Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Celtics (Part 3)

Here's the final part of the Boston Celtics franchise...

(21) 1972 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. (40) 2005 Boston Celtics (45-37)

Another spectacular season of the 70s Big 3. This is the second viewing of them, and it is remarkable. Havlicek is amazing with his 28-8-8 averages, while Jo Jo White shows shades of Cousy with his cool 23-6-5 season. Cowens shows obvious shades of Russell with his 19-15-3 season (great passer….like Russell). Don Nelson is still hanging on for his large (heh…) 14-6 season. Don Chaney gave a needed 12-5 year, but they only got to the ECF…

Paul Pierce is showing his greatness, leading some decent parts to 45 wins with his 22-7-4 season. Antoine Walker came back home to Boston, where he got in 24 games to close the season, all while giving Boston 16-8-3. Ricky Davis played 82 games, with a good 16-3-3 average. Gary Payton showed his age at a small 11-3-6 season. Raef LaFrentz and Mark Blount gave double figures, or close to double figures.

(22) 1974 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. (39) 1954 Boston Celtics (42-30)

Did you know that, after this, there are still 5 champs that haven’t been talked of? Well here is one. The ’74 Celtics beat the Bucks in 7 games (remember the sky-hook from Kareem, and “What a play by Dave Cowens” when he slid across the floor? All from this Finals.), after the incredible 19-16-4 year by Dave Cowens (16 boards!!). John Havlicek worked his magic, working up a 23-6-6 season, now casual for him. Jo Jo White kept going for 18-4-6, while Paul Silas had an astounding 12-11 year. Don Nelson and Don Chaney gave Boston 12 and 10 points respectively.

Welcome to our first pre-shot clock Boston team (these guys couldn’t stop losing in the East Division Finals ((there was the East and West Division, no conferences…))). Pre-shot clock Boston was all Cousy, who was a fan/league favorite at 19-6-7. Ed Macauley had 19-8-4, while Bill Sharman was great with a 16-4-3 year. These guys led the league in scoring with 87.7 points per game.

(23) 1983 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. (38) 1993 Boston Celtics (48-34)

’83 wasn’t great for Boston. They had too many options, too many skilled players (which got them swept by Milwaukee…). Larry Legend was the best of them, with 24-11-6 a game, plus Robert Parish (19-11) outshining the young Kevin McHale (14-7). In addition, they had Tiny Archibald (11-1-6), Cedric Maxwell (12-5-2), Danny Ainge (10-3-3), and Gerald Henderson (8-2-2) with Quinn Buckner giving similar contributions.

Sad, sad year, the year after Bird. It was cursed. Reggie Lewis had a really good season (21-4-4), and was looking strong…before he collapsed on the court and later died. Xavier McDaniel had 14-6-2, Kevin Gamble had 13 points a night, and Kevin McHale chugged along in his final season, doing an 11-5-1 limp. Robert Parish had 13-9 in his second to last Celtic year. Not much bright stuff, even at 48-34…

(24) 1991 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. (37) 1969 Boston Celtics (48-34)

Bird is the old age of 34 this year…and he was having his back problems which limited him to 60 games that were 19-9-7 games. Reggie Lewis came to his aide, scoring 19 a game also. McHale kept chugging along, churning his Panda Express out, good for 18-7. Robert Parish is 37; put amazingly is still giving 15-11! Kevin Gamble is critical for the aging Celtics, he can do 16 a night, and Brian Shaw is a 14-5-8 machine. Dee Brown is for 9 points. Not pretty…

There’s a champ…only it is not with homecourt on this series. The last of the Russell championships, Russell was down to 10-19-5 statistics this year. Havlicek was great making up for him, as he put in 22-7-5. Another fundamental part was Bailey Howell, who helped to the tune of 20-10-2 for Boston. Sam Jones also ended his career, on a pretty high note of 16-4-3. Larry Siegfried, Don Nelson and Tom Sanders combined for 37 a night on their way to beat LA.

(25) 2011 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. (36) 1952 Boston Celtics (39-27)

I’m sure you remember this team (clue: this year), but I’ll remind you. Boston had Paul Pierce (as always) leading the way, this time with 19-5-3. Ray Allen had 17 a night to go with 3 assists, and KG continues on for 15-9. Rondo is really good this year; he had 11-4-11. After that their roster is a jumble of injuries (Shaq, Jermaine etc.), trades (Perkins), and late year additions (Krstic, Jeff Green etc.). The Big 3 (2000s edition) looks like it’s time is closing, it looks like this will soon be Rondo’s team (as a Celtics fan, I don’t know whether to look at this as good or bad…)

Welcome in the exhilarating, fast, team points per game leaders (a high 91) 1952 Boston Celtics!!! Yes, 91 points is the high this year, led by the thrilling (that’s not sarcasm) Bob Cousy (22-6-7), who ran with Ed Macauley (19-8-4), and sharpshooting Bill Sharman (11-4-2), along with the immortal Dick Dickey (3-2-1). Chuck Cooper was also a member (8-8-2). Pretty decent team…

(26) 1958 Boston Celtics (49-23) vs. (35) 2002 Boston Celtics (49-33)

4 Finals teams left…just putting that out…This ’58 team were the runnerups to St. Louis, in Russell’s first full season. Russell had 17-23-3 in his complete year, which paired nice with Bob Cousy, putting up 18-5-7 this year. Bill Sharman was the scorer; 22-5-3 is just what they needed. Tom Heinsohn was magnificent; he had 18-10 in year 2. Frank Ramsey boosted the bench with his 17-7 year.

