Whiteside puts up monster numbers again -- is it right to expect such things?

Whiteside puts up monster numbers again -- is it right to expect such things?

The late, outstanding defensive center Caldwell Jones, who had some great days as a backup center for the Trail Blazers, once told me a story about playing in the ABA, where his coach was the great Wilt Chamberlain.

Caldwell, just a kid then, had two big plus-20-point scoring games and Chamberlain, who once scored 100 points in a game, of course, called Jones aside.

“Be careful,” Wilt said to Jones.

“Huh? What do you mean,” Jones asked his coach.

Chamberlain responded, “You start scoring like that and people are going to expect you to do that all the time and I’m not sure you can.”

Hassan Whiteside can understand the story.

He had another monster game Saturday night, helping the Trail Blazers push past the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-106. And all Whiteside did was grab 22 rebounds, block seven shots and score 16 points. He is averaging 16 rebounds and four blocks over his last seven games and is coming off rebound games of 14, 23 and 17 prior to his 22 against the T-Wolves.

And, of course, he is raising expectations with every game. And now, as the great Chamberlain said many years ago, people are going to start expecting it every night. Which is, well, a lot to ask.

“When he’s playing like that, we’re going to have a great chance to win games,” Damian Lillard said. “On both ends of the floor – making free throws, making jumpers, being in the paint, getting us extra possessions. Coming up big with all those blocks and changing shots. He’s been huge for us.”

Lillard was reminded that Carmelo Anthony said, after a recent game, that when Whiteside doesn’t produce those numbers, “he’s teasing us.”

“I mean,” Lillard said, “when you see games like this game and the Golden State game, stuff like that – it’s almost like it’s obvious when he’s not doing it. It’s obvious when he’s not bringing it, because when he does, it’s like so obvious and it’s such a big deal for our team. So, tonight was a great game for him. A great game.”

Whiteside isn’t shy about expressing his self-confidence.

“I’m a defensive guy,” he said. “I feel like I’m the best rim protector in the league. It’s not even close.”

But he knows, too, about what’s expected of him.

“I feel like it’s that way with blocks,” he said. “When I came into the league my first year with the Heat, I averaged almost four blocks a game. And then the year after that, I led the league in rebounds and it was like, ‘Why didn’t he average four blocks? Is he not trying?’ And that was kind of a different era – a lot of three-point shooting. There was less scoring in the paint.”

And nowdays, getting anywhere near 10 blocks in a game – a figure Whiteside has already surpassed once this season – is incredibly difficult compared to what it was in earlier days in the NBA. In the current era, half the shots in some games are taken outside the three-point line, an area where you won’t see many blocked shots.

Whiteside doesn’t have nearly as many opportunities to block shots as Bill Walton or Caldwell Jones – Walton’s opponent in the 1977 NBA Finals – did. Prior to the onslaught of three-point shooting, the game was played much closer to the rim.

“In the old days it would have been amazing for me, for sure,” Whiteside said with a smile.

One edge Whiteside has in the rebounding department on his current team, though, is that he doesn’t have to fight many other players on his own team for boards.

There aren’t a lot of pure rebounders wearing Blazer colors this year.

But those numbers are so impressive and he’s bringing them with regularity.

Can we expect it every night? The Trail Blazers better hope so.

Eight games gives Portland plenty of chances in NBA's new playoff format

Eight games gives Portland plenty of chances in NBA's new playoff format

On Thursday, the NBA Board of Governors voted to approve the NBA’s 22-team postseason format.

24 hours later, the players had the last say in voting yes or no to this proposal.

And now, basketball and the NBA is officially back.

"The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season,” the NBAPA announced in a statement. “Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play."

Each team would play eight additional regular-season games, and the six teams involved that are not currently in a playoff position would be the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards. If the ninth seed is within four games of the eight seed at the end of the regular season, there would be a play-in tournament to determine the final playoff spot. 

What does this mean for the Portland Trail Blazers? A tough, but doable road.

