Da Pride Endures

October 18, 2015

Hank Finkel, the former basketball center, still believes in Celtic Pride. 

Hank Finkel (right) and during his playing days (above), walking onto the Boston Garden court with fellow Celtic Dave Cowens for a basketball clinic.

With the NBA season set to begin next week, I've been thinking about how the game has gone from setting plays, playing defense, and grabbing rebounds to a 48-minute race. Three-point shots, speed, and one-on-one drives now dominate each contest.


Does Rick Pitino Ever Tell the Truth?

November 14, 1997
Rick Pitino says he doesn't lie. He just reserves the right to change his mind.

Rick Pitino says he doesn't lie. But he might, you know, exaggerate a little bit.



Travis Knight and Antoine Walker Propel C's to Victory

November 13, 1997
It was a night that forced you to declare your NBA philosophy. Are you a victory-at-any-price type? Or are you a discerning critic, one who demands that your basketball team be trimmed at the edges and polished just right?

The Celtics' 96-86 win over the Nuggets at the FleetCenter last night would have helped you work out your position. It was a 48-minute conversation piece played before 15,760 people. What kind of conversation was it? Well, once again, it depends on your interpretation. 


Celtics Have Fourth Best Road Record


January 16, 1982
1981-82 Boston Celtics

The Celtics' 11-7 road record is only the fourth best in the NBA, trailing Philadelphia (15-6), Los Angeles (15-6) and Milwaukee (11-5). But Boston's home record (which includes the three in Hartford) is 17-2, and that is the league's best, a shade better than San Antonio's 15-3 . . . Utah and Dallas are the worst road teams, each with a 2-15 record entering last night's action . . . The six-game figures for the inimitable Larry Bird: 32.2 points a game, 14.0 rebounds a contest, 9 assists a game and 63 percent (85-136) shooting . . . Parish has quietly been playing excellent basketball. His last five point-rebound figures have been 24-11, 24-11, 21-9, 25-18 and 19-12. Incidentally, he had a season-high 23 rebounds in Market Square Arena during the Dec. 1 Pacers' 90-87 triumph over the Celtics . . . Cedric Maxwell sat out his fifth straight game last night, due to a sore right knee . . . The Celtics are 11-3 against teams with .500 or better records, and 18-6 against sub-.500 clubs . . . McKinney, on the 3-10 Indy record the past 13 games: "We're not playing with any sharpness, crispness or consistency. In those 13 games we've only played well twice.


Employee #8 Needs to Use his Knees

November 13, 1997
Remember: It's all in the knees. That's what Antoine Walker told himself last night. And when he wasn't saying it, Rick Pitino was screaming it from the sideline. "Knees, Antoine, knees." 

That's knees, as in "bend your knees." Pitino had mentioned that he might bring in a shot doctor if Walker didn't improve his free throw shooting. He went into last night's game a 53.5 percent shooter. But he made 10 of 11 in the Celtics' 96-86 win over the Nuggets. His knee form was nearly perfect.


Celtics Relying on a Two-Man Show

1981-82 Boston Celtics

Remember the Bernie-Ernie Show down in Knoxville a few years back? And you're doubtless aware of the Dantley-Griffith nightly review in today's NBA. Attracting less fanfare, but becoming more of a reality with each passing game, is the Larry-Chief scoring fiesta currently taking center stage on the Boston Celtics.


Travis Knight for Three!

November 12, 1997
This is where the Celtics' long-range shooting offense is now: Their 7-foot center, who really is a small forward, is their best 3-point shooter among the starters.

Not any of those scrappy, gunning guards. Not any of the sleek, Kentucky-credentialed forwards.

Huddle Pic Post-Alien Addition


Undermanned Celtics Rally Past Spurs, Take Second Leg of Texas Triangle

Celtics Improve to 42-15
1981-82 Boston Celtics

If the 1981-82 Celtics ever deserved to take a bow, it was last night. Performing with heart and savvy, they came from eight points down in the third period to take out the San Antonio Spurs by a 110-101 score at the Hemisfair.

This second post-Larry and seventh post-Tiny game was won thanks to the skilled, deep Boston front line of Robert Parish (26), Cedric Maxwell (25) and Kevin McHale (18 points, 13 rebounds and a superb defensive job on Mike Mitchell), and it was accomplished without the usual help from Gerry Henderson, who pulled a hip muscle early in the game and who was spelled admirably for the final 8:39 by Danny Ainge.


Did the Boston Celtics Really Win their Last Four Titles?

May 22, 2012
The Los Angeles Clippers are the successor team to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics? They are a successor to the Buffalo Braves. It's easy -- if you follow the fine print. 


Barros Biding Time

November 12, 1997
Dana Barros is sixth on the Celtics in minutes per game, but he was 12th in the last game. As in, he didn't get off the bench.

Barros said yesterday that he hasn't been in that position since his early days in Seattle. This is one individual who is used to playing, who once played in 167 straight games. He's hoping to start a new streak tonight against the Nuggets. 

"I'm taking it day by day," Barros said. "It's early, man. I'm not down about it. I've been through a lot over my career, and this is not a big ordeal. I'm just going to have to fight for time and play hard in practice."

Barros started the first two games before yielding to Chauncey Billups. His time Saturday went to the activated Tyus Edney, who had 11 points and 10 assists in 26 minutes.

Coach Rick Pitino reiterated yesterday that he feels Edney is his best pure point guard and is in the mix for his backcourt of the future. He also mentioned Billups, Ron Mercer, and, yes, Barros as possibilities.


Pete Meyers is the new Hank Finkel

November 5, 1993

H E IS THE punchline awaiting the ultimate NBA trivia question. He is a player who couldn't fill his successor's locker, much less his shoes. He is Pete Myers, Michael Jordan's replacement, ready to begin his 15 minutes of fame.

