Last week we asked an interesting question in our Blazer’s Edge Mailbag, how an all All-Time team of finesse forwards would fare against NBA competition, either in the league or against other similar position-based teams.
That got me thinking. What would happen if we designated similar teams from the annals of Portland Trail Blazers history, then pitted them against each other? Seems like a fun thought exercise for the dog days of summer.
Over the weekend we talked about point guards. Yesterday we covered shooting guards. Today we talk about the Jack-of-All-Trades position: small forward. Many of them defend. Some shoot threes. Others have handle and can pass, or focus on rebounding. The rare specimen does all of the above. Can you find a quintet of small forwards who could do damage to any other Trail Blazers lineup?
Before you dive in, please read the following guidelines:
- Each team will consist of five players.
- Only a player’s time with the Trail Blazers counts.
- If a player plays (or played) multiple positions, consider him in the position he’s best known for. If that’s not clear, we’ll work it out. But no converting centers to power forwards or vice versa just for the sake of this exercise.
- The temptation to simply name the best five players at each position will arise, and fair enough. That’s certainly the starting point. But we’re considering these as actual, competition-based teams, not just a row of jerseys hanging in the rafters. If you want to add players who weren’t all-time greats but have the right skills to complete your roster of five, do it! That’s where the fun comes in.
- All Blazers players since 1970 are eligible, but only players who actually suited up for at least one game. Sorry, Moses Malone and Pau Gasol fans!
- The three-pointer exists in our league. We can extrapolate for players who played before it came into use in the NBA.
- If you don’t want to name a full lineup of five, you can always just nominate one or two players!
So, now, if you were to create a team of five Trail Blazers small forwards to take on all comers, who would you put on the court? Share your nominations in the comment section below.