All week long we’ve been whittling down the best Portland Trail Blazers teammates of all time, grouping teams from distinctive eras into threes as you vote on each matchup. Round 2 commences today. The first semi-final matchup features the best big men in Blazers history: Arvydas Sabonis head to head versus Bill Walton, Rasheed Wallace against Maurice Lucas. The ‘77 crew won a title but the 2000 squad was a single quarter away from their own. Could the offense of Steve Smith or the defense of Lionel Hollins make the difference?
Here is how the tournament has run so far:
Rasheed Wallace, Arvydas Sabonis, Steve Smith
Notables: Scottie Pippen, Damon Stoudemire
Their case: Rasheed was the only one of the group to make an All-star team as a Blazer, but this groups claim to fame is in the wins. After claiming one of only five franchise division championships in 1999, this group followed in 2000 with the second most regular season wins in Blazers history (59) and, as mentioned earlier, was a fourth quarter collapse away from the finals (And most likely a championship) in 2000.
Team 1: Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas, Lionel Hollins. 2 seasons together (1976-1978)
Notables : Bob Gross
Their case: Three of the members of the the lone Blazers championship team in 1977. All three players finished NBA first team all defense in 1978. Walton was runner up for league MVP in 1977 and won it in 1978. Lucas, respectively, finished 9th and 6th in the MVP voting over those 2 years. Each of the three players were named to the 1978 NBA All-Star team with Walton and Lucas also earning those honors in the 1977 season. The teams finished with 49 wins in ‘77 and 58 wins in ‘78.
Vote here now, then come back to determine the other semi-final victor tomorrow.
Round 2 Matchup #5
This poll is closed
Bill Walton/Maurice Lucas/Lionel Hollins
Rasheed Wallace/Arvydas Sabonis/Steve Smith
Round 2 Matchup #6 - Sunday Sept 3
Round 3 Finals - Monday Sept 4