Here, we begin a series of ranking the greatest go-to signature moves in Portland Trail Blazers history, starting with No. 20 through 16.
The lifeline has officially been thrown: league sources officially confirmed that the NBA has tentatively agreed to a 72-game season, starting on Dec. 22. That means that in just a month and some change, the Portland Trail Blazers will be again gracing the hardwood.
In the meantime, there’s surprisingly tons to talk about: NBA Draft prospect fits, cases for why every free agent with a potentially-affordable price tag should join Portland, and brief glimpses back at Portland Trail Blazers history.
Since their inception, Portland has breeded tons of talented players with memorable, all-time great signature moves. Over the next few days, we will work our way on a countdown to rank the 20 most impactful go-to moves in Trail Blazers history.
But first, a look at the criteria. Over the time spent watching highlights and tape, I wanted to answer questions such as:
- He does this will in the regular season. How does it translate in the postseason?
- Did teams rely on it in late-game situations?
- How long was it a patented go-to move?
All of that goes into the consideration. There are a few honorable mentions to note of, before we begin. Moves such as Carmelo Anthony’s quick, dribble pull-up — which, if Denver and New York-based, would be among the absolute best.
Jusuf Nurkic’s baby hook and Andre Miller’s lob pass skills come to mind as well, especially out of post spins to say, LaMarcus Aldridge. For example, NBA.com tabbed Aldridge for 102 alley-oops in 2010-11 with Miller, a synergistic connection based on timing. It relied upon Miller knowing when Aldridge would spin, and accuracy on the pass. After Miller left, Aldridge would peak at 28 alley-oops.
So, those are among the few that missed the cut. Without further delay, here are No. 20 through No. 16, the first installment.