Jordan for a Day: The greatest role player performances in Portland Trail Blazers history

Bonzi Wells, Portland Trail Blazers (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport)
Bonzi Wells, Portland Trail Blazers (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Damon Stoudamire, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

34. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Jan. 14th, 2005. vs. Hornets. Damon Stoudamire. 2

Final Stats:
— 54 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal on 20-of-32 FG, 8-of-16 3P, 6-of-6 FT in 42 minutes

— Jan. 14th, 2005

One odd fact from that game:
— The Blazers and Hornets combined for 28 3-pointers in this game. That may not seem like a lot, but in 2005, it was analytics nirvana. They were one shy of the record (29), set in 1997, per New York Times. As you might expect, that record has since been shattered. The Warriors and Kings combined for 43 on Jan. 16, 2019.

Don’t leave this article thinking 2004-05 was some special, one-of-a-kind year that doesn’t get enough discussion. But what it did give us was some special concoction of talent, comprised of guys capable of getting off on any given night.

Call it a car crash. It was a disaster of the 27-55 kind, but you couldn’t quite take your eyes off of it. On the night of Jan. 14, 2005, diminutive-yet-talented guard Damon Stoudamire effectively introduced us to the 2K, MyPlayer era some four years before its inception. You know the type: the score and do little else ilk.

But hey, if you’re planning to go balls out, and play 42 minutes and have only one assist and no rebounds to show for it, you may as well go and score 30 in one half, and 54 for a full game.

Just like Miles, Stoudamire offered breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just like his play style, it was really the performance for a 2020s basketball showcase. There were staredown 3-pointers, off-the-catch buckets, attacks in the paint — I can’t say for sure, but he might have hit one from the airport, too.

Stoudamire’s career curtailed after a Hall of Fame-esque start — 18.9 points, 8.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals on a 51.6 TS% a Year 1 to Year 3 span that only three other guards in NBA history have rivaled in that way. He remained a key cog in Portland’s machine, but on this day, he played the game of his life.