If I’m Portland, you’re given an opportunity. I think 8 games gives them plenty of chances… I don’t think the Lakers, Clippers… want to see the Blazers especially not in the first round. — Channing Frye

The Trail Blazers are sitting 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference as the postseason will resume play at the end of July. To make the playoffs, there are eight games in front of Portland.

League sources tell NBCSNW that the schedule may not be released until later this month or perhaps in early July. 

Should the Blazers get through to the playoffs, they would likely run into the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, the Blazers despite behind behind the Grizzlies in the standings, were looking like they were going to make one final push for the eighth seed, and that was making LeBron James nervous.

[RELATED]: LeBron James thinks the Portland Trail Blazers would be a tough 8th seed to beat

Only time will tell if the Blazers and Lakers are primed for a showdown in the new playoff format.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

Limited-edition STAYME7O merchandise for sale with profits going to fighting social injustice

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STAYME7O website

Limited-edition STAYME7O merchandise for sale with profits going to fighting social injustice

In the words of Carmelo Anthony, “Everyone has a role to play in the fight to end racism and inequality.”

Melo is just one of the many Portland Trail Blazers taking action during this time of racial injustice, inequality and police brutality.

On Thursday, Damian Lillard was walking alongside hundreds of peaceful protestors throughout southeast Portland, Oregon. On Friday, Nassir Little, Rodhey Hood, Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons also protested.

Now, Melo is releasing a limited-edition clothing line.

“A limited-edition range of ‘STAYME7O’ apparel, brought to you by Carmelo Anthony. All profits will go towards the NAACP legal defense fund to fight against social injustice.

Stay strong,

STAYME7O.”

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The featured collection includes t-shirts, hoodies, crew sweatshirts and a candle. 

According to the website, the t-shirt is already sold out. 

On the very same day, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand (partners with Melo) announced they will be donating $100 million dollars over the course of 10 years to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education. 

How the Trail Blazers will repeat the magic of '77 in 2021... or sooner

How the Trail Blazers will repeat the magic of '77 in 2021... or sooner

On Sunday, NBC Sports Northwest aired the first of 12 Trail Blazers Classic Games, starting with none other than Game 6 of the 1977 NBA Finals. 

In case you aren't up to speed on Trail Blazers history, it was on the afternoon of June 5th, 1977 that the Blazers beat the 76ers in Game 6 to claim a 4-2 series victory and the franchise's first and only NBA Championship. 

The next morning, Portland was bursting at the seams. Fans lined the streets of downtown as the team celebrated with a victory parade. 

It has been 43 years since that parade took place. But, what if this were the last summer the Trail Blazers had without one? What if next season all the cards were dealt in Portland's favor? What if 44 years after making history, the Blazers did it again? What if there was a '21 championship parade?

Just imagine for a minute what could happen next season...

It's late October 2020. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the NBA suspended and later canceled the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. 
Finally, all the quarantines are lifted and it's back to business as usual. 

The NBA, one of the first sports leagues in the United States to feel the impact of the pandemic, is finally taking back to the court. 

For the Blazers, there is more than just a return of the game, but the return of key players as well. 

Jusuf Nurkic, who was supposed to make his return on March 15th, will finally see game action after a 17-month hiatus. Zach Collins, who was dealing with a shoulder injury and missed most of the 2019-20 season, is returning as well. Except for Rodney Hood, who is in the final stages of recovering from a ruptured Achilles, the Blazers are finally close to full strength. 

Continuity is key in the NBA, and the Blazers have a lot of it at this point. 

Thanks to a shortened offseason, the Blazers wasted no time signing their own free agents. 

Hassan Whiteside returned on a team-friendly deal and Carmelo Anthony, staying true to his word about seeing himself retire as a Blazers, signs a multi-year deal to ride off into the sunset wearing red and black. 
Trevor Ariza's contract was also guaranteed for the season and the team signed Wenyen Gabrial to a multi-year after he showed great potential in limited time last season.

