Let’s keep things in perspective: The Portland Trail Blazers were expected to be fighting for the last playoff spot.

Instead they are 46-27 and head coach Terry Stotts has had a huge part to play in that. Yes, prior to Thursday night’s 100-85 road win over the Atlanta Hawks, they had dropped nine of its last 13 games.

They’re struggling a bit. It happens. Ask the Miami Heat.

The outrage has gotten so out of hand that many are suggesting that Stotts’ hold on the team might be slipping in the midst of this slump, thus the reason the organization hasn’t granted him an extension or had his option picked up for next year.

When it comes to the players, they say Stotts’ grip is as tight as it’s ever been.

“I think our relationship with coach is good,” Damian Lillard told CSNWW.com. “I love coach Stotts. That’s the coach. I think when the boat starts to rock a little bit, that’s when everybody is, ‘Uh oh. What’s going on with the coaches and the players? Why are they losing games?’ It’s tough, but our group is still here. We’re staying together.”

Small forward Nicolas Batum concurs, expressing that the line of communication continues to be present and open.

“We’re all still talking to one another,” Nicolas Batum said to CSNNW.com. “If you start to separate and get mad at each other, that’s when things go bad. Coaches go on one side and the players on the other side, that’s the worst thing that can happen to a team. But we’re staying together. We’re struggling but we’re staying together.”

As far as Stotts’ contract situation, it will eventually play itself out.