Terry Stotts Reportedly Could Be Fired After Pelicans Sweep Trail Blazers

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2018

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts reacts during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, April 7, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 116-105. (AP Photo/Ronald Cortes)
Ronald Cortes/Associated Press

Even after leading his team to 49 victories and a Northwest Division title during the regular season, Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts could be on the hot seat.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported there is buzz around the league that Stotts could be fired after the third-seeded Trail Blazers were swept by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs, making it 10 straight postseason losses. 

Stein noted that if Stotts hits the market, the Orlando Magic will be interested. Orlando fired Frank Vogel earlier this month.      

Stotts has been Portland's head coach since the 2012-13 season. He has a 272-220 record in six seasons in Rip City, making the playoffs in each of the past five seasons.

Despite piling up wins in the regular season, which includes a pair of 50-win seasons and two division titles, Stotts has not had much success in the postseason. His Blazers have won just two playoff series in his six years on the job and have won just three games total in the five series from which they were eliminated.

Whether it's fair or not, the coach becomes a target when a team underachieves. After averaging 26.9 points on 43.9 percent shooting during the regular season, All-Star Damian Lillard averaged just 18.5 points on 35.2 percent shooting against the Pelicans. Most teams would have a hard time winning when their best player struggles, regardless of the coaching.

Stotts, 60, broke into the NBA as an assistant coach with the Seattle SuperSonics back in 1994-95. He has been a part of six organizations, running the show in Atlanta and Milwaukee in addition to Portland. He has a career record of 387-388 in 10 years as a head coach.

With his team sent home earlier than expected, Stotts now must await his fate. In the event he does lose his job, he reportedly at least has one team interested in his services.

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