However, Caleb Swanigan walked as a free agent, signing a lucrative deal to be the starting center for the New York Knicks. Needing to find another big to fill the roster, the Blazers turned to a familiar face: Meyers Leonard.

The seven-footer signed a veteran minimum deal, and with Leonard and Hezonja, the Blazers had the best Call of Duty duo in the league.

The roster was fully loaded and ready to roll. 
PG: Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, 
SG: CJ McCollum, Gary Trent Jr
SF: Trevor Ariza, Nassir Little, Mario Hezonja
PF: Zach Collins, Carmelo Anthony, Wenyen Gabrial
C: Jusuf Nurkic, Hassan Whiteside, Meyers Leonard
INJURED: Hood

The Blazers were primed for a run, but first they had to get through the stacked Western Conference. 

Atop the west were the two favorites, the Lakers and the Clippers. 

Unfortunately for the Lakers, LeBron James showed up to camp out of shape having treated every day of the quarantine as Taco Tuesday.
Now you know why Taco Wednesday, Taco Thursday, etc were trending all summer. 

As for the Clippers, they were laser-focused. Kawhi Leonard has always been the self-isolation king. He was the only NBA player in his element all summer, and Clippers would reap the benefit. 

Next, you had teams like the Nuggets.  

People would continue to sleep on Denver and burn Jokic for being "out of shape," yet no team has an answer for the Joker. If he is a triple-double machine "out of shape," I'd hate to see him in shape. They were deservedly a Top-3 team. 

The rest of the conference is a wild card. The Thunder, Mavericks, Jazz, and Grizzlies. Any of these teams could finish top four, but they could also finish out of the playoffs. How and where they finish all depends on if they remember to tuck in there jerseys any time they play CP3.

As for the Rockets, they lost their luster. During the pandemic, the CDC recommended against facial hair. To cover his bases and stay safe, James Harden did the unthinkable. He shaved his beard. 

Now clean-shaven, he was no longer intimidating. He could no longer hide behind his beard. Russell Westbrook became the alpha, and Harden just became a run of the mill spot-up shooter. 

The season played out as many expected. The Blazers started slow out of the gate as they tried to figure out lineups and build some chemistry. Anthony and Whiteside had never played with Nurkic before, and for all intents and purposes had never played with Collins. It was like adding two new free agents to the mix. 

Come mid-December, the Blazers were starting to put it all together and found themselves in the Top-8 out west. Then they got reinforcements. Rodney Hood was finally ready to return. 

He started as a bench player behind Ariza, playing on a minutes restriction, but quickly rounded into form and earned his starting spot back. 

By mid-January, the Blazers starting lineup was Lillard - McCollum - Hood - Collins - Nurkic, with a bench rotation of Simons - Trent Jr - Ariza - Anthony - Whiteside. That is a championship-caliber roster, and they went into All-Star break as a Top 5 team in the West.

Speaking of All-Star break, the Blazers had three, yes THREE, representatives at the game. Lillard, Nurkic, and McCollum 

Nurkic was having the best year of his career, and behind Jokic was the best center in the west. McCollum was also having one of the best years of his career and grabbed the vacant spot left by James Harden. 

You see, baby-faced Harden suddenly started getting called for traveling and wasn't being sent to line anymore. Without the beard he was nothing. He would later decide to grow the beard back out, but it wouldn't be ready until 2022. The Rockets were sent to the lottery while they waited.

Flash forward to the end of the season, the Blazers ended strong and finished behind the Clippers and just ahead of the Nuggets. Oh, wait, what about the Warriors? The entire league forgot about Klay Thompson and Steph Curry returning. This wasn't the Eric Paschall show anymore...

With Steph, Klay, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and first overall pick and rookie of the year Anthony Edwards, the Warriors were once again unstoppable. And for some reason, no one noticed. 