Another team that relied on only a few people. Pierce was the best of them; he had a 26-7-3 year that was important on their playoff run (ECF). Antoine Walker was the next 20 point scorer, at 22-9-5. Rodney Rogers was good for his 27 games after Boston got him in a trade for (wait for it…wait for it….) Joe Johnson……..Kenny Anderson had 10-4-5…and that is basically the team…a little shallow.

(27) 1966 Boston Celtics (54-26) vs. (34) 2010 Boston Celtics (50-32)

Another 60s champ (and who leaves this time….Red Auerbach), with Russell managing 13-23-5, with help from Sam Jones (24-5-3), plus the ever vital John Havlicek, this time for 19-6-3. Larry Siegfried had 14 points a game; Tom Sanders had 13 plus 7 boards, while K.C. Jones had a 9-4-6 year.

’10….lost to LA in 7…Pierce was still good for 18-4-3, KG for 14-7-3, Ray Ray for 16-3-3, but the most important player that kept this team actually in the Finals was Rondo with his 14-4-10 season. Perkins was prominent with a vital 10-8, but the ends were tied by a fray of rejects and loose ends (Michael Finley, Nate Robinson, Shelden Williams, etc.)

(28) 1968 Boston Celtics (54-28) vs. (33) 1957 Boston Celtics (44-28)

What?!?!? A title team vs. a title team? Weird. ’68 may not have been better as Russell (13-19-5, and his first champ as coach), was nearing the end. John Havlicek (21-7-5) carried them with Sam Jones (21-5-3). Bailey Howell was also a major cog; he had 20-10 this year. Siegfried, Nelson, and Sanders all scored in double figures for the eventual champs.

’57. Russell’s rookie year. He missed the beginning because of the Olympics, but came in to lead them to a champ behind his 15-20. Sharman was the main scorer, at a notable 21-4-4 season. Cousy was shining as bright as ever, shown by his 21-5-8 year. Tommy Heinsohn was also a rookie (and he won ROY), and in 72 games he added in 16-10. Jim Loscuttoff added the key 11-10 numbers to aide in the winning of the NBA championship.

(29) 1976 Boston Celtics (54-28) vs. (32) 1992 Boston Celtics (51-31)

The last of the champs. You can tell there will be some epic, epic battles played out between two 50 winners (in the first round!!!). These champs are the end of a prosperous time in Boston, but Cowens enjoyed it, hustling his way to 19-16-4 a night. White also put in the extra effort to win (19-4-5) and Charlie Scott relieved the aging Celtics for 18 a night. Havlicek may be old and gray (35 years old), but he had a decent 17-4-4 year. Defensively, Paul Silas was critical, and he also gave out 11-13-3 nightly. The reason you may remember this team is the famous triple-overtime Finals game against the Suns.

The Big 3 (80s edition) is still intact (somewhat). Bird was the least healthy of the remnants, as he played only 45 games, but managed 20-10-7 (he had back problems, spent nights in traction, and then put up 20-10-7….amazing). Reggie Lewis was an almighty scorer to take over; he had 21-5 in all 82 games. Kevin McHale didn’t have luck with his injuries either, as he played 56 games, and was obviously slowed down to 14-6. Parish was the best of the former Big 3 (and he was the eldest), as he managed 14-9 a night. With all these aging bodies, Kevin Gamble was a crucial piece, as he had 14-4-3 a night to fill in for his counterparts.

(30) 1953 Boston Celtics (46-25) vs. (31) 1990 Boston Celtics (52-30)

Bob Cousy is putting up pretty sweet numbers for pre-shot clock at an impressive 20-6-7 (but does help he’s playing 40+ minutes a game….), and he takes centerstage as a premiere NBA star. Easy Ed Macauley is putting up some nice numbers too; he has 20-9-4 this year. Bill Sharman is great as always, now doing it to 16-4-3. Pretty good team here…

Hey, injuries aren’t totally center stage yet! Larry gets in 75 games that dance to his 24-10-8 song. McHale played all year to the amazing (for 32) 21-8-2. Parish is still a very good center, who now has 16-10 added to his resume. The best young (under 30) player is Reggie Lewis, who is making 17-4-3 happen every night. Dennis Johnson is in his final season, and we wish him farewell, he put in 7-3-7 to end off his NBA life. Pretty good team, and I see an upset on the horizon…

That was Boston, every team ’52-’11. We saw some of the best ever on this team (Cousy, Bird, Russell, Havlicek, and this list continues), and we saw 17 champs. This is a truly amazing franchise; we wish them good luck on their journey to be the best.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was your Boston Celtics! Next up is the short history of the Charlotte Bobcats!

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