5. 1977 NBA Finals — 76ers vs. Trail Blazers, Game 6
If you’re a Portland Trail Blazers fan, this series was one for the ages. If you’re are a Philadelphia 76ers fan, not so much. The most memorable images of this series? Dr. J’s afro and Bill Walton’s beard. No, just kidding. In 1977, the heavily favored 76ers team was not trying to be part of Trail Blazer history. Up to that point, Portland had never won an NBA championship.
The Sixers were the number one seed in the east while the Blazers were the number three seed in the west. With Doug Collins, George McGinnis, Julius Erving, and Darryl Dawkins in the middle, it seemed almost impossible that the Blazers could pull off the upset.
The Sixers took control of the series going up two to nothing. Somehow though, the scrappy Blazers found a way to win four straight to claim their first title. Despite Julius Erving averaging 30 points per game in the series, the stand out statistic would be Bill Walton’s relentless action on the boards, averaging almost 20 rebounds a game. If you had your hopes up after game two as a Sixers fan, you rightfully should have. Point blank – they blew it.
Looking back, this could’ve been the first star-studded team to let down their city with such high championship hopes in the post ABA era.