#3 Rasheed Wallace vs. #6 Dave Twardzik
No. 30 Rasheed Wallace | Power Forward | 6-10 | 230 lbs
Career Stats As A Trail Blazer:
35.5 mpg, 16.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.09 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.3 bpg, .497 FG%, .335 3PT%, .712 FT%
Arguably the most versatile Trail Blazer in franchise history, Rasheed Wallace could do it all on either end of the floor. Blessed with unparalleled length for a man of his stature (7-6 wingspan), Wallace used his gift to disrupt shots on the defensive end and make life a living nightmare for the opposition on post-ups. To diversify his game further, Sheed added the 3-point shot to his repertoire later on in his career. For his eight year stint in Rip City (96-04), Rasheed’s name frequents the all-time records as he is third in blocks (693), fifth in minutes (19,309), sixth in rebounds (3,797), seventh in 3-point field goals made (373), eight in points (9,119) and field goals made (3,634), ninth in games played (544), and tenth in steals (555).
Criticized for not playing up to his potential or drifting too far away from the paint, Wallace was still the most talented player on the last great team in Rip City. Leading that incredibly deep 1999-00 squad in minutes played (35.1), points (16.4), field goals (6.7), rebounds (7.0), and steals (1.3), Rasheed was rewarded with his first of two All-Star selections as a Trail Blazer. And when he was on, there may have not been a more dominant forward going. Case in point was his performance during Game Two of Portland’s Western Conference Final series against Los Angeles in 2000, where Sheed racked up 29 points, on 8--18 shooting, including 3-3 from 3-point land and 10-11 from the free throw line, 12 rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 46 minutes of action in Portland’s 106-77 victory.
"Terrific player. Tough. Could score. Block shots. Always yappin'. Controversial."
Photo Gallery: Rasheed Wallace Through The Years
No. 13 | Guard | 6-1 | 180 lbs
Career Stats As A Trail Blazer:
24.7 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.1 bpg, .552 FG%, .571 3PT%, .823 FT%
“I didn’t really appreciate Twardzik’s overall skills until after training camp was underway. Despite Stu Inman’s assurances to the contrary, I wasn’t sure Dave was good enough to play very much for us. He doesn’t look much like an NBA player. He’s not very big, he doesn’t have the speed of someone like Hollins or Davis and he can’t really jump that high. All he does is whatever he had to do for the team to win. We were all astonished in training camp buy Dave’s ability to shoot a layup over the biggest players on the floor. He has a great first step to the basket and amazing control of his body in the air. After a few days of swatting vainly at Twardzik’s spinning shots off the backboard, Walton was reduced to laughter at his inability to block Dave’s shot.” Jack Ramsay on Dave Twardzik taken from Rip City! A Quarter Century with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Overlooked due to his small size and stature, “Alphabet”, as he was nicknamed due to his unique last name, used that underestimation as motivation to make a name for himself with the Trail Blazers. And make a name for himself he did. In just four seasons (76-80), Twardzik started at guard for a championship winning team in 1977 and has him No. 13 hanging from the rafters of the Rose Garden. A name that won’t appear in the Top 10 of hardly any Trail Blazers all-time lists nor an All-Star, Twardzik ‘s value to the team went far beyond the box score. Approaching the game with a fearless mentality, Twardzik attacked the paint and used every trick imaginable to get the shot up and in despite not being able to jump a lick, hence the nickname “Pinball.”
If he had attempted 37 more field goals in 1976-77, Pinball would have been in elite company. At the time, only Wilt Chamberlain had shot higher than .600 from the field, but despite being over a foot shorter than Wilt the Stilt, Twardzik shot .612 from the field, connecting on 263 of his 400 attempts including 28 of his final 41.
"One of the most popular players to ever have don a Blazer uniform. He loved to mix it up. Lickity brindle up the middle. I don't care how tall they were, he would get by them. That's why we named him 'Pinball'. And he held the team together."
Photo Gallery: Dave Twardzik Through The Years
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Bracket: The Greatest Trail Blazer Of All-Time