Additional Portland Trail Blazers Info
The Portland Trail Blazers were founded in 1970 during the NBA's rapid expansion period. Historically, the Blazers have been one of the NBA's on and off franchises. Portland has won their division five times- 1978, 1991, 1992, 1999, and this season, 2015. Their division title this season ended the run of four straight division championships for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland has also won the Western Conference Championship three times- 1977, 1990, and 1992.
Their lone NBA Championship came in 1977. Some of the best players in franchise history include Lenny Wilkens, Bill Walton, Drazen Petrovic, Arvydas Sabonis, and one of the best pure scoring finishers in NBA history, Clyde Drexler. Standing 6'7”, 210 pounds, Drexler was built to score, and he did to the tune of 20.4 points per game in his career on average.
Portland will enter in the 2015 NBA Playoffs as the 4th seed in the Western Conference and will have home court advantage to begin their series with the Memphis Grizzlies. If they can find a way to win four games against Memphis, they will be greeted in round two by the Golden State Warriors, owners of the NBA's best record at 67-15.
The Portland Trail Blazers finished the regular season a year ago right at .500, 41 wins, 41 losses. The team suffered on the road, with a record of 25-16 at home, 16-25 away. The franchise entered the off season needing some organizational depth at the forward positions. By the time the NBA draft was over, the Blazers had three first round draft choices, 15, 20, and twenty-sixth overall. They used the first pick on small forward Justin Jackson, who was at one point considered to be the best player in that draft, and really fell down the boards leading up to the day. The next two selections were a pair of power forwards, Harry Giles from Duke, and the skilled Caleb Sawingan from Purdue. It was mission accomplished, with the Trail Blazers adding young depth to the forward positions. Maybe this season they can take the next step forward.
The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off a very strong season, finishing just shy of 50 wins and began the playoffs as the third seed in the Western Conference. However, they were stunned in round one of the playoffs by the six seeded New Orleans Pelicans, and with that, the Trail Blazers’ season ended earlier than it should have.
This off season, the Blazers answer to their early exit from the playoffs was to do nothing, as far as big player moves were concerned. Their lone offseason move was their first-round draft choice of Shooting Guard Anfernee Simmons. Other than that, they believe they have the roster to compete. Their best player is All-Star point guard Damien Lillard, who is averaging 26 points and 6 rebounds a game so far this season. His wingman is shooting guard CJ McCollum, who is just over 20 points per game himself. Jusuf Nurkic is emerging as a very good young center, and he is averaging 14.9 points per game to go along with 10.4 rebounds per game. Veteran power forward Al-Farouq Aminu gives them 9.7 points per game to go along with 8.2 rebounds per game.
Simply put, if the Blazers can put their early exit from a year ago behind them, they have the talent to make a deep run into the playoffs, and maybe even upset the Rockets or Warriors to get to the NBA Finals.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been a very good team for quite a while now. They have made the playoffs every year since 2014 and lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals a season ago. On their way to the finals, Damian Lillard gave us one of the most iconic shots in NBA history when he hoisted one over the head of Russell Westbrook from somewhere on the other side of the country to knock out the Thunder in round one.
For the draft, the Trail Blazers held the 25th selection overall and used it on small forward Nassir Little from North Carolina. Nassir adds some needed depth to the Blazers wing positions. In free agency, they added the veteran big man Pau Gasol. Earlier on this season, they added small forward Carmelo Anthony, which was a move that the analysts said was needed by both sides. Point guard Damian Lillard is still the star, averaging 27.1 points per game and 7.6 assists per game. Shooting guard CJ McCollum, the man who led Lehigh to that legendary upset over Duke as a 15 seed, is averaging 21.5 points per game himself. Carmelo Anthony is enjoying a rejuvenation, averaging 16.3 points per game. Center Hassan Whiteside is averaging 15.5 points per game and 14 rebounds per game.
The Blazers are another one of these good solid teams that one must wonder if they have enough to get over the hump.