By Michael Romanelli
The 1977, Portland Trial Blazers had a sense of team chemistry that was evident right away when the team started the season 22-9, and finished the season with 49 wins. With superstar center (and LOS Podcast guest) Bill Walton at full health for the first time in his NBA career, he lead the league in rebounds and blocks. Paired with Maurice Lucas, Walton lead one of the most “TrailBlazing” fastbreak offenses the NBA had ever seen. The whole city of Portland rallied around the team in a phenomenon that became known as “BlazerMania”. The support of the fans would inspire the team to achieve a perfect 10-0 home record in the postseason. In the first round of the playoffs, Portland defeated the Chicago Bulls in 3 games (Best of 3 at the time). In the Western Conference Semifinals, Walton and the Trail Blazers would defeat David Thompson and the Nuggets in six games.After Denver, it was time for Walton to face fellow UCLA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the LA Lakers. Portland swept the series. In the Finals, Portland had to go up against the 76ers, who would instantly start the series with a highlight from none other than Dr.J. After the first two games it felt like BlazerMania was over. However, Walton had other plans and posted 20 points, 18 rebounds, and 9 assists. The Blazers dominated games 3 and 4 to tie up the series, winning by 22 points, and then again by 32. Julius Erving scored 37 points in game 5, but that wasn’t enough to stop Portland. In game 6, Bill Walton had a remarkable 20 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists, and 8 blocks. He needed each and every stat in that column, as the game was decided by a single basket.