The point guard is in ways the most important and hardest position in the game of basketball.To be successful It requires not only skill and talent on the physical level, but the sharpest of minds. A point guard has to see the whole court, his fellow players, understand the game plan and execute it with precision.
The Trail Blazers have had some of the best. In all Portland has had 78 point guards. In the mix are hall of famers, champions, all stars, and record setters. Here are the top 10 point guards in Portland Trail Blazers history.
10.Rick Adelman (1970-1973)
9.8 PPG 2.8 RPG 4.6 APG
.424 FG% .731 FT%
11.6 PER .473 TS% 5.0 WS
The Trail Blazers first point guard/team captain and later one of it’s best coaches, Rick Adelman, though holding scoring records at Loyola, became a defensive minded and passing oriented point guard. A masterful playmaker, he led the Blazers in assists his first season with the team. He had a basketball IQ off the charts.
He was known for his highly competitive nature.
He was taken by Portland in the 1970 expansion draft and was a key player next to Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks. Adelman scored a career high 37 points to go with 5 assists and 4 rebounds in a win against the Celtics his first season with the Blazers. That season was also his best with an average of 12.6 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game.
9.Darnell Valentine (1981-86)
9.8 PPG 2.3 RPG 5.4 APG 1.6 SPG 2.2 TPG
.449 FG% .056 3PT% .450 EFG% .778 FT%
14.6 PER .521 TS% 14.9 WS
Drafted by the Trail Blazers with the 16th pick in 1981 draft, Valentine was nicknamed “Ground Jordan” because he couldn’t jump very high. The best season of his career was his second year with Portland, when he averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 assists a game. His best game with the Blazers was a 26 point, 6 assists, 4 rebound, 4 steal output in a win against the Clippers, in his fourth season. He scored 29 points and 10 rebounds in a game 3 loss of the 1st rnd of the playoffs against the Suns in his 2nd of three postseasons with the team. Valentine is 4th on the Blazers all time list in steals percentage,6 in steals per game, and 9 in assist percentage and assists per game.
15.6 PPG 2.4 RPG 7 APG 1.2 SPG 2.9 TPG
.456 FG% .087 3PT% .457 EFG% .756 FT%
15.7 PER .495 TS% 6.5 WS
Ransey, a fan favorite, made the NBA All rookie team in 1980 and was one of top point guards in assists during his 2 seasons in Portland. He is 2nd Blazer all time in assists per game and 4th in assist percentage.
He was a skilled leader on the court. His best game came in his second year, when he lit up the Celtics for a double double of 33 points and 10 rebounds. He averaged a career high 16 points and 7 assists per game. He went to the playoffs with the Blazers once, in his first season with the team, where he finished with 26 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds in a matchup with the Kings. He was traded after his second season to Dallas for the pick that would become Terry Porter.
7.Kenny Anderson (1996-98)
15.8 PPG 3.9 RPG 6.5 APG 1.8 SPG 2.4 TPG
.414 FG% .359 3PT% .468 EFG% .769 FT%
17.5 PER .522 TS% 14.7 WS
A high school star, Anderson was drafted by the Nets and played for the Hornets before signing with Portland in his 5th year in the league. His prior time in the NBA seasoned him into a crafty player. A expert playmaker and top notch ball handler, he led portland in scoring, assists, and steals his first season with the team.
His best game, a win against the Rockets during the 1996-1997 season, where he scored 35 points. He was traded for Damon Stoudamire in ‘98. Anderson is #4 in minutes played all time for the Blazers, 5th in assist percentage, and 6th in plus/minus.
6.Andre Miller (2009-11)
13.3 PPG 3.5 RPG 6.2 APG 1.3 SPG 2.3 TPG
.452 FG% .171 3PT% .458 EFG% .835 FT%
18.0 PER .530 TS% 14 WS
Andre Miller played for Portland for two seasons in the middle of his career. A veteran and expert playmaker, Miller had excellent court vision, and understood the intricacies of the game. He was a tough as nails player who could easily get to the basket. He was a leader and a scoring threat.