Final Western Conference Standings:

1) Warriors
2) Clippers
3) Blazers
4) Nuggets
5) Jazz
6) Thunder
7) Mavericks
8) Lakers

FIRST ROUND: BLAZERS VS THUNDER

The Blazers matched up with the Thunder in Round 1. Ironically, this Thunder roster, led by Chris Paul, was made as a direct result of what happend the last time these two played in the playoffs. The Bad Shot. 

There were no bad shots this time around, only good ones, and the Blazers swept the Thunder. 

The rest of the field:
1) Warriors over 8) Lakers: 4-2
Over the season LeBron swore off tacos, and got back in shape. But, it wasn't until late in the season that he was the LeBron we had come to know. The King was ready, and so were the Lakers. Unfortunately, they had to meet up with the Warriors. Golden State was LeBron's kryptonite for years, and it didn't change with him in a Lakers uniform. The Warriors were back...

7) Mavericks over 2) Clippers: 4-3
This was, by far, the best series in the first round. Every game was decided by single digits, with Game 7 being won on a Luka Donic buzzer-beater. 

4) Nuggets over 5) Jazz: 4-2
Two boring teams put on a boring series, and boring Jokic averaged the most boring triple-double and tore the boring Jazz apart in the most boring way. 

SECOND ROUND: BLAZERS VS NUGGETS

The last time the Blazers made it to the second round they played the very same Denver Nuggets. They beat the Nuggets in seven games in 2019, but things are different this time around. In 2019 they didn't have Melo, Whiteside, and most importantly they didn't have a healthy Jusuf Nurkic. With a full complement of weapons, the Blazers went to battle with the Nuggets. 
The Blazers defense was able to hold Jokic to only double-doubles in round two, but he still helped the Nuggets put up a fight. But in the end, the Blazers depth was too much and Nurkic wished the team from the Mile High City a "happy summer" after his 20-20 game sealed the deal in Game 6. 

Rest of the field:
1) Warriors over 7) Mavericks: 4-1
The ol' gentleman's sweep. The Mavericks didn't go down without a fight, but Donic and Co. just ran out of gas after that grueling seven-game series against the Clippers. One thing is for certain, the Mavericks will be a force for years to come, 2021 just wasn't their year. 
Curry and the Warriors shimmy into the Western Conference Finals. 

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: BLAZERS VS WARRIORS
Déjà vu or what? In 2019, the Blazers beat the Thunder in the first round, Nuggets in the second round, and met the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. 

The Blazers were swept that season, but no one would forget the magical performance of Meyers Leonard in Game 4. The Blazers reserve center got the start that night and went off for a career-high 30 points. 

After a season filled mostly with DNPs, it was time for the Hammer to do his thing. Coach Stotts tinkered with his lineup, moving Melo to backup SF  in an effort to get Leonard minutes. 

The move proved to be the x-factor. 

Every Curry bomb was matched by Lillard. 
Every Thompson trey was matched by 3J. 
Every Wiggins bucket was matched by Nurkic. 
Every Green brick was countered by a Leonard swish. 

The extra firepower was the difference, and just like he did in Game 4 in 2019, Leonard found his groove. 

It took six games, but the Blazers finally got over the Golden State hump. For the first time since 1992, the Blazers were heading to the finals. 

THE NBA FINALS.  BLAZERS VS ???? 

The Blazers flew across the country for Game 1 against the (checks notes)... Philadelphia 76ers! It was like 1977 all over again, and the series played out like an epic remake of a classic movie. 

The 76ers jumped out to a 2-0 series lead and had the Blazers on wobbly legs. 

But, Game 3 in 2021 started like Game 2 ended in 1977. 

Zach Collins and Ben Simmons both went up for a rebound late in the first quarter, but became tangled up and wrestled to the floor. They both jumped up, fists clenched ready to fight. The benches started to clear. Surprisingly, Joel Embiid elected to stay out of it and remained calm away from the fight. And before anyone could get in to separate the two, Trevor Ariza came flying in. Ariza, playing the role of Maurice Lucas, came in and gave Simmons a Goldberg-esque spear to the floor. 

