Monday, October 24, 2011

The Trail Blazers (Part 1)

The Blazers are a pretty good team overall, with their most famous team being the 1977 one that featured Bill Walton crushing the NBA. They’ve only really missed the playoffs for more than one year at the beginning of their run, and the mid-2000s….Never bad, and only a few instances of great. 1977 is rated pretty low, not even in the top 10 of the Blazers…They won JUST below 50 games. 1978 was more dominant, but they lost Walton that year. Those two years were legendary, not just 1977… 

(1) 1991 Portland Trail Blazers (63-19) 

Portland’s only 60+ win team…You may forget that this was a pretty good team then, contenders back in the early 90s. There was even some Drexler vs. Jordan talk…Then he got destroyed in the Finals, and that ended that…But they made two Finals, once in 1990, and once in 1992 (lost to Detroit and Chicago…). This is the year stuck in between…Drexler had 22-7-6, as Terry Porter (who had peak assist wise a few years ago, and had been going down since…he’s 27, and his assists dropped from 10-9.5-9-8…then 6, then 5…and he’s playing about the same minutes…) had 17-4-8. Pretty good cast around them too, Kevin Duckworth had 16-7, Jerome Kersey had 15-7, and Buck Williams had 12-9, not to mention 12-4 from Cliff Robinson, and 11-3-4 from Danny Ainge…Drazen Petrovic (bet you didn’t know he played in Portland…he did for one year before this year…) was traded to New Jersey in a three team deal…An old Walter Davis made his way to Portland for 32 games….Pretty loaded team, it will be a tight race between a Drexler team and a 1977 or 78 Walton team for the Blazers spot…

(2) 1990 Portland Trail Blazers (59-23) vs. (41) 1972 Portland Trail Blazers (18-64)

Another top tier Drexler team, with him averaging 23-7-6 this year…Terry Porter had 18-3-9, Kevin Duckworth had 16-6, Jerome Kersey had 16-8, and Buck Williams had 14-10…Cliff Robinson also had 9-4, and Drazen Petrovic added 8-1-2 in his rookie year…Pretty good team.

Year two of the Blazers…Guess who came from this….That’s right! With the first pick……….LaRue Martin! 4 NBA years…and 5-5 career averages….Until then, Sidney Wicks had 25-12-4, Geoff Petrie had 19-2-4, Stan McKenzie had 14-3, and Dale Schlueter had 12-11.

(3) 2000 Portland Trail Blazers (59-23) vs. (40) 2006 Portland Trail Blazers (21-61)

The Jail Blazers! They were SO close to stopping the Lakers, but totally melted down in the fourth quarter of Game 7….Rasheed had 16-7 (and 38 techs…), Steve Smith had 15-4-3, Damon Stoudamire (former Rookie of the Year….and he’s been arrested multiple times for dope. And he tried to smuggle pot through a metal detector….) had 13-3-5, Scottie Pippen had 13-6-5, Arvydas Sabonis had 12-8, and Bonzi Wells had 9-3-2 (just a bad teammate….he’s cursed out his coach, said fans don’t matter…etc.). Jermaine O’Neal had 4-3 this year…Poor quality people, but still a good team…

Bad year…Zach Randolph (got arrested for driving under the influence of pot, and punch Ruben Patterson…) had 18-8, and Juan Dixon had 14-2-2. Darius Miles played 40 games, and (registered sex offender…) Ruben Patterson played only 45….AND Sebastian Telfair was on this team…very bad year.

(4) 1978 Portland Trail Blazers (58-24) vs. (39) 1973 Portland Trail Blazers (21-61)

The incredibly dominating team. You may be saying “58….yeah, yeah”, but until Walton went down at the end of the year, they were 50-10. One of the most dominant teams ever…But when they lost Walton (which was inevitable), they tanked….Walton had 19-13-5, Maurice Lucas had 16-9-3, and Lionel Hollins had 16-3-5. So many other good players, Bob Gross had 13-6-4, Lloyd Neal had 11-6, not to mention hustle from Larry Steele and David Twardzik…Really good team, but may or may not win the Blazers tourney. It really is up for grabs….

Geoff Petrie had 25-4-4, as Sidney Wicks had 24-11-6 (talented, but not really a hard-working hustle guy…), and Lloyd Neal had 13-12…LaRue Martin debuted with 4-5…..

