view of it than I do and I trust them on that.”
As ESPN’s Tim Bontemps pointed out in Sunday’s game against the Boston Celtics, Damian Lillard made sure Stotts knew to challenge a foul on Gary Trent Jr. (which was successful, too):
Damian Lillard just sprinted to the other end of the court to make sure that Terry Stotts challenged the foul call against Gary Trent Jr. in time. We'll see if Dame's hot streak in the second half extends to challenges.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) August 2, 2020
Coach Stotts has gone 13-9 on challenges this season, according to Jay Allen of Rip City Radio.