Portland Trail Blazers

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Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

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Trailblazers Corner

The Portland Trailblazers are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (the NBA).  The Portland Trailblazers play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference with four other teams: the Utah Jazz, the Denver Nuggets, the Seattle SuperSonics and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Trail Blazers tickets will surely be hard to come by during the 2014-2015 NBA schedule.

Portland Trail Blazers 2014-2015 Outlook

The Blazers were thin last year, buttressing an elite starting five with next to nothing off the bench. Bringing in Chris Kaman and Steve Blake doesn’t feel like a great remedy.

Of course, second-year guard C.J. McCollum should see his role increase this year, and he’s got the combo-guard skills to make an impact. Head coach Terry Stotts seems to be leaning toward him as a sixth man; McCollum led all Blazers reserves in minutes per game during the preseason.

It’ll be up to Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the starters to duplicate that fifth-ranked offensive rating. If they can’t do that, suspect defense and an underwhelming bench may ultimately hit one of last year’s biggest surprises with a painful dose of reality.

Moda Center

Moda Center, formerly known as the Rose Garden, is the primary indoor sports arena in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is suitable for large indoor events of all sorts, including basketball, ice hockey, rodeos, circuses, conventions, ice shows, concerts, and dramatic productions. The arena has a capacity of 19,980 spectators when configured for basketball, fewer for other events. The arena is equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and other amenities.

The arenas current primary tenant is the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. Both the Trail Blazers and Moda Center are ultimately owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who also owns the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. The Trail Blazers have a lease agreement with Moda Center which runs through 2025, and an exclusive site agreement with the City of Portland requires the team to remain in Portland through 2023.

It is also home to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, a Canadian junior hockey league. Both the Trail Blazers and Winterhawks previously played in the Memorial Coliseum and moved to the arena when it was completed in 1995. However, the Winterhawks played home games in both facilities during the season. Moda Center and Winterhawks hold the Western Hockey Leagues record for single game attendance with a crowd of 19,103 on March 15, 1997 in which Portland tied the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 6–6. The arena was also built to accommodate a NHL franchise and there has been speculation over the years about Portland landing an NHL team; however this has not occurred. A former third tenant was the Portland Lumberjax of the National Lacrosse League, who played four seasons in the arena prior to disbanding.

The arena has hosted numerous other minor-league sports teams as well. In 1997, an AFL team landed in Portland from Memphis as the Portland Forest Dragons. Two seasons later, they relocated to Oklahoma City. The arena will host another AFL team, the Portland Thunder, starting in 2014. From 2000 through 2002, the facility hosted the now-defunct Portland Fire of the WNBA. In the past, the Portland State Vikings mens basketball team has played home games in the arena; currently, the team plays its home games in the Peter Stott Center on the PSU campus.

Moda Center has also hosted PBR Built Ford Tough Series bull riding events, has hosted editions of Monday Night Raw, editions of Friday Night Smackdown, Unforgiven (2004), No Mercy (2008), and UFC 102 in 2009.

Moda Center
1 North Center Court Street
Portland, Oregon 97227

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The Portland Trailblazers were founded in 1970 and are currently the only major professional sports team in the State of Oregon.  Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has owned the Portland Trailblazers franchise since 1988.  The Portland Trailblazers won only 29 games in their inaugural season in 1970-1971 and the team did not qualify for post-season play for the first 6 seasons in the NBA.  Ironically, following the 1976-1977 NBA season, when the Portland Trailblazers recorded its first winning season and advanced to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, the team went on to win its first and only NBA Championship.  New head coach Jack Ramsay and emerging superstar center Bill Walton helped pave the way for the magical championship season.  New draft pick Maurice Lucas also played a vital role in the championship quest.  Starting in April 1977, the Portland Trailblazers embarked on a sellout streak of 814 games – the longest in NBA history and the franchise seemed poised to establish a long-lasting dynasty.  After starting the 1977-1978 season with a record of 50-10, however, Bill Walton broke his foot and the team struggled to finish the season with a 58-24 record and the Seattle SuperSonics eliminated the Portland Trailblazers from post-season play with a 4-2 series win in the Conference Semifinals.  Following the season, Bill Walton demanded a trade and when the Portland Trailblazers franchise did not consent to wish demands, Walton sat out the entire 1978-1979 season and left the team as a free agent during the subsequent off-season.  Maurice Lucas also left the team following the 1979-1980 NBA season, and the dynasty was finished.  
From 1982 through 2003, the Portland Trailblazers advanced to the NBA playoffs each and every season. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler helped the Portland Trailblazers reach the NBA Finals following the 1989-1990 and 1991-1992 NBA seasons, but the Portland Trailblazers franchise could never capture that elusive 2nd NBA title.  In 1990, the Detroit Pistons easily defeated the Portland Trailblazers 4-1 in the NBA Finals, while Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Portland Trailblazers 4-2 in the 1992 NBA Finals.  Since the 2002-2003 NBA season, the Portland Trailblazers have not recorded a winning record or advanced to post-season play.

The Portland Trailblazers have retired the following players’ numbers:  Dave Twardzik’s #13; Lionel Hollins’ #14; Larry Steele’ #15; Maurice Lucas’ #20; Clyde Drexler’s #22; Bill Walton’s #32; Lloyd Neal’s #36 and Geoff Petrie’s #45.  Two non-players have also been honored by the Portland Trailblazers:  Team founder and owner (from 1970-1998) Larry Weinberg has been honored with the #1 although current players still wear jersey #1.  Dr. Jack Ramsay, head coach during the Portland Trailblazers only Championship season in 1977, is honored with the #77.