NBA Finals Game 1 & 2
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Portland entered the NBA Finals as the underdog to the Philadelphia 76ers, led by the young World B. Free, George Mcginnis, Doug Collins and Julius Erving, the spectacular forward who was reinventing the game with his gravity-defying slam dunks.
The Trail Blazers traveled across the country to Philadelphia in preparation for the biggest games in the franchiseís history. The Sixers were ready for the Blazers; they didnít underestimate Portland like every other playoff opponent had.
Philadelphia put the Blazers in a hole taking Game 1 led by Ervingís 33 very acrobatic points. Bob Gross had been given the assignment of containing the high-flying Erving, Ramsay and he rethought how to guard Erving after Game 1. They decided to let Gross guard Erving straight up rather than throw gimmick defenses at him.
Game 2 was like two heavyweight boxers going at it. Literally. The Blazers Maurice Lucas was used to being the bully in the paint, but the young 6-foot-11, 265-pound Darryl Dawkins challenged and tested Lucas all evening until the two finally came to blows. Coach Ramsay stepped in to break it up and did so, but not before Dawkins had slugged Doug Collins, his own teammate, above the eye.
The Sixers hung on to win Game 2 putting the Blazers in a 0-2 hole, the series returned to Portland with Philadelphia feeling like they had the Title all clinched up.