After months of waiting to hear who will finally replace ousted head coach Nate McMillan, Blazers fans are waking up Wednesday morning to hear that Kaleb Canales is not the official head coach of Rip City, but rather Dallas Mavericksâ€™ assistant Terry Stotts.
1). A Trade Proposal
Here are some thoughts on the Portland Trail BlazersÂ newÂ hire:
McMillan for Stotts.
Thatâ€™s what this coaching change appears to be at the chagrin of many. For all of the Blazers fans that were calling for McMillanâ€™s job title to be stripped last season, very few, if any, ever thought that Blazers would go in this direction.
Initially, this move looks like a step down in the big picture. McMillan is part of the U.S. Olympic coaching staff and has held head coaching gigs with two franchises for at least fiveÂ seasons.
Should these accomplishments have kept McMillan employed with the Blazers?
Not necessarily. That said, I do not think that was the move that anyone had envisioned in March, and McMillanâ€™s most significant detractors in Portland could soon find themselves pining for the days of Sarge.2).Â Terryâ€¦Who?
In a city such as Los Angeles or New York, this hiring would get blasted based on the fact that nobody could pick himÂ or his name out of a line-up.
That said, Blazers fans had their expectations tempered when The Oregonian reported thatÂ general manager Neil Olshey had all but essentially narrowed his coaching searchÂ list down to interim coach to Stotts and Kaleb Canales.
WithÂ potentialÂ candidatesÂ such as Brian Shaw, Mike Dâ€™Antoni, and the Van GundysÂ off the table, Â Blazers fans were going to get this result one way or the other and therefore lowered expectations as a result.3). Donâ€™t Look for 45 Wins
Rebuilding is the word that franchise refuse to use when selling season tickets, because of the negative connotation that it carries. Stottsâ€™ name thus far in his career screams rebuilding because of what he hasnâ€™t accomplished.
Stotts record is 115-168Â Â in his prior two stints as head coach with the Milwaukee Bucks (2005-07) and Atlanta Hawks (2002-04). His teams recorded only one playoff appearance, in 2006 with Milwaukee when he went 40-42,Â during his tenures.
While Stotts was the â€śoffensive coordinatorâ€ť for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011 NBA Championship run, I question how much better he will progress as a head coach.
The best hope is that he will be like Alvin Gentry.4). You Say Stotts, I Say Alvin Gentry
What Blazers fans can optimistically expect for Stotts is for his trajectory to resemble the Phoenix Suns head coach. In Gentryâ€™s first stop as coach of Detroit (1997-2000), he went 73-72.
His stock rose and then the Clippers snatched him up.Â In Clipperland,Â he then went on to a post a record of 89-133 through 2003 before getting canned.
Gentry languished as an assistant before getting another chance with the Suns in 2008, where he has gone 145-116 without threatening for a championship.5). LaMarcus Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki
The two players are moreÂ similar than Blazers might like to believe. Both men are near seven-footers that are the faces of their franchises, relied upon for the offensive talents, and do not have a high propensity to rebound for a full 48-minute game.
That said, Nowitzki and Aldridge are gifted with their ability to score from 18-feetÂ on the offensive end and I believe that Stotts can make Aldridge a better player as a result of his time spent with the Mavericksâ€™ star.
What Nowitzki has that Aldridge lacks is the willingness to take shots in the fourth quarter. Hopefully Stotts can change the mindset of theÂ Blazers star in this regard.
If the new coach has the ability to communicate with his new star, then Rip City could find itself at the beginning of a revival.
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Â© Blair Thomas for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
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