Ariza was ejected and suspended for Games 4 and 5, but the message was sent loud and clear: Portland wasn't going down without a fight. 

Immediately following the fight the Blazers went of a game-deciding run and never looked back. The Blazers won Games 3, 4, and 5, and in a perfect storybook ending Ariza returned in Game 6 only to hit the series-clinching bucket as time expired. 

Fans rushed the court as Mark Mason yelled the loudest "Blazers win" of all time. Damian Lillard came over, grabbed the mic and yelled "RIP CITTTTTYYYYY."  

On TV you heard the epic call, "And the Blazers win the series for the first time in 44 years."

Rip City was ready to party like it was 1977. 

Luckily for those watching at home, they got to see the full celebration. There was no cutting to the Kemper Open!

The next morning was one giant party in Portland. 

Lillard and Co. boarded the parade bus and went around the city to celebrate with the hundreds of thousands of fans in the streets. 

They started at VMC, went over the Broadway Bridge, all the way down Broadway, found their way onto the 405,  crossed over the Marquam Bridge, up I-5 North, eventually ending with an extravagant rally inside Moda Center. 

It was an event 44 years in the making. 

A long wait worth every second. 

Will it happen in 2021? Only time will tell. 

Blazer5 Gaming falls to 4-3 after loss to Warriors Gaming Squad

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USATI

Blazer5 Gaming falls to 4-3 after loss to Warriors Gaming Squad

It was a tough night for Blazer5 Gaming on Friday as the squad dropped a three-game series to Warriors Gaming Squad and fell to 4-3 on the season. 

In Portland's defense, the team across the court from them came in with a perfect 5-0 record, and along with Raptors Uprising GC, is one of the best teams in the league. 

The Warriors came out on fire in Game 1, jumping to an early double-digit lead and Blazer5 never recovered as Warriors Gaming Squad cruised to the win.

Game 2 was much closer from start to finish, but a Blazer5 defensive showcase in the final minutes sealed the deal.

In the decisive Game 3, Warriors Gaming Squad repeated the success of Game 1. They jumped out to a huge lead and anytime Blazer5 got it back within striking distance, Warriors Gaming Squad would hit a clutch shot to balloon the lead back up.

Blazer 5, which has finished atop the regular-season standings in each of the past two seasons has hit a rough patch like they have never seen before. 

Granted, this season's win-loss standards are much different, this is the still the worst record Blazer5 Gaming has ever had. 

They have never lost three games in an entire season. let alone in the first seven matches. 

To make matters worse, after a 4-0 start, Blazer5 has dropped three in a row. 

Blazer5 revamped in the off-season to improve the team's offense, giving them one of the best offensive attacks they have ever had. However, it may have come at the expense of their defense. 

Over this losing streak, Blazer5 has struggled to get stops and had trouble on the glass. Two things that are normally easy for this squad. 

If ever there were a team better than their 4-3 record, it's Blazer5 Gaming. Can they bounce back?

We'll find out on Tuesday, June 10th, when they take on the Gen.G Tigers. 

Be sure to download and listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon

NBA Players Association unanimously approves return to play format

NBA Players Association unanimously approves return to play format

The NBA’s return to play jumped over another hurdle Friday with the NBA Players Association voting today on the terms approved by the NBA Board of Governors Thursday. 

According to Charania, the NBAPA was united in their vote

The NBA Board of Governors’ vote of a 22-team resumption of play passed with a 29-1 vote. The Portland Trail Blazers were the only dissenters. CJ McCollum, who is the Trail Blazers team representative, applauded the front office and Jody Allen for listening to the players and their feedback ahead of the vote. 

"The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season,” the NBAPA announced in a statement. “Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play."

League sources tell NBCSNW that the schedule may not be released until later this month or perhaps in early July. 

The NBA is slated to resume play on July 31.

The NBA and the NBPA are working with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials to establish a rigorous program to prevent and mitigate the risk related to COVID-19, including a regular testing protocol and stringent safety practices. The season restart is also contingent on an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to use Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, as a single site for a campus for all games, practices and housing for the remainder of the season. 

