The 1977 Portland Trail Blazers

1977 Portland Trail Blazers pic
1977 Portland Trail Blazers
Image: nba.com

Technology and cloud computing expert Delbert “Del” Yocam has spent the last 15 years as an independent consultant with Yocam Holdings, LLC. Beyond his work in the field of technology, Delbert Yocam enjoys supporting the Portland Trail Blazers, whose games he regularly attends.

Since the team’s formation at the start of the 1970-1971 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, the Portland Trail Blazers have reached the NBA Finals on three occasions. The franchise’s only successful trip came after the 1976-1977 season. Prior to that year the team had experienced six consecutive losing seasons. With the help of legendary center Bill Walton, however, the team recorded a 49-33 record and opened their first postseason campaign against the Chicago Bulls as the Western Conference’s third seed.

Following a 2-1 series win over the Bulls, the Trail Blazers engaged in their first ever best-of-seven series against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. The high-scoring series saw Portland drop home court advantage in Game 2 before taking the next two games in Denver. Portland scored another road victory in Game 6 to close out the series 4-2.

The Blazers had a much easier time in the Western Conference Finals, taking out the top seeded Los Angeles Lakers 4-0. In the NBA Finals, Portland faced off against Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite a strong shooting performance from Erving and back-to-back road wins to open the series, Portland won four straight games to seize their first and only NBA Finals trophy. Walton averaged a double-double and was named the NBA Finals MVP.