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1977-1978 Team Bio

01/04/10
  1. Written by: trailblazers

    Through the first 60 games, the defending NBA champions were making prognosticators look good. Before the season started, they labeled the1977-78 Blazers the "team of destiny." Coach Jack Ramsay's club appeared to be just that, dominating the league for the first four months.

    It was 50-10 going into March; it was 30-1 at home, including a club-record 26 wins in a row; it had outscored its opponents by 9.9 points a game.

    Then disaster struck. Bill Walton was lost for the season after suffering a broken foot 13 minutes into Game 60 at Philadelphia. A night later, Lloyd Neal went to the sidelines for good with a knee injury. In the final  22 games, during which Portland won just eight times, four other regulars missed a total of 23 games because of various hurts.

    Even so, the Blazers finished with the league's best record, 58-24, but going into the playoffs were just a shadow of the powerhouse that rolled through February. Portland was ousted in the Western Conference
    semifinals in six games by Seattle. As a team, Portland led the league in defense, with a 101.5 ppg average, and had the best point differential (+6.2).

    Bill Walton, who led the team in scoring (18.9 ppg), rebounding (13.2 rpg) and blocked shots (2.52 bpg), was selected the league's Most Valuable Player. Walton was a 1st team All-NBA
    choice and Maurice Lucas 2nd team.

    Walton, Lucas and Lionel Hollins were all  on the league's All-Defensive 1st team and Bobby Gross the 2nd team.

    Walton was fourth in the league in blocked shots and Gross seventh in FG percentage (.528). Walton (15 points), Lucas (12 points) and
    Hollins (10 points) all took part in the 1978 NBA All-Star Game.

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