...the tough get going. The game is close and physical, but the other team is doing the intimidating—getting the big rebounds, shoving your pivotman, muscling your guards. Enter your Enforcer. The master of that trade is Portland's Maurice Lucas (right), who plays even meaner than he looks in a Portland alley. You won't see him fight much, but he can restore order. His glance can disarm a 220-pound power forward, a choice word from him can neutralize a big horse rebounder and just one well-placed elbow by him can turn a game around. Photographer Harry Benson's portfolio of the NBA's Most Wanted Enforcers follows.
Detroit's Bob Lanier has been intimidating big cats for seven years, as well he might at 6'11" and 250 pounds.
When Houston's 5'9", 165-pound Calvin Murphy glowers, taller and heavier men don't mess with him.
Phoenix' 6'10", 240-pound Dennis Awtrey may not float like a butterfly, but rivals know he stings like a bee.
October 31, 1977
L.A.'s 6'8", 230-pound Kermit Washington believes in fresh air, weights and letting no one push him around.
Maybe the corps' junior member, Philadelphia's 6'11", 250-pound Darryl Dawkins, can't fight, but no one in the league is too anxious to find out.