The first round of the Best Portland Trail Blazers Trio tournament comes to a close today with an old-school lineup facing an even older-school one. Recency bias has been a non-factor in the first round as all three matchups so far have been won by the oldest trio. Will the trend continue as Clyde Drexler, Cliff Robinson, and Rod Strickland take on Jim Paxson, Mychal Thompson, and Calvin Natt?
Here’s the tournament bracket so far:
Read about today’s matchup and vote below.
Rod Strickland, Clyde Drexler, Cliff Robinson 2 1⁄2 seasons together (1992- 1995)
Notables: Terry Porter
Their Case: It was only a year and a half between the time Strickland took the helm at point guard from Terry Porter, and the time that Drexler was shipped out to Houston. But these three were more than formidable in that small window.
Here is how their 1993-94 season numbers looked:
- Clyde Drexler 19.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg 4.9apg, 1.4 spg
- Cliff Robinson 20.1ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg
- Rod Strickland 17.2ppg, 4.5rpg, 9.0 apg, 1.8spg
Clyde and Cliff both made the All-Star game that season, and the Blazers reached the playoffs after another 47 win season. [ed. You could make an argument that during these seasons, Robinson was a better all-around player than Terry Porter or Jerome Kersey from the more famous Drexler teams.]
Jim Paxson, Mychal Thompson, Calvin Natt, 5 season together (1979-84)
Notables: Kelvin Ransey
Their Case: Interestingly enough, all three players came to the Blazers in the 1979 season. They played on a bit of a forgotten team between the Bill Walton and Clyde Drexler eras, but their case is strong. Thompson earned MVP votes in the 1982 season when he averaged 20.8ppg 11.7rbg and 4.0 apg. Natt and Paxson each posted two seasons of 20+ ppg during their five years as a trio. Dont let the lack of picture availability fool you, Natt actually earned MVP votes in 1985. Paxson earned a 2nd team all-NBA in 1984. During their run together, this team made the playoffs four times and twice reached the Western Conference Semifinals.
Vote now, make sure to come back daily and vote on every matchup
Round 1 Matchup #4
This poll is closed
Rod Strickland/Clyde Drexler/Cliff Robinson
Jim Paxson/Mychal Thompson/Calvin Natt
The polls will close at 10pm PST every evening and the winner will advance.
Round 2 Matchup #5 - Friday Sept 1
Round 2 Matchup #6 - Saturday Sept 2
Round 3 Finals - Sunday Sept 3