1981-82 Boston Celtics
If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is again to score 42 points against the Celtics this season, he'll have to work much harder than he did in amassing that total on Monday evening in the Lakers' 111-102 win at the Forum.
"We didn't put any pressure on him in the form of team defense, and we didn't pressure the passer, either," Celtic coach Bill Fitch said. "He had too many easy shots. You can bet we'd play him differently in the regular season, or in the playoffs."
Kareem made 15 field goals, and approximately 10 of them came on teeny-weeny hooks from no farther than six feet.
With both M.L. Carr (badly bruised lower right leg) and Chris Ford (hyperextended left knee) sidelined for the duration of the exhibition season, Fitch has had to revamp his backcourt. Rookie Charles Bradley has started the last two games, logging 18 and 17 minutes, respectively, while demonstrating that he is an aggressive defensive player and a superb lane runner on the fast break. He bumped Magic Johnson around pretty well ("He puts his pants on one leg at a time, the way I do," said Bradley).
Others getting a look at the off-guard spot are second-round pick Tracy Jackson, veteran Terry Duerod and free agent Jim Brandon. The latter two did not see action against Los Angeles, and will undoubtedly get some playing time against Seattle tomorrow evening . . . Following the loss to the Lakers, Fitch said that Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Cedric Maxwell, Kevin McHale and Tiny Archibald are the only people "mentally ready" for the start of the season at this point . . . Fitch said Bird, who played 36 minutes (18 points, 12 rebounds) in the Forum, will not play that many minutes in any subsequent exhibition game until the last one (Denver, at Springfield on Oct. 26) . . . The Celtics, who experienced late regular-season difficulty from the free-throw line in '80-81, shot a dismal 59 percent (22 for 37) against LA . . . Gerry Henderson is going through a stretch of not making layups (1 for 8 in LA)