Portland Trail Blazers History
The Portland Trail Blazers posted a 21-61 season finishing last in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. Only one team from the Northwest Division made the playoffs, which were the Denver Nuggets who embarrassingly lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. Like some of the other teams in the Northwest Division, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Seattle Sonics just to name a few, the Portland Trail Blazers are one of the youngest teams in the NBA.
The 2005-06 season for the Portland Trail Blazers did not always look bad. A midseason string where the Blazers won seven of 11 games, with wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Jersey Nets and close losses to Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs showed promise. McMillan's message and coaching seemed to be getting through to his young, inexperienced team. During that time, Zach Randolph was playing good ball and Juan Dixon was emerging as a major scoring threat, in the midst of a 24-game double-digit scoring streak.
Hopefully, the Portland Trail Blazers will make moves to help their struggling team who actually won fewer games than they did in the previous season. Other than having the problems of a young and inexperienced team, injuries came one after another.
Miles, who was averaging 18.2 points a game, needed surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee and missed 32 games. Sebastian Telfair, the team's starting point guard, missed 12 games with a ligament strain in his right thumb. Injuries to Theo Ratliff and Joel Przybilla had the Blazers thin at center. When Miles finally returned he was not the same, and Telfair lost his starting role in the backcourt to the combination of Steve Blake and Juan Dixon, both acquired in the off-season. The Portland Trail Blazers never had a real chance to mesh as a team.
On the day of the NBA draft, the Portland Trailblazers made several moves making trades with numerous teams. The most notable is probably trading their fourth selection, Tyrus Thomas, for Chicago's second pick, LaMarcus Aldridge. They also made a trade with the Boston Celtics sending Sebastian Telfair for Raef Lafrentz and Dan Dickau. Brandon Roy also ended up with the Portland Trailblazers in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics with the Timberwolves ultimately ending up with Randy Foye.
The Portland Trail Blazers are also facing ownership issues. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and the Blazers' billionaire owner claimed without public assistance, he was unwilling to support the team anymore and that they needed public assistance. Ownership looks very unclear in Portland and the team may be on the open market.
The upcoming season is not looking bright for the Portland Trail Blazers but if they are able to overcome their ownership problems and players like Zack Randolph, Darius Miles, and Juan Dixon stay health and continue to develop, their fortunes may have new life.
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