Terry Stotts Reportedly 'Likely' to Be Fired as Blazers HC Due to April Slide

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts reacts to an official's call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 4, 2021. The Blazers won 123-119. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is reportedly expected to be fired at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season because of the team's recent struggles.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Portland losing 10 of its 15 games in the month of April is "likely" to cost Stotts his job.

The Blazers are seventh in the Western Conference at 34-28, meaning they will have to compete in the postseason play-in tournament if they are unable to move up between now and the end of the regular season.

Stotts was hired as the Blazers' head coach prior to the 2012-13 season, and he has enjoyed a great deal of success in that role.

With Stotts at the helm, the Trail Blazers have reached the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons and seven of the past eight overall. They are also on track to make the playoffs this season if they can put a stop to their recent slide.

Perhaps the biggest problem for Stotts has been his inability to take Portland on deep postseason runs. The Blazers have not reached the NBA Finals with Stotts as head coach and have gone as far as the Western Conference Finals only once.

Of the seven times Portland has reached the playoffs under Stotts, it has gotten ousted in the first round four times, including three of the past four seasons.

All of this has occurred despite the fact that Portland has had one of the NBA's best players in superstar guard Damian Lillard for the past nine years.

On paper, the Blazers look like they should be far better, as a supporting cast of CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Carmelo Anthony, Enes Kanter, Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington around Lillard should be good enough to put them in the upper tier of playoff teams in the Western Conference.

Portland has dropped off since reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2019, though, going just 35-39 last season before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, and falling to 34-28 this season.

It may still be possible for Stotts to save his job by turning things around and guiding the Blazers to a deep playoff run, but it seems unlikely at this point.

With the defending NBA champion Lakers, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets standing in their way, the Blazers have an uphill climb ahead of them for the remainder of the season.