Building the Ultimate Boston Celtics Team
I have been Building the Ultimate Team for each NBA franchise. The goal is to take the top two player seasons from each position and assemble the ultimate team.
There are a few qualifiers to this. First, the goal is to take the best player seasons, not necessarily the player who had the greatest career with the team. Second, no player can be used twice or be his own back up. Third, every player must play in his true position. There is no making Larry Bird a shooting a guard or anything of that nature allowed.
Eventually these teams will square off in a tournament with the readers determining the winners.
If you feel I've erred in some of my choices, that's fine, just let me know. If there are at least five readers who feel that a change should be made to the lineup, I'll make it.
PG. Bob Cousy, 1960
Starter: Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy was the first great true point guard. In many ways he practically invented the position. He led the league in assists for eight consecutive years. Cousy's best season was probably 1960 when he averaged 9.5 assists per game. At the time that total of 715 assists was an NBA record for assists in a season and marked the third time Cousy broke the record. I lasted two years until Oscar Robertson broke it.
Backup: Rajon Rondo
This was a tough decision. I went back and forth between Rajon Rondo and Tiny Archibald. Rondo owns the two best assist seasons in Celtics history. Tiny Archibald is in the Hall of Fame. When I compare their respective best seasons with the Celtics though, it's not hard to justify putting Rondo up ahead of Archibald.
If you compare their best seasons Archibald scored about 3.5 more points but Rondo had two more boards, three more dimes and .4 more steals while starting for the NBA All Defensive team. That's why last year's Rondo is the backup point guard on the Ultimate Celtics Team.
SG. John Havlicek, 1971
Starter: John Havlicek, 1971
The Celtics have a great history but this decision is easy. John Havlicek had one of the greatest seasons in the history of the NBA in 1971. He is one of only two players to record 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 600 assists in a single season. The other was Oscar Robertson.
In his 1971 season he averaged 28.9 points with 7.5 assists and 9 boards per game. Of all the games most versatile players, Havlicek is the least celebrated for his all-around game.
Backup: Ray Allen, 2009
If you can have a stone cold sniper on your team, it's a big help. Ray Allen is the stonest, most-coldest of them all, knocking down the most three point field goals in NBA history. In his best year as a Celtic he averaged 2.5 makes from the arc per game, second most in the NBA. He also had 18.2 points and was an underrated defensive contributor.
SF. Larry Bird, 1986
Starter: Larry Bird, 1986
Picking Larry Bird's best season is like trying to pick the prettiest of Charlie's Angels. No matter what you choose, it's hard to go wrong. But why not go with 1986 the year he won both the MVP and the Finals MVP? Hard to argue with results right?
Statistically he has had better seasons, but it's not like 1986 was a bad year for Bird. He averaged 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists that year.
Backup: Paul Pierce, 2002
Before the other big two got to Boston, Pierce was holding down the fort alone. In 2002 he had what was statistically his best year, averaging 26.1 points, 6.9 boards and 3.2 assists. Not bad for a backup small forward huh?
PF. Kevin McHale, 1987
Starter: Kevin McHale, 1987
I have to say, my thought was that Kevin Garnett was going to be in this spot until I looked at the numbers. McHale's 1987 season was the best ever by a power forward wearing a Celtics uniform. McHale poured in 26.1 points while averaging 9.9 boards as the second option! And oh yeah, he started for the All-Defense team that year too.
Backup: Kevin Garnett, 2008
In the none too shameful role of backup power forward for the Celtics is Kevin Garnett's 2008 season. In addition to being the Defensive Player of the Year that season Garnett was also the NBA Champion's best player, averaging 18.8 points, 9.2 boards and 3.4 dimes.
C. Bill Russell, 1963
Starter: Bill Russell, 1963
Picking the starter here was much easier than picking the year. He won the NBA championship that year and averaged 23.6 boards and 16.8 points. All of that is typical for Russell. What he did that year that was the icing on the cake is win All-Star Game MVP. Hey, you need to find something that separates it from all the other MVP, NBA Championship seasons right?
Backup: Robert Parish, 1981
And we finally have a backup that's not a starter on the current roster. The 1981 version of Parish scored 18.9 points and grabbed 9.5 boards per game. He also helped the Celtics to yet another championship.
If you feel I got someone wrong, don't be afraid to make a comment. If you make a good enough case, you'll get enough people to agree with you and I'll make the change.