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Buck Williams' Monster Dunk Over Mark West in the 1990 WCF

1989 summer acquisition of proven veteran power forward Buck Williams from the struggling New Jersey Nets proved as a key supplement to 1989-90 Portland Trail Blazers championship dreams.

'Blazermania' was on from 1977, and the team which featured one of the best backcourt duos of all time in Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler, on the climax of their careers, with future NBA star Drazen Petrovic coming from the bench, found a strong front-court anchor inexperienced Williams.

That season he would start all 82 games for eventual finalists providing them with steady front-court presence and veteran leadership, both on and off the court, thus making the 59-23 Blazers, who missed the playoffs the year before (1988-89), legitimate title contenders.

Known for his relentless defense on some of the leading power forwards and centers Williams averaged 13.6 points and 9.8 boards per game over the course of 1989-90 regular season. He started all 21 games for the Blazers in the postseason while averaging 13.0 points and 9.2 boards.

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His steady front-court presence was one of the key elements in the Blazers elimination of Western Conference powerhouses – Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.

One of the most memorable moments of the series with rising Phoenix Suns led by KJ and Chambers came when Blazers point guard Terry Porter found Williams running on the fast break.

When Williams received Porter's pass he boldly leaped over one of the League's most intimidating shot blockers at the time, Suns 6'10'' center Mark West.

While suspended in the air, at the peak of his 'flight', William partially leaned on the West right shoulder, making this move look out of gravity, just before he made the spectacular slam dunk.

Marjan Crnogaj is BN contributor and the author of the book ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ which can be found here.

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