Skip to content

Blazers coach Stotts calls out Meyers Leonard

Nov 22, 2012, 2:02 PM EST

Meyers Leonard

The Suns had no problem with the Blazers on Wednesday, and Portland’s front line defense, or lack thereof, was the main reason why. Marcin Gortat and Jermaine O’Neal combined for 39 points on 18-of-23 shooting, and a lot of those buckets came at the expense of Meyers Leonard.

Leonard is a rookie who now has just 11 NBA games under his belt. But that didn’t stop Blazers coach Terry Stotts from calling him out by name for his poor defensive play during his postgame comments.

From Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com:

Following the game, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts did something he has never done during his brief tenure as the team’s coach…he called out one of his players.

“He (Meyers Leonard) needs to work on his individual post defense,” Stotts said. Gortat scored on him, Jermaine O’Neal scored on him. He’s trying, but right now, he’s a poor post defender one-on-one.”

Stotts is clearly trying to send a message with those comments. But you won’t hear Leonard disagreeing with his coach’s critique.

“I got to get better at defense,” Leonard admitted. “It’s a learning process. I got to have better anticipation, better everything. So we just as a team, got to get better and definitely for myself.”

There’s no question Leonard was brutal defensively, but some of the blame has to go to the coaching staff here, as well.

When you’re getting destroyed inside as Leonard was, you need to come with a double-team and make your opponent move the ball and start hitting some outside shots. It didn’t help that his relief was Joel Freeland and Victor Claver, neither of whom have any chance of defending legitimate NBA bigs at this stage of their respective careers.

Leonard will continue to struggle defensively until he adds some bulk to his 7’1″, 245-lb. frame, and gets some time with some development coaches to work on his footwork and learn to use some veteran tactics.

In the meantime, calling him out isn’t going to help. But figuring out that the real problem is relying on Leonard to defend legitimate post players all by himself right now, when he’s clearly not up to that task yet, just might.

Latest Posts
  1. Russell Westbrook doesn’t want to talk about passing, willing to shoot fewer 3-pointers

    Dec 22, 2014, 7:54 PM EST

    New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

    Thunder point guard both dismissive and introspective after loss to Pelicans

  2. Flip Saunders says Minnesota fans will not forgive Kevin Love for leaving them

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:59 PM EST

    Kevin Love, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee Kevin Love, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee

    Love will be booed more vehemently on Tuesday than LeBron will on Thursday.

  3. Brook Lopez wants to play a Wookie in next Star Wars film

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:17 PM EST

    2014 Brooklyn Nets Media Day Getty Images

    Well, it would be better than more Jar Jar Binks.

  4. PBT Extra: Where might Josh Smith end up after Pistons’ bold stroke?

    Dec 22, 2014, 4:35 PM EST

    Josh Smith AP

    The Rockets are the frontrunners to land him.

  5. Report: Jameer Nelson and Celtics discuss future, no buyout discussions yet

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:05 PM EST

    Jameer Nelson, Mario Chalmers AP

    Boston might try to re-trade point guard acquired in Rajon Rondo deal

  6. Knicks Samuel Dalembert fined $15,000 for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas in face (VIDEO)

    Dec 22, 2014, 1:01 PM EST

    Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Maybe Dalembert wanted to get ejected so he didn’t have to watch any more of the Raptors easy win over the Knicks.

  7. Pistons release Josh Smith. WHAT?

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:21 PM EST

    Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Getty Images

    Pistons use stretch provision on forward owed more than $35 million

  8. Victor Oladipo, focused on effort and defense, still finds time to raise offense

    Dec 22, 2014, 10:29 AM EST

    Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 95-82 Getty Images

    Magic guard avoiding sophomore slump of other top 2013-14 rookies

  9. 76ers were third team in Corey Brewer trade, send Alexey Shved to Rockets

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:39 AM EST

    Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Philadelphia will waive Turiaf, who’s injured and out for season

  10. Lakers may give Kobe Bryant some nights off to rest. If he wants them.

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    Byron Scott can tell Kobe to rest, but it will be Kobe’s decision. Kobe has the power in that relationship.

  11. PBT’s Sunday Night Winners/Losers: Anthony Davis is playing like an MVP

    Dec 22, 2014, 1:43 AM EST

    Anthony Davis, Chris Kaman AP

    Quality win for LeBron James and the Cavaliers as well.

  12. Rudy Gay dunks on all the Lakers (VIDEO)

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:39 AM EST

    Rudy Gay Rudy Gay

    The seas part and Rudy Gay had a path to the rim.

Featured video

Jabari Parker injury latest for disappointing rookie class
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (7946)
  2. K. Martin (7566)
  3. C. Bosh (7048)
  4. T. Parker (7031)
  5. R. Rondo (6989)
  1. D. Rose (6968)
  2. T. Jones (6833)
  3. M. Smart (6691)
  4. A. Bogut (6408)
  5. B. Lopez (6366)