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Despite being swept out of the first round, Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum appear to be keeping the faith.
If nothing else, they both say they’re OK with keeping coach Terry Stotts.
“I think he’s done a terrific job with what he’s been given,” McCollum said, via the Oregonian.
Added Lillard, “Coach Stotts has done a great job since Day 1. We’ve been in the playoffs five years straight.”
Still, there are lots of rumors coming out of Portland after the underdog New Orleans Pelicans winning four straight to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
“I think the playoffs brought a couple issues to bear in terms of teams that can go small,” Blazers general manager Neil Olshey told reporters. “I think (there are) some things we need to address. But playoff series’ are always going to illustrate deficiencies. That’s what coaches do. They get to play you four different times. They find your weaknesses. And we’ll address those in the offseason.”
Lillard and McCollum are the lifeblood of the team, and while there’s always a chance one could get traded, the Blazers don’t appear to be openly shopping either.
Their only unrestricted free agent is forward Ed Davis — who just happened to skip his exit meeting with Olshey and Stotts.
At any rate, it’s hard to tell what will become of this still-promising team. There may be trades, there may be recruiting in free agency … and yes, you always have to consider a potential coaching change.
“I don’t have all the answers for you today,” Olshey said. “Everybody wants to know that there’s some magical free agent. There’s some incredible trade. There’s some draft pick that’s going to revolutionize your franchise. And a lot of times you don’t know where the help is coming from. Some of it is how you change the lineup, someone that you don’t expect to step up.”