Aug 05

Greatest Trail Blazers: #4 Vandeweghe Vs. #5 Stoudamire

By DHawes22 Posted in: Blazers, damonstoudamire, kikivandeweghe
#4 Kiki Vandeweghe vs. #5 Damon Stoudamire

No. 55 | Forward | 6-8 | 220 lbs

Career Stats As A Trail Blazer: 34.1 mpg, 23.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.2 bpg, .526 FG%, .408 3PT%, .881 FT%

Buckets, buckets, and more buckets. When Kiki Vandeweghe was acquired from the Denver Nuggets prior to the 1985 season, that's not only what Portland envisioned but what they received [buckets]. Upon arrival, Kiki dropped a cool 31 in a win over the Suns on opening night; a small sample of what was to come. During his first year in Rip City, Vandeweghe led the Trail Blazers in scoring at 22.4 ppg. But it didn't stop there. He continued to one-up himself the following two seasons, posting 24.8 ppg in 1986 and going even higher in 1987, scorching the nets to the tune of 26.9 ppg - both club highs for their respective years. His torrid pace from 85-87 helped him become the first Trail Blazer in franchise history to lead the team in scoring three consecutive seasons, a feat only five other players have been able to achieve since. And he wasn't just living out on the perimeter either, as he found his way charity stripe and converted - making a total of 1,547 free throws over the span of his Trail Blazer career, good enough for ninth all-time, and at a .881 clip, tops among all other Blazers. His average of 6.6 free throws made per game during the 85-86 campaign is the most in team history and it doesn't appear to be in jeopardy of being broken as no other Blazer has even eclipsed the 6 free throws per game made mark yet in our 40+ year history.

Although the Trail Blazers were bounced in four games from the Western Conference First Round by Denver in 1986, it still marked one of the greatest offensive outbursts, ever, by a single player. Over the span of that series, Vandeweghe posted a 28.0 ppg average, the second highest postseason average in team history, leading the team in scoring every game. But he did it so efficiently, drilling 40 of his 69 field goal attempts, a .580 shooting percentage which was four percent higher than his regular season performance. If that wasn't enough, Kiki set a franchise playoff record by going to the foul line 32 times and, like a machine, connected on every single one of them.

Schonely Speaks:
"There's another guy who could flat out score. And when he had the ball, he'd shoot it every time. But he made one heck of a career. And Kiki was loved by all."

Photo Gallery: Kiki Vandeweghe Through The Years

No. 3 | Point Guard | 5-10 | 171 lbs

Career Stats As A Trail Blazer: 32.9 mpg, 12.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.1 bpg, .408 FG%, .355 3PT%, .832 FT%

Mighty Mouse. The Little Giant. Whatever the nickname, he personified playing bigger than his size would indicate. Standing only 5-10 didn't deter Damon Stoudamire from taking it right to the rack against the tall timbers of the NBA. He was quick as a cat and could score every imaginable way possible. Play too close to Damon and he'd blow right by you. Try to give him some space and he'd dial it in from long-range with his trademark lefty jumper. Once Terry Porter left the team after the 1995 season, the Trail Blazers went through a point guard carrousel of sorts, starting Rod Strickland in 96 and Kenny Anderson in 97. It was time for some stability at the most important position and the Trail Blazers found that in the form of the local legend at the 1997-98 trading deadline, starting an eight-year run with Mouse at the helm.

Most known for his scoring ability, Stoudamire's 54 point barrage over the Hornets on January 5th, 2005 is still the highest single-game scoring performance in team history. During that contest, Damon connected on eight trifectas, the most in any game by a Blazer. But Damon was so much more than a scorer, leading the squad in assists five times, steals once and recorded five triple-doubles, fifth most in team history. Once it was time to hang 'em up for good, Damon found himself second all-time in 3-pt. field goals made (717), third in assists (3,018), fifth in free throw percentage (.846), eight in minutes played (17,497), ninth in steals (556), and tenth in games played (529). But more importantly than all of the stats, records, and accolades, it was his inclusion into that Blazers team of the late 90's which sparked back-to-back trips to the Western Conference Finals, revitalizing Rip City once again.

Schonely Speaks:
"The little giant. Not enough credit in my opinion. He was a quick, terrific point guard. And he loved the game."

Photo Gallery: Damon Stoudamire Through The Years

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Bracket: The Greatest Trail Blazer Of All-Time


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