He joined the Blazers 50 point club against the Dallas Mavericks in his second year in which the Blazers lost center Joel Przybilla to a season ending knee injury. Miller blew it up for 52 points to go with 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists.he had a career playoff high of 31 points against the Phoenix Suns that postseason.
Miller was traded in one of, if not the worst trades the Blazers have ever executed, bringing Raymond Felton to Portland, as part of a three team deal that also saw Rudy Fernandez depart.
5.Damon Stoudamire (1997-2005)
12.8 PPG 3.5 RPG 5.7 APG 1.1 SPG 2.1 TPG
.405 FG% .359 3PT% .463 TS% .846 FT%
15.2 PER .500 TS% 37.7 WS
Mighty Mouse as he was nicknamed for his elite level of play despite his small stature. He held the most scored points in a game by a Blazer with 54, until the record was beaten by Damian Lillard (59).
Stoudamire is the #6 Blazer all time in 3 points made and attempted. He is #4 in assists, 9th in steals, and 8th in free throws. Stoudamire also had several 30 point games, and a playoff career high 25 points in a loss to the Lakers. He was part of the late ninety/early naught teams to go to the WCF’s and achieve a 59 win season.
4.Lionel Hollins (1975-1980)
13.9 PPG 2.6 RPG 4.4 APG 1.9 SPG 3.2 TPG
.435 FG% .100 3PT% .435 EFG% .742 FT%
14.3 PER .479 TS% 12.5 WS
Drafted in 1975 by the Blazers, Lionel Hollins was named to the NBA All Rookie First team following his debut season. Lionel was a gifted guard. He possessed an amazing athletic ability. His devilish speed and keen tenacity served him well on the court, and allowed him to be a lockdown defender. He was a strong leader and key piece, as a member of the Blazers 1976-77 Championship team.
Hollins is 2nd All time in Blazers steals per game and 7th in steals. He had a career high 43 points in a win against the Boston Celtics his 2nd season. He scored a playoff high 35 points against the Sonics. He was named an all star in 1978 and to the NBA Defensive First and 2nd teams in 1978 and 1979. His #14 jersey was retired by the Trail Blazers.
3.Rod Strickland (1992- 1996, 2000-2001)
16.2 PPG 4.3 RPG 8.2 APG 1.6 SPG 3.0 TPG
.472 FG% .327 3PT% .483 EFG % .714 FT%
19.3 PER .535 TS% 32.7 WS
The Blazers were Rod Strickland’s third team. He was an extremely talented guard.His reputation for his ability to cut and attack the basket preceded him. Strickland was a pinpoint passer. He was a master of creating his own shot and his speed seemed to break down even the best defender. He made his teammates better with his play making and quick minded offense.
Strickland scored a career high 36 points to go with 5 assists and 5 rebounds in a loss to the Knicks in his third season. He had two 27 points games against Utah in the 1996 playoffs. His first of the set came with 12 assists and 7 rebounds.
2.Terry Porter (1985-1995)
14.9 PPG 3.5 RPG 7.0 APG 1.6 SPG 2.5 TPG
.470 FG% .385 3PT% .516 EFG% .846 FT%
17.9 PER .576 TS% 79.3 WS
Terry Porter was drafted in 1985 by the Blazers with the 24th pick in the draft. He is the longest tenured and has the most playoff appearances(10) of any Blazer point guard. He can be found on 25 if the Blazers all time record lists. He is # 1 in assists. #2 in steals #2 in win shares # 3 in assists per game. #4 in Points.
Porter was a strong and potable guard, as versatile as they come. He was a solid scorer and had a deadly 3 point shot. Like Lillard, he was known as a clutch player who thrived in hitting game winners. He was nicknamed “Grande Huevos” because of it. He had such a quick shot opponents had a hard time defending it.
