1981-82 Boston Celtics
Remember how they chanted "Looie . . . Looie . . . Looie" whenever Luis Tiant took the mound for the Red Sox at Fenway Park?
Well, Terry Duerod of the Celtics rates the same kind of affection every time he takes the court at the Garden. And when he does make one of his brief appearances, the fans waste very little time giving out with their now familiar chorus of "Due . . . Due . . . Due." It's become contagious.
Even though Duerod was not a major factor last night while the Celtics were humbling the physically tough but inept Chicago Bulls, 115-93, before a capacity 15,320, the fact remains that he was surprisingly pressed into action as early as the start of the second quarter, and scored six points overall while totaling 11 minutes in playing time.
Celtic coach Bill Fitch continues to maneuver Duerod and his two rookie guards - Charles Bradley and Tracy Jackson - while he awaits the return of M. L. Carr, who is sidelined by a hairline fracture of his lower right leg. Carr has been placed on the injured reserve list.
However, Fitch soon will have to cut someone on the present roster when Carr returns. The two who survive will join Celtic backcourt veterans Nate Archibald, Chris Ford and Gerald Henderson. A sure way to annoy Fitch is to ask him to evaluate his present guard situation.
"I just don't want to talk about the guards," Fitch declared. "There's absolutely nothing significant about the fact that I started Duerod before the others. I just wanted to get him in there because he's a shooter, and he might get a quick shot off while Reggie Theus was tiring."
Duerod's second-quarter appearance came while the Celtics were maintaining a steady pace that eventally gave them a 53-46 lead at halftime. Duerod also returned during the last quarter.
Bradley, the No. 1 draft choice, didn't enter the game until late in the third quarter, and Jackson made his only appearance of the night nearly four minutes into the last period when he spelled Bradley.
Bradley did an impressive job during his eight minutes of action. He moved well driving the lane, and had three steals while chalking up seven points.
Jackson, who also played eight minutes, chipped in with a couple of field goals.
It appears that Duerod and Jackson are the battling for the 12th and final spot on the Celtic roster.
"Sure, I feel the insecurity of not knowing what will happen when the next cut comes," said Duerod, "but I can't do anything about it. It's always in the back of my mind, but I try not to think about it.
"The Lord has been good to me thus far," he sighed. "It's unbelievable that a year ago I was with the worst team (Dallas Mavericks), and now I'm with the best team. At Dallas I didn't get to play that much, and I had a weight problem. I did a lot of playing last summer, and I dropped from 187 to 170."
Duerod said that no matter where he has played in the NBA, he always caught the fancy of the crowd.
"I guess it's because of the way I shoot," said Duerod. "It seems to spark both the people and the players."