I didn't witness the 77 championship…
…but I hear many people associated with the blazers knew something special was brewing that season. For the other 21 teams in the NBA, they could have been knocked over with the flop of a mountain man’s pony tail, and they were. To most, it was a surprise.
After all, the Blazers founded 7 years earlier were riding their first winning season (49-33) into the playoffs. And teams without playoff experience don’t last 8 seconds in this league. But they just kept riding until there was only one team left. And in the process mowing over with 4 straight wins the Los Angeles Lakers (#1 West) led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With Kareem logging a staggering playoff PER of 32.4
The (#1 East) Philadelphia 76ers were favored to win the championship, and why wouldn't they be, any number of teams would have been the favorite when you play the Portland Who…….
Philadelphia had signed ABA All-Star and 3-time ABA MVP Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who had taken the New York Nets to the ABA title the previous year. Going up 2-0 they were a lock for the Walter A. Brown Trophy (Formerly called the NBA Finals trophy, and in 1984 renamed the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy in honor of former commissioner Larry O'Brien).
But then the unthinkable happened. A team who knew they were worthy of a championship, played like champions. Portland mounted a comeback that has rarely been seen in professional sports, winning the next 4 games and owning the NBA title in its first playoff appearance.
The 1977 Blazer Roster:
I can be objective. I know a #1 pick doesn't always pan out the way you know it should –
boy do I.
But I can also dream, because first and foremost I’m a homer.
Sometimes championships come from out of nowhere.
Sometimes a C.J. McCollum is another Lillard.
Sometimes a Thomas Robinson with a LeBron type body opens some eyes.
Sometimes a skinny Meyers Leonard puts some muscle on.
Sometimes a Nicolas Batum reaches his ceiling.
Sometimes a Robin Lopez has a breakout season for a reason.
Sometimes a LaMarcus Aldridge has a 30 point/20 rebound game. (1st since 2001)
Well Ok, LaMarcus isn’t going 30/20 all year, but how many things need to come together for us to get past the first round. How many of the “sometimes” listed above need to gel to take us to the playoffs?