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Portland interviewing some coaching candidates this week; Denver coach said 'remarkable' that Nuggets beat Blazers.

PMG FILE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Neil Olshey, director of basketball operations, has some interviews this week for the Blazers coach position.Coaching search — The Trail Blazers are interviewing candidates for their open head coaching position after the team and Terry Stotts parted ways.

Portland is reportedly interviewing two women for the position: Becky Hammon, an assistant coach with San Antonio, and Dawn Staley, head coach at South Carolina and USA National Team.

According to reports, among other candidates are Brooklyn assistant coach Mike D'Antoni, San Antonio executive Brent Barry, Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy.

For breaking Blazers news, see portlandtribune.com.

Olshey comments — Here are a few more comments from Neil Olsey, director of basketball operations, about the Blazers:

• "Our first-round loss and a defensive rating at 29th are not a product of the roster."

• "We're trying to win right away. We don't play draft picks, anyway. It's not easy to win and continue to get better every year, strictly through (rookie) personnel. Options are limited. We prioritize immediate help."

• "We don't control whether a superstar (to play alongside Damian Lillard) wants to come to Portland (via free agency). … It's more viable to make trades."

• "We're one of the winningest small market organizations in the league."

NBA combine — Rookies will be on display June 21-27 at the NBA draft combine in Chicago. The Trail Blazers will be there, although they don't have a draft pick, as of now. Their first-round pick was sent to Houston as part of the Robert Covington trade and the second-round pick was sent to Cleveland (now Memphis) as part of a trade for Rodney Hood in 2019.

Nuggets out — Phoenix swept Denver in the playoffs' second round, after the Nuggets had beaten the Trail Blazers in six games in the first round.

Said Denver coach Michael Malone: "I don't think people fully understand us winning that first-round series, how remarkable that was, without a starting backcourt in place," referring to Jamal Murray and Will Barton.

— Jason Vondersmith


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