Hollinger Ranks NBA Franchises: Portland #8
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/21/2010 1:10 PM

    Where do the Trail Blazers rank amongst the NBA's best franchises?
    1-5 (0)
    6 (2)
    7 (2)
    8 (0)
    9 (1)
    10 (0)
    11-15 (0)
    From John Hollinger-

    Clyde Drexler

    Next time somebody tells you about the importance of playoff experience, remind them of the 1977 Trail Blazers. Talk about inexperienced: The franchise had never even been to a playoff game or had a winning season before that year. Nonetheless, the combination of a dominating center in Bill Walton, a bruising forward in Maurice Lucas and a series of well-adapted complementary players produced a beautiful, flowing style and a surprise championship.

    Portland has spent the three decades since trying to recreate the euphoria surrounding that team, coming close several times but never quite succeeding. The 1977-78 team had a chance to be even better before Walton and Bobby Gross were lost to injuries late in the year; they won a league-best 58 games but lost in the second round of the playoffs. Walton couldn't stay healthy and eventually went to San Diego as a free agent.

    Despite 25 winning seasons and 27 playoff appearances (including 21 consecutive) in the 33 seasons since that championship, the Blazers have been more good than great ever since. In fact, the Blazers were amazingly consistent in their own bizarre way in the years after their championship, as 18 times in 27 seasons they made the playoffs and lost in the first round.

    The best shot at another crown came during the Clyde Drexler era, when the star guard and an ensemble of not-quite-All-Stars made two NBA Finals (1990, 1992); unfortunately, their best team in that stretch was the 1991 squad that was upset by L.A. in the conference finals.

    The Blazers rebuilt on the fly and had another great shot nearly a decade later, reaching the Western Conference finals in consecutive seasons with a big, deep ensemble cast led by Arvydas Sabonis, Rasheed Wallace, Brian Grant and (in the second year) Scottie Pippen and Steve Smith. Unfortunately they couldn't hold a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 7 in L.A. in the 2000 Western Conference finals, one of the great collapses in NBA history.

    From there, the Blazers became their own worst enemy. A series of player arrests and transgressions that could only be described as prolific saw them dubbed the "Jail Blazers;" Wallace stayed out of cuffs but did his part by shattering the league technical-foul record. Portland needed half a decade to clean up its act, suffering its only sustained playoff drought since the expansion years. They finally made it back in 2009, and again in 2010, only to meet an amazingly familiar fate both times: yet another first-round playoff defeat.

    Personally, I'd put us above the Suns and Jazz. We beat both teams consistently in the early 90's and the early part of this decade. I understand both teams have more All-Stars, but we still have that ring and they don't. I'd put Portland #6. Where do you think we should be ranked amongst all NBA franchises?
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  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 06/21/2010 2:25 PM

    Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Spurs, Sixers, Pistons are all clearly above us. The homer in me decided to put us above the Rockets who have 2 titles and another Finals appearence, just because we have had more prolonged success (What was it, 18 straight years making the playoffs?)
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 06/21/2010 11:55 PM

    Clyde you got it almost correct except for the Bulls thing. They had teams before Michael Jordan and they were JUNK they had teams after Michael Jordan and they were JUNK. If Bill Walton would have stayed healthy for more than 1 year who knows how many we could have won? In my opinion we have had 2 great teams but only 1 ring. Bulls have had 1 great team. Celtics have had 3 great teams. Lakers have had 6 even though Kobe was on 2 of those. Pistons have had 2 great teams. Spurs 2 or 3 depending on how you grade it. Sixers had 2. The team I would put on your list that you dont have would be the Knicks and I would put the bulls at 8.
    I would also put Celtics at Number one even though it was just 3 great teams what was it 11 rings out of 12 years? So it would go Celtics,Lakers,Spurs,Sixers,Pistons,Knicks, than Blazers and Bulls, Suns, than Rockets to round out your 10. But ask any sports analyst except for the first 2 they will put it in any order except for the Blazers which wont make the top ten.
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