He scored a career high 40 points in his seventh season in a win over Golden State. He had a record seven 3 pointers in a game, till it was beaten by Lillard (9).
Porter is easily number two on this list. He was a star player and a 2x all star with Portland. He was part of the golden Trail Blazer team of the late eighties early nineties, with the likes of Clyde Drexler. Jerome Kersey, Kevin Duckworth, and Buck Williams. He helped the Blazers to two finals appearances but never saw the promised land. He was part of 1990-1991 team that won a franchise high 63 wins.
1.Damian Lillard (2012-2019)
23.5 PPG 4.2 RPG 6.3 APG 1 SPG 2.8 TPG
.434 FG% .368 3PT% .510 EFG% .889 FT%
21.4 PER .573 TS% 70.2 WS
The essential point guard, Damian Lillard has climbed the ladders of the Blazers franchise and the NBA, leaving burn marks in the record books, because his star is scorching hot. Graced with the highest levels of talent and remarkable skill, he is as strong, fearless, and as clever as they come.
Lillard is an unselfish leader both on and off the court. He is an adept distributor. When he isn’t helping teammates score, his offensive ability is savage. He will torch defenders with his long three or beat them to the basket on the attack for and ones. Once he steps passed his defender he is virtually unstoppable.
The Letter 0 was named rookie of the year. He made the NBA All Rookie team. He has been named to the All NBA First, Second, and Third teams. He is a 4x All Star. He was one of three players in NBA history to score 20 and 10 in their rookie debut. He became the only player score 35 points, nine assists, and zero turnovers in a game as a rookie. He enjoyed many other NBA firsts.
Damian has 26 entries in the Blazers all time list, including 1st in points per game, free throw percentage, 3pt field goal and attempts. He is 2nd in offensive win shares and player efficiency rating, free throws, and free throw attempts. He is 3rd in several others. His accolades are many and the list is still being written.
He scored the most points in franchise history with 59. He made the most threes in a game with 9. He has had several 30+ and 40+ games. All of this and he still remains underestimated in the league. His greatest ambition is to bring Portland it’s second championship.
Lenny Wilkens (1974-1975)
6.5 PPG 1.8 RPG 3.6 APG 1.2 SPG
.439 FG% .768 FT%
16.6 PER .536 TS% 2.7 WS
One of the best point guards to play the game, and one of the top NBA coaches of all time, Wilkens was inducted three times to the Naismith hall of fame. He was given the honor as a player, a coach, and as a member of the dream team. He was the only Blazers player to be a player/coach. He is thus far the only Blazers point guard to have hall of fame honors.
His achievements came before and after Portland, and he never was able to help the Blazers to a winning season or the playoffs. He came to Portland a 9x All Star, left and became a champion with Seattle as a coach in 1979.
Steve Blake (2005-2006, 2007-2010, 2014-15)
7.8 PPG 2.2 RPG 4.5 APG 0.7 SPG 1.4 TPG
.414 FG% .398 3PT% .515 EFG% .782%
12.5 PER .534 TS% 17.4 WS
No Blazers point guard has been traded and returned to Portland as much as Steve Blake. He returned three times as a player over ten year span, then for a fourth time as a coach intern on 2017.
Blake, a fundamentals man, was an ace passer and improved his shooting during his first stint with Portland, becoming a starter. As a Blazer he had one of the best assist to turnover ratio (He was third in the NBA). A high basketball IQ and an acute floor vision, Blake knew well how to run an offense.
His second stint brought his best years as a Blazer. His point per game average rose to 11 and he had his best game that first season back, scoring 24 points in 22 minutes in a win against the warriors. He had a 17 assists the next season against the Clippers. He we two playoffs with Portland, one a piece in his second and third stretch with the team. Blake is #7 in Blazers all time field goals, 8th in 3pt field goal percentage, and 9th in 3pt attempts.