"Henry Finkel is not the reason we're losing"

March 27, 2014

"Henry Finkel is not the reason we're losing."

That has to be among my all-time favorite sports quotes.

It was spoken during the 1969-70 NBA season by then first-year Celtics coach Tom Heinsohn. 


Chauncey Not Getting It Done

November 10, 1997
This is an NBA movie. It's called "Three Men and a Basketball" and it's a true story. It is a Rick Pitino Production, written, directed and produced by the Celtics coach. We can tell you the plot in one line: Three point guards are auditioning to be the point guard who gets the bulk of the minutes in Pitino's rotation.

Celtics Crush Hornets

Celtics Improve to 21-4
1990-91 Boston Celtics

Remembering the 29-5 Start

The first 30-45 minutes before a Celtics game at Charlotte is very important to Hornets fans. They travel up Tobacco Road from as far as Florida for this pregame ritual. They point their fingers, press their Kodaks, holler out their favorite player's name, beg for autographs and have one dandy time. Tourism at its finest.


Todd has Impressive Day

December 23, 1995

After watching son Todd go for 41 points last night, Ted Day walked up to M.L. Carr in the Celtic dressing room and said, in essence, that the party isn't over.

"You're going to see more of that from Todd," the father said. "You've been very good for him. You're showing confidence in him, and that's what he's needed. You'll see more of this." 

Carr's smile widened.


Big Dog Makes Chris Ford a Winner

November 9, 1997,
They've got a shuffling checklist. It's sort of like a compact disc player set to random. The Celticsare going to give you something. You just aren't sure what it's going to be.

They were at the Bradley Center last night to meet the explosive Bucks. Despite a 105-96 loss, they had coach Rick Pitino complimenting them on their passing and shooting. So if passing and shooting were problems in previous games, what was there to complain about last night? 

Red Nabs DJ in Trade for Robey

Maybe Dennis Johnson will show up with an attitude that'll make Sidney Wicks look like John Havlicek. Maybe Rick Robey will prove to be the greatest thing to hit Phoenix since air conditioning.

Then again, maybe the venerable Redhead has done it again. Maybe Celtic fans will be sipping green beer next June, saying, "We knew we were on the right track when Red swapped Rick Robey for Dennis Johnson and a first-round pick last June."


Celtics Down Pistons

Image result for bill fitch celtics

Celtics Improve to 28-9
1981-82 Boston Celtics

The Celtics survived a first-half blitz - including a 40-point second quarter - by the Pistons and posted a 128-120 victory over Detroit last night at the Silverdome. The Celtics had not lost two games in a row all year, but found themselves struggling for momentum in the giant Silverdome. The Pistons trailed after one period, 36-35, but roared to a 75-63 lead at halftime behind the shooting of one John Long.

For 77 Seconds, Ainge Outduels Jordan

April 21, 1986

    Danny Ainge has no illusions. He knows what would happen if he were to
play one-on-one with Michael Jordan. Ainge couldn't help laughing at the idea.
    "I concede right now," Ainge said.
    He didn't give an inch, though, when facing up to the Bulls' Jordan
Sunday afternoon. For at least one stretch, when he wasn't even supposed to be
on the floor, Ainge had beaten Jordan at his own game.


Point Guard Problem

November 9, 1997
The Celtics have a point guard problem. Quite simply, they have too many. What that meant last night was a first for Dana Barros: A DNP-CD in the Celtics' 105-96 loss to the Bucks. 

Rick Pitino raved about Tyus Edney (11 points, 10 assists) after the game. He also was pleased with parts of Chauncey Billups's game, although the coach was incensed when he wanted a timeout after a Milwaukee hoop and Billups instead lost the ball. So with 26 minutes for Edney and 22 for Billups, that left none for Barros.

Any reason?


Jerry Sichting Still Remembered . . . as a Celtic

November 8, 2012

He played 10 years in the NBA, suiting up for five teams along the way. Since then, he has twice been an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves and also worked the bench for the Golden State Warriors and, for three years, Marquette at the college level.

After a brief respite during which he went to his Indiana hometown to serve as interim coach for Martinsville High School, he is now back in the NBA as an assistant for the Washington Wizards.

Sichting Finds New Life as Celtic

November 14, 1985

For five years, Jerry Sichting made the same futile trip.

There were the usual pregame chalk talks, the scrutiny of the opposition's likes and dislikes and then the trip out to the parquet floor for another pounding by the Celtics.


Billups is Disappointing

November 9, 1997
Here's something for Celtics loyalists to ponder: Which will come first, a fan wearing a Raef LaFrentz jersey to the FleetCenter, or Rick Pitino petitioning FIBA to allow his team to participate in the next 22-and-under world championships?

It was, in a roundabout way, refreshing to hear the Ricktator admit that it isn't going to happen this year. Then again, he never did say what "it" was. Maybe he was talking about cheerleaders, dancing girls, and music during the games. Somehow, we don't think so.


The new Pistol?

November 9, 1997
Close your eyes, think back, and the image comes to you - the wiry body, the long hair, the floppy gray socks. One moment he dribbles the ball effortlessly downcourt. The next instant, he flips an impossible, no-look, behind-the-back pass to a teammate, or maybe he pulls up and buries a 25-foot jumper.

What is a Celtics' Type of Ballplayer?

1981-82 Boston Celtics

I began thinking about the term "Celtics' type of ballplayer" yesterday when I heard the news that Kermit Washington had retired in Portland with a set of 30-year-old bad knees. I thought about it because Kermit Washington was a perfect " Celtics ' type of ballplayer."

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