In addition to regular testing, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Wednesday that there will be various other medical protocols in place, including no guests permitted until the postseason, players not being allowed to shower in the arena and bench players sitting in spread-out rows. Still, the league and those who travel to Orlando would clearly be taking on health and safety risks by deciding to continue the season. 

The games will be played without fans. They will be televised with specific broadcast information yet to be announced.

Each team would play eight additional regular-season games, and the six teams involved that are not currently in a playoff position would be the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards. If the ninth seed is within four games of the eight seed at the end of the regular season, there would be a play-in tournament to determine the final playoff spot. 

If teams are set to play one of the eight teams not included in the 22-team plan, they would move on to their next scheduled game.

The Trail Blazers currently in 9th place in the Western Conference standings, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

This story is developing. 

Two Trail Blazers fans snuck into the 1977 Championship game... here is their story

Two Trail Blazers fans snuck into the 1977 Championship game... here is their story

The date was June 5th, 1977. 

The Portland Trail Blazers were about to host the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. 

The Blazers were the hottest ticket in town and fans would go to great lengths to see the action live. 

More than 12,000 fans filled Veterans Memorial Coliseum on that afternoon, with thousands more packing the streets outside. 

But two ticketless fans found a way to outsmart the system. 

For those listening to the TV broadcast that afternoon, or the replay aired on NBC Sports Northwest on Sunday, the finely tuned ear may have picked up on an epic story. 

In the final minutes of the game, play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger told the following story. 

"We had a basket of fruit brought over to the table for Rick (Barry) and I before the game and the note said it was from Sam and Phil. We later found out that Sam and Phil had come in through the back door and said they were florists delivering this to us. They just wanted to get into the basketball game." 

That's right, two fans were so eager to see the Blazers that they snuck in the back door, risking life and limb to see history. 

Ok, they may not have risked life and limb, but they did risk what would have been a stern punishment.

There was a risk, but there was also a reward. The pair got to be in the building on one of the most historic nights in Trail Blazers history.

With the security protocols used today, it would be nearly impossible to pull this off again. 

But for one night in 1977, Sam and Phil embodied what it meant to be part of Rip City, doing anything it took to watch the Blazers win it all. 

Memories from the Trail Blazers 1977 NBA Finals championship game

Memories from the Trail Blazers 1977 NBA Finals championship game

It was this day, June 5th, 43 years ago. The year was 1977 and was the most important and famous game in the history of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Game 6 of the 1977 NBA Finals -- when Portland became world champions of basketball for the one and only time in its 50-year history.
Many people have probably seen clips of the game, small snippets. But a replay of the entire game is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see some of the greatest players in the history of the NBA show why they attained that stature.
So just in case you didn’t realize it, please note the following:

  • This is your chance to find out what the great Dr J, Julius Erving, was all about. The 76ers’ superstar hit 17 of his 29 shots from the floor, scored 40 points, had eight assists, six rebounds and two steals.
  • If you’ve never heard of him, Philadelphia’s George McGinnis, a legit star in the ABA and NBA, had 28 points and 16 rebounds.
  • And when you realize that the Sixers also had Doug Collins, Henry Bibby, Caldwell Jones, World B. Free, Darryl Dawkins, Mike Dunleavy and Joe (Kobe’s dad) Bryant on their roster, you will understand why they were overwhelming favorites to win the championship.
  • This Portland team had terrific balance and all five starters finished in double figures, but this is a chance to see just how good Bill Walton was. He finished with 20 points, 23 rebounds, eight blocked shots and seven assists in 42 minutes.
  • Bobby Gross was terrific on Erving, no matter how many points Doc scored.
  • Lionel Hollins could really play.
  • The Blazers blew a late lead and could have easily given this game away, which would have changed the course of franchise history.
  • Enjoy this game and relish its outcome.