(5) 1999 Portland Trail Blazers (35-15) vs. (38) 2005 Portland Trail Blazers (27-55)

Another Jail Blazers team….Isiah Rider had 14-4….Rasheed had 13-5, Damon Stoudamire had 13-3-6, and Sabonis had 12-8. Brian Grant also had 12-10….I wouldn’t bet on them to do much…

Poor year…Zach Randolph (19-10), played 46 games, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (17-7) played only 54. Damon Stoudamire had 16-4-6…..Darius Miles had 13-5……..Nick Van Excel played 53 games…….Not good at all….

(6) 1992 Portland Trail Blazers (57-25) vs. (37) 1974 Portland Trail Blazers (27-55)

The other Drexler Finals team…Drexler averaged 25-7-7 during the year, as Terry Porter added 18-3-6 (continuing the downward trend…). Jerome Kersey had 13-8-3, Cliff Robinson had 12-5, Buck Williams had 11-9, and Kevin Duckworth had 11-6…This really will be an interesting bracket…Walton or Drexler? The supreme Blazer. For immediate results, Walton is the answer, for a long run of excellence, it’s Clyde.

Speaking of Walton, he came from this team, led by Petrie (24-3-4), and Wicks (23-9-4), as John Johnson had 16-8-4, and Rick Roberson had 14-10.

(7) 2009 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) vs. (36) 1971 Portland Trail Blazers (29-53)

I guess the Blazers of today aren’t that bad….They don’t ever go into consideration of being a good Blazers team compared to some of the earlier teams…This one has Roy (23-5-5) playing all year, LaMarcus Aldridge (18-8) doing well, and Travis Outlaw (13-4) doing fine…

Year one….Geoff Petrie had 25-3-5, Jim Barnett had 19-5-4, Leroy Ellis had 16-12, Stan McKenzie had 14-4-3, and Rick Adelman had 13-4-5….

(8) 1988 Portland Trail Blazers (53-29) vs. (35) 2007 Portland Trail Blazers (32-50) 

Good year in Portland, as Clyde Drexler exploded for 27-7-6, as Jerome Kersey had 19-8-3, Terry Porter was still a great passer, with 15-5-10, and Kevin Duckworth had 16-7. Kiki Vandeweghe played only 37 games, and had 20 points in them…

Zach Randolph had 24-10, as he was joined by two promising rookies, Brandon Roy (17-4-4…though only 57 games…), and LaMarcus Aldridge (9-5). Jarrett Jack had 12-3-5.

(9) 1993 Portland Trail Blazers (51-31) vs. (34) 1976 Portland Trail Blazers (37-45)

Another pretty good Drexler year…though his confidence was probably about killed after MJ destroyed him in the Finals, and continued to assert his dominance of the Dream Team…Clyde slipped to 49 games of 20-6-6….Cliff Robinson had 19-7, Porter had 18-4-5, Rod Strickland had 14-4-7 (mostly off the bench…), and Jerome Kersey had 11-6.

Poor year…Sidney Wicks had 19-9-3, Walton had 16-13-4 (in only 51 games….he really never could stay healthy…), and Lloyd Neal had 16-9. Geoff Petrie had 19-2-5 in his final NBA year (after the year, he was traded to Atlanta for Maurice Lucas ((in the ABA dispersion draft…he played for the folded Spirits of St. Louis, which got a percentage of TV money to fold…that’s worth tens, maybe even HUNDREDS of millions a year….and they soon would have folded anyway!), and he proceeded to have a career ending knee injury).

(10) 2001 Portland Trail Blazers (50-32) vs. (33) 1980 Portland Trail Blazers (38-44)

Jail Blazers! Sheed had 19-8, Steve Smith had 14-3-3, Scottie Pippen had 11-5-5, Damon Stoudamire had 13-4-6, and Bonzi Wells had 13-5-3. Sabonis made an appearance, as did Shawn Kemp….

Why is this familiar? The famous Breaks of the Game book was written about this year. Find out about this year…Just read the book. You should have anyway. Hollins was traded to Philly for a pick, and Maurice Lucas went to Jersey, for the young Calvin Natt (20-7). Kermit Washington (post-Punch) had 13-11. Read the book, it really is worth it!

Part 2 tomorrow!

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