PORTLAND, Ore. — Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum each scored 21 points as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated Chicago Bulls 102-94 Sunday night at the Rose Garden.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Atlanta Hawks made sure the first non-sellout Rose Garden crowd in nearly five years went home unhappy Monday night.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The first non-sellout Rose Garden crowd in nearly five years home unhappy Monday night.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The San Antonio Spurs ended a seven-game losing streak at the Rose Garden against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
The San Antonio Spurs have lost seven straight road games to the Portland Trail Blazers, but last season’s lone visit to the Rose Garden was more notable for who wasn’t on the court than for who played.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Los Angeles Clippers built a Mount Everest-like lead in the first half Thursday night at the Rose Garden.
If the Los Angeles Lakers were already going to present matchup problems for Portland in the Trail Blazers’ season opener Wednesday night at the Rose Garden, now L.A. comes to town with a little something to prove, as well.
Terry Stotts was introduced as coach of the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, and to most of the local media he’ll be viewed as that most-unfortunate of NBA lifers. The retread. The respected mind without the respected record, borderline uninspiring, someone that you know has passed through town before while coaching other squads (in Terry’s case, Milwaukee and Atlanta), but little beyond that.
Head coaches who have bounced around with a poor record can build up a long list of frustrations along the way. They know that it could be a significant injury, a bum draft pick, a nasty division or any combination of outside factors that led to their demise in the other cities, so the regrets might number in the dozens. The great Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge, in talking to Stotts on Tuesday , found out that Terry’s top regret as a coach is pretty strangely specific; though not surprising for a hoops junkie like Stotts. Here’s his story :
I asked that softball, obvious question on Wednesday and Stotts replied without missing a beat.
“In a game against Memphis, I wish we had purposefully missed a free throw,” he said while seated at a Rose Garden media room table, surrounded by a handful of reporters.
The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t going to remain quiet this offseason, having already extended a contract offer to restricted free agent Roy Hibbert. There are also reports that the Blazers will now meet with restricted free agent Eric Gordon as well. I’m excited about the news regarding Gordon, especially because he could bring a lot of excitement to Rose Garden.
March 15 was a franchise-shifting day for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Starters Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace were traded for draft picks and cap space.
Head coach Nate McMillan was fired.
And former unpaid intern Kaleb Canales was promoted from assistant to interim head coach.
Now, Canales deserves interim removed from that title.
Canales won only eight of his 23 games as head coach, but along the way, he won over nearly all of the players in a Blazers locker room that had seemingly given up on McMillan.
Instantaneously, this team wanted to play again—and play hard. They wanted to do this because they wanted Canales to succeed.
Canales was the coach on the floor working players out before games. He was the one players texted with their issues about McMillan. He was the one studying film all night to find some advantage.
And the players respected that.
Matthews wasn’t the only one endorsing Canales in that video.
Locker room leader Joel Przybilla said bringing Canales back would influence his decision on whether to return to Portland.
“I definitely love playing for him,” Przybilla says in the video.
Emerging superstar Nicolas Batum also gives a ringing endorsement.
“I would really love to have him back next year. If we can go through training camp and have practice time with him, we can do good things,” Batum says.
Practice time was a luxury not afforded to Canales in his stint this time around.
He did not have a training camp to put in his sets, his offenses or his schemes. Instead, he had to install them on the fly—during meetings, flights, morning shootarounds.
Next year, with training camp and a full, 82-game season, Canales will be able to establish his own identity as a coach.
His win-loss record as an interim coach is no indication of his coaching ability.
Tyrone Corbin was 8-20 as the interim coach for the Utah Jazz in 2010-11. This year, Corbin guided the Jazz to a 36-30 record and a spot in the playoffs.
Canales has earned a chance to make that same sort of turnaround.
Offering him a one-year contract maintains the incentive to win now. If he fails, don’t renew his contract.
But if he succeeds, which seems more probable, he could be manning the sidelines in the Rose Garden for a long time to come.
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