HOW TO WATCH: Game 6 Trail Blazers vs. Sixers

WHEN: Friday, June 5 at 8:00pm 

Channel: NBC Sports Northwest, Channel 737 (Portland), 617 (Seattle)

CHANNEL FINDER

Stream the game here.  

Or stream the game on your phone with the 'MyTeams' App -- available in the App Store for iPhones and on Google play.

How to Watch: Trail Blazers vs. 76ers 1977 NBA Finals Championship

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Getty Images

How to Watch: Trail Blazers vs. 76ers 1977 NBA Finals Championship

On the 43rd Anniversary since the Portland Trail Blazers won it all, let’s relive that championship game tonight on NBCSNW.

June 5th, 1977 -- The electricity was in the air in Portland, Oregon was fueled by BlazerMania!

It was Game 6 of the 1977 Championship and the Trail Blazers were one game away from hoisting the Walter A. Brown Trophy. 

After a 49-33 record during the regular season and a three-seed in the Western Conference, the Trail Blazers, led by first-year Jack Ramsey, which became a franchise in 1970, were in their first-ever playoff appearance.

In the first round, they defeated the Chicago Bulls after a series clinching shot by Lionel Hollins. 

In the second round, they downed a formidable Denver Nuggets team. 

The Trail Blazers handled the No. 1 Lakers 4-0 in the conference championship, as the Blazers would get their first-ever shot at an NBA Championship.

The Philadelphia 76ers were the only team to stand in their way. 

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Trail Blazers committed 34 turnovers and lost.
They got blown out in Game 2. Maurice Lucas and Darryl Dawkins were ejected in that game after benches cleared. Lucas slapped Dawkins from behind after Dawkins and Bob Gross both went up for a rebound and wrestled each other to the floor. Lucas and Dawkins were ejected from the game. Philadelphia’s Doug Collins received four stitches after he caught a missed punch from Dawkins.

Down 2-0, one would think the road to an NBA title would be bleak. Momentum was on the 76ers side. 

But, this Trail Blazers team was a team of destiny. 

The Trail Blazers stormed back and won both games at home to tie the series at two games apiece. They went back to Philly and defeated the 76ers in Game 5. 

After arriving back in Portland, the Blazers were met by over 5,000 fans at the airport. 

And on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Game 6 tipped off in the Memorial Coliseum.

You know what happens next…

Starters:

Philadelphia

  • Julius Irving
  • George McGinnis
  • Doug Collins
  • Henry Bibby
  • Caldwell Jones

Portland

  • Lionel Hollins
  • Bill Walton 
  • Bob Gross
  • Maurice Lucas
  • Johnny Davis

HOW TO WATCH: Game 6 Trail Blazers vs. Sixers

WHEN: Friday, June 5 at 8:00pm 

Channel: NBC Sports Northwest, Channel 737 (Portland), 617 (Seattle)

CHANNEL FINDER

Stream the game here.  

Or stream the game on your phone with the 'MyTeams' App -- available in the App Store for iPhones and on Google play.

Damian Lillard attends Black Lives Matter protest in Portland

Damian Lillard attends Black Lives Matter protest in Portland

With a nationwide outcry against systemic racial injustice in the USA, police brutality and the death of George Floyd, NBA players across the nation have taken action on social media and been seen demonstrating in protests around the country.

Trail Blazers All-Star point guard was among the thousands of people in Portland on Thursday night participating in a peaceful protest throughout the city.

Lillard was first seen in a Twitter video from KOIN 6 photographer Richard Roberson protesting outside of Revolution Hall in SE Portland.  

Floyd, a black man, was killed on May 25th after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, planted his knee on Floyd's neck against the ground for more than eight minutes. Chauvin was later arrested and charged with third degree murder, which were later upgraded to second degree murder.

Three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder. 

Three memorial services over six days are planned in cities where Floyd was born, grew up and died.

Lillard marched through SE Portland and into downtown to South Waterfront Park. Lillard also took to Instagram as he walked through Portland on his Instagram live video.