PORTLAND — Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told the media before Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz that Blazers fans probably won’t be seeing Nicolas Batum guarding point guards to start the game.
Stotts said that he now has a sample size that he’s comfortable making a determination with.
“Nic’s done a good job on the point guards, Damian’s done a good job on point guards. So, I think what it allows us to do is give those point guards a different look.”
Stotts will still like to mix it in from time to time also because of the load that Lillard carries on the offensive end.
“It takes a lot of energy to do what he does at the offensive end,” Stotts said. “And when he is navigating through a lot of screens, if you’re guarding a team that has a point guard that’s getting a lot of pick and rolls.”
Also, with LaMarcus Aldridge out of the lineup, Stotts is having to do even more on the fly. That could require playing Batum more at power forward as he did against the Spurs on Wednesday.
Tribute to Jack Ramsay
Friday was the 89th birthday of former Blazers coach and the only championship head coach the franchise has had, Dr. Jack Ramsay.
Current Blazers coach hasn’t been shy in his admiration of the Hall of Fame coach and he paid tribute to the coach’s sense of style.
Stotts sported a 70’s style plaid leisure suit in honor of Ramsay, who was quite fond of plaid pants and jackets.
Sticking with small lineup
Stotts, even though he wouldn’t commit to it on Thursday, decided to go with a small lineup starting Dorell Wright at power forward.
Stotts said that he liked the activity from back-up power forward Thomas Robinson but decided to go with the same lineup he started against the Spurs on Wednesday.
However, Batum left Thursday’s game after the first quarter as he has been fighting a flu.
Eleven Blazers saw action in the first half with everybody available to play seeing the court except for Earl Watson.