Dave Twardzik (1976-1980)
9.5 PPG 2.2 RPG 3.4 APG 1.4 SPG
.552 FG% .571 3PT% .553 EFG .823 FT%
14.9 PER .640 TS% 21.8 WS
Twardzik, an ABA star was drafted by the Blazers in 1972 and played all four of his NBA seasons with Portland. He is #1 all time in Blazers true shooting percentage at .639% and #5 in field goal percentage. He was a superb penetrating guard who was known for his reverse layups. He was a savvy floor general and an adept ball handler.
He was part of the Trail Blazers 1976-1977 championship team. He had a career high 28 points to go with 5 steals and 3 steals, rebounds, and blocks. He retired in 1980 after an injury. His #13 jersey was retired by the Blazers.
Mo Williams (2013-14)
9.7 PPG 2.1 RPG 4.3 APG 0.7 SPG 2.0 TPG
.417 FG% .369 3PT% .478 EFG% .876 FT%
11.8 PER .507 TS% 2.2 WS
Mo Williams spent a season in Portland, signing with them in the summer of 2013. He was a mentor to young Damian Lillard who was in his sophomore season and helped Portland back to the playoffs after having missing it the two prior years. He had a game high 23 points off the bench in a win against the Bucks.
Steve Colter (1984-1986)
7.9 PPG 2.1 RPG 3.1 APG 1.2 SPG 1.4 TPG
.454 FG% .338 3PT% .479 EFG% .793 FT%
12.6 PER .524 TS% 5.6 WS
Colter was drafted by the Blazers in the 1984 draft with the 33rd pick in the 3nd round. He played 5 seasons in the NBA, two with Portland. His second year with Portland was the best of his career, though his career high came his first season with a 35 points, 6 rebound, 9 assist game against the Bullets. He followed that up with a 26 point, 8 rebound, 5 assist game the the next season. He went to two playoffs with Portland, netting 26 points and 8 assists in game 1 of the 1st rnd versus the Lakers, his first postseason with the Blazers.
8.8 PPG 2.7 RPG 4.9 APG 1.8 SPG 1.6 TPG
.439 FG% .267 3PT% .442 EFG% .737%
15.3 PER .487 TS% 9.2 WS
Lever was picked by the Blazers with the 11th pick in the 1982 draft. He was a core piece is rookie season, as part of a fast paced Portland team that kept fans on the edge of their seats, if they were able to sit at all, and won games in exhilarating fashion.
Lever helped Portland to two playoff appearances, but never got out of the second round. He was part of Portland’s highest combined scoring game, a 156-155 4OT loss to the Bulls.
Fat was a talented point guard who could score, rebound despite his small stature, pass, and steal the ball. He was perhaps one of the best point guards of the 80’s. His full potential wasn’t realized till he was traded to the Nuggets in a Blockbuster for Kiki Vandeweghe, in what many thought was a terribly lopsided trade.
He had a game high 28 points in a win over Washington his second season. He holds the Blazers all time record for Steals percentage, and is 4th in steals per game.
4.5 PPG 1.3 RPG 3.7 APG 1.0 SPG 0.9 TPG
.418 FG% .323 3PT% .459 EFG% .817 FT%
11.6 PER .508 TS% 6.9 WS
Free wheeling Danny Young played for Portland in the middle of his career. He shared minutes with Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler and was part of the 1989-90 team that went to the NBA finals, as well as the 1990-1991 team that won a franchise high 63 games. He was traded in January 1992 and wasn’t with the team for their so far last trip to the finals that postseason.
Young was an articulate guard, the perfect back up. He was a talented ball handler and is tied with Patty Mills for averaging the least amount of turnovers of any Blazers point guard, though Young kept the average for four years to Mill’s two. His best game came in his third season with Portland when he scored a career high 21 points in 16 minutes in a win over Denver.
Nick Van Exel
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