Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 1/18/13
The final two stops on the Milwaukee Bucks' longest road trip of the season certainly haven't lacked for story lines. First was the 24-game losing streak in Phoenix that was snapped Thursday night. Now, the Bucks are preparing to face an old friend Saturday. Former Bucks coach Terry Stotts is in charge of the Portland Trail Blazers these days, and his team was one of the NBA's biggest surprises early on. Portland ran out to a 20-15 start but has since lost four straight games to fall from the sixth seed in the Western Conference to its current position of a half-game out of the eighth seed. Hired by the Bucks in the summer of 2005 to replace the fired Terry Porter, Stotts didn't last two full seasons in Milwaukee. In his only full year with the team, he led the Bucks to a 40-42 record. Despite being under .500, Milwaukee made the playoffs as the eighth seed and lost its first-round series in five games to Detroit. Michael Redd led the Bucks in scoring at 25.4 points per game, but no other player scored more than 13.5 points per game. The 2005-06 season also marked center Andrew Bogut's rookie season after the Bucks selected him No. 1 overall in the 2005 NBA draft. The Bucks were ravaged by injuries the following year and Stotts didn't make it through the season. With Milwaukee sitting in last place with a 23-41 record, he was fired on March 15, 2007 and replaced by assistant coach Larry Krystkowiak. Bucks players missed 234 games due to injury or illness that season, third-most in the NBA. The five players in Milwaukee's opening night starting lineup all missed at least 13 games due to injury. Prior to his hiring as coach, Stotts spent four seasons as an assistant in Milwaukee under George Karl before his hiring as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks in 2002.After being fired by the Bucks, Stotts joined Rick Carlisle's staff in Dallas in 2008 and won a title with the Mavericks before the Trail Blazers hired him before this season. Portland is led in scoring by forward LaMarcus Aldridge at 20.6 points per game, but rookie point guard Damian Lillard is the real reason the Trail Blazers are in the playoff mix. Lillard, drafted sixth overall out of Weber State, is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. He has been the only Western Conference Rookie of the Month this season and could become the first rookie guard to make the All-Star team since Michael Jordan in 1985.The 22-year-old is averaging 18.1 points and 6.5 assists per game while shooting 42.0 percent from the field. Regardless of whether Portland is regressing to the mean a bit during its four-game slide, Milwaukee will have its hands full Saturday night. The Blazers present a much bigger challenge than Phoenix did Thursday, and the Bucks will have to avoid the extended stretches of struggles that have haunted them in recent games. Coach killers? By pure coincidence, the Bucks have ended the coaching tenures of two NBA coaches this season. First, Brooklyn fired Avery Johnson the day after a 108-93 loss in Milwaukee.Less than 24 hours after the Bucks snapped their 24-game losing streak in Phoenix, the Suns fired Alvin Gentry. It's coincidence only because Milwaukee isn't a team you fire your coach after losing to. Both teams had other reasons for making the move, and the Bucks just happened to break the final straw. The Nets were underachieving and losers of five of six at the time of the move, and Phoenix is suffering through one of its worst seasons in franchise history. Lamb update: Bucks rookie guard Doron Lamb's first game in the D-League had its ups and downs. Lamb scored 12 points in 27 minutes of Fort Wayne's 104-102 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday, but he shot just 4 for 14 from the field and missed all three of his three-point attempts. Milwaukee's second-round pick in this past summer's draft will spend at least one more game with the Mad Ants. Fort Wayne plays in Bakersfield on Friday night. Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime


Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker