Portland TrailBlazers – A seasons pass to the infirmiry?

Posted by By at 2 December, at 14 : 52 PM Print

The Portland Trailblazers.

This is a team that has qualified for the playoffs 26 times in their 39 years in the league including 21 straight seasons between 1983-2003. They have made it as far as the NBA Championship 3 times, winning it in 1977. This is a team with a track record of success and a team with a steady following of fans since it is the only professional sports franchise in the Oregon area in the United States.

This is team has had many ups and downs as a franchise. NBA stars have worn the Trail Blazers uniform over the years including Lenny Wilkens, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Drazen Petrovic and Scottie Pippen just to name a few.

Looking back through the years, Portland fans have barred witness to the highlights of winning the NBA Title back in 1977. Watching the Bill Walton led Blazers charge into the playoffs and win the title versus the Philadelphia 76ers in 6 games was as good as it gets for fans who salivated over the thought of continued success through the years. The Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter led Blazers made it back to the finals in 1990 and 1992 only to lose each time.

In the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, the Blazers signed some very talented and controversial players. They are players who had great skill but were most known for their indiscretions rather than skill including drug possession, assault, felony sexual assault, first degree animal abuse and threatening an NBA. A list of these players who destroyed the Blazers reputations as a professional sports franchise includes:

- Rasheed Wallace
- Damon Stoudemire
- Ruben Patterson
- Zach Randolph
- Qyntel Woods
- Bonzi Wells

Because of this roster of misfits, the team was nicknamed “The Portland Jail Blazers”. The success continued even with the roster issues for a few more seasons culminating with the end of the Blazers streak of consecutive Playoff appearances in 2004.

The teams drop from NBA elite to basement dwellers began. Fans stopped showing up to games and the Blazers just couldn’t win. The roster was dismantled and the Blazers chose to start fresh and revamp their roster.

For years, the team tried to find an identity and refresh the excitement with their fans. It was a long process that wasn’t moving as quickly as they had hoped until they drafted Brandon Roy in the 2006 NBA Draft. With the selection of one player, the team’s fortunes had changed. Better team play and a stronger focus on building a contending team was very evident from the type of players Portland was bringing in. Portland luckily won the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery and selected Greg Oden (Read: The Next Big Thing?). This was now a team with star players (Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, Andre Miller, Marcus Camby). This is now a team that should be able to contend night in and night out once again like they did back in the 1970’s.

The problem with this is that the team can’t seem to stay healthy. Loaded with talent and smothered with bad luck appears to be the recipe for this team. Over the past 2.5 seasons, this talented team has experienced serious injuries that have kept players on the injured reserve from lengthy periods of time including: Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Joel Przybilla.

Heading into this season, the hopes were high once again for the Blazers. Coming off of a 50-32 record, fans and the NBA community all thought Portland was primed for a deep run into the playoffs. New injuries to Greg Oden (out for the year) and Brandon Roy (right knee) have limited the blazers once again and forced them to play short handed leaving fans to wonder what if?

The future still remains bright for the Blazers as they have a good majority of their core players signed past this season. Will the injury bug finally leave the team? That is a question that only time will tell, and for now will leave all fans wondering how good this team could be if they could ever stay healthy.

The Bowse's Word

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One Comment

  1. Ziggy, 8 years ago Reply

    Great post Bowse !!

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