Prior to snapping their 6-game losing streak last night against the Clippers, things were starting to look extra dicey in Portland. The players were extremely frustrated, and the coaching staff couldn’t come up with any solutions.
Nate McMillan, in particular, was especially troubled. The popular coach admitted to the media that he wasn’t getting through to his team, leading to immediate speculation that his job was in trouble.
For what it’s worth, Blazers’ president Larry Miller came out and offered public support for his embattled coach.
Blazersedge has the quotes (via the team’s official website):
The Blazers are playing hard and scrapping, just not winning. “They are playing hard. They are giving effort out there. To your point, they’re scrapping, they’re fighting. For some reason, we haven’t been able to execute in the fourth quarter. It’s not for lack of trying. If that were the case, I’d be looking at this like, ‘Hey we’ve got a really, really serious problem.’ It’s not for lack of trying. they’re trying. Just the execution hasn’t been there. But I’m confident that I know that Nate and the staff will figure out how to get these guys to execute for four quarters, not just two or three.”
What have you and Nate talked about recently and how is he doing? “I’ve been talking to Nate, he’s hanging in there, he’s doing everything he can to turn this thing around. To me, Nate is one of the best coaches in the league, without question he’s one of the best coaches in the league, and we’re fortunate to have him as our head coach here. Again, I’m confident Nate is going to figure out how to get this turned around. He’s in a pretty good mood, he’s in pretty good spirits as well as can be expected, he’s doing good.”
This season, Portland has once again been seriously bitten by the injury bug. It’s a perfectly understandable reason that the front-office can use to explain the losing to its fan base.
What is unclear at the moment, is if that’ll be enough to secure Nate McMillan’s job should the losing continue.