Boston Celtics: Comparing Current Players to Former Celtic Legends
For the first time since the late 1980s—with the exception of a couple of solid seasons behind Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker earlier in the decade—the Boston Celtics are a contender for an NBA title.
The Boston Celtics are arguably the best team in NBA history when one takes into account the hall-of-fame inductees and 17 NBA championships.
With so many legends and top-notch players to go through Boston, it is more than likely that there are similarities between some of the current and former Celtics players.
Here are the comparisons between some of the current players in Boston and the former Celtics legends.
Rajon Rondo: Bob Cousy
Rajon Rondo is an especially unique point guard in Boston Celtics history, so it would not be fair to compare him to one particular Celtics great.
Bob Cousy, easily the best point guard in Celtics history, was a play-maker who was known for his ability to get teammates open and take the ball to the hole.
His behind-the-back, flashy moves made him a force to reckon with coming down the lane.
Cousy posted 6,955 assists in 14 seasons in the league. This included a 28-assist game in 1959, a franchise record.
Rondo, much like Cousy, is a flashy, play-making point guard who likes to take the ball right to the basket.
Rondo, however, is not quite as efficient or consistent a play-maker as was Cousy. "Cooz" was also a better scorer than Rondo.
Undoubtedly, Cousy is the better of the two, yet there are certainly similarities between the players.
Ray Allen: John Havlicek
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Ray Allen has a skill set much like that of John Havlicek's with the Boston Celtics in the 1960s and 70s.
Like Allen, Havlicek was a knock-down shooter who earned his pay check shooting the rock.
In 16 years in the league, Havlicek took 23,930 shots and made 43.9 percent of them.
As there was no three-point shots in his time, it's difficult to compare Allen to Havlicek in that regard.
Allen is known as arguably the best three-point shooter of all time, and he continues to give the Celtics a go-to guy when the three-ball is needed.
Both Havlicek and Allen boast the ability to take the ball to the rim as well.
Unlike Havlicek, Allen is not a player that will put up a fair share of rebounds. Havlicek averaged 6.3 a game for his career.
Paul Pierce: Larry Bird
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It's difficult to put Larry Bird and Paul Pierce in the same conversation, but Pierce does boast a lot of the same qualities that Bird had.
Offensively, both are known for their versatile play.
Both Pierce and Bird are players that have an ability to attack the basket and knock down a shot from just about anywhere on the court.
Both players have won three-point shootouts, they are two of the best scorers in Celtics history and both are solid free-throw shooters (with Bird getting the upper-hand here).
Bird, unlike Pierce, was also a player that had a sixth-sense.
He knew where players were on the court at all times and—as a result—was able to make passes that Pierce would never be able to make. Pierce is still a solid passer in the game, yet he does not match up to Birds. They are both solid, physical defenders, with Bird edging Pierce out here as well.
Bird had a clutch-factor that Pierce—along with most to play this game—falls short of. He was notorious for his shot-making ability in some of the bigger-pressure situations of his career.
Kevin Garnett: Kevin Mchale
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Kevin Garnett and Kevin McHale are two players who share a lot of the same offensive game.
When it comes to post-moves and shaking defenders off, McHale and Garnett are two of the best in league history.
One of the former Big Three (alongside Bird and Parish), McHale was a player who liked to work his post-moves, and a lot of the time get underneath defenders.
He also had a soft touch from the field.
Garnett, like McHale, has a solid jump-shot with a high release that leaves defenders somewhat helpless.
His post-moves are some of the best the NBA has seen in the last 15 years, as he can get to his spots and get shots off at will. Garnett was also more of an athletic finisher in his prime, taking the ball with authority to the basket, something McHale didn't necessarily do.
This part of Garnett's game is actually a lot like Robert Parish's, otherwise known as "the Chief."
Defensively, the two are sound shot-blockers who can man up an offensive player quite well.
Garnett has the advantage athletically, yet not by any sort of long-shot. McHale had great footwork and timing with his blocks and was able to play tough defense as well.