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7.20.2009

All-Star Win was a Celtic Team Effort

1981-82 Boston Celtics

It's common sense, really. Tom Heinsohn used to do it when he coached the East All-Stars in the '70s. When he really needed to get things done, he would insert Dave Cowens, John Havlicek and Jo Jo White in the game, along with, say, Dave DeBusschere and Walt Frazier. You can't beat common unit experience.

Bill Fitch did the same thing yesterday in the 1982 All-Star game. Of 30 points scored in the final quarter by the victorious East squad, 25 were produced by the Celtics' trio of Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Tiny Archibald, including 12 by game MVP Bird. With Archibald at the throttle, the East scored key baskets by running a Celtic pick-down play for Bird. Explained Tiny, "With three of us in there, it was very obvious I was going to my guys. That's the side of the floor I'm going to, and the other two guys can stand on the other side holding hands."-

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attributed his horrendous two-point (1-for-10), three- rebound effort to jet lag, saying that for him, the game had begun at 10 a.m., body time. However, the time zone change didn't appear to affect either of his Los Angeles teammates, Norm Nixon or Magic Johnson, who combined for 30 points and nine assists . . . Key undersung heroes for the East were Michael Ray Richardson (10 points, 4 assists) and rookie Buck Williams (10 rebounds in 22 minutes) . . . Oh, another Kareem note. The Big Fella left his goggles back at the hotel . . . Fitch proved to be a man of his word. He wasn't crazy about being given an Archibald-Isiah Thomas starting backcourt when he had to find someone to guard 6-foot-8 George Gervin, and on Saturday, he promised he would substitute Sidney Moncrief for Archibald early. Sure enough, Gervin posted Archibald on the first West possession for two points, and 54 seconds into the game, Fitch did replace Archibald with Moncrief, as advertised.-

Bird's MVP Award was the second in a row for a Celtic, since Archibald won it last year. Parish has been in two All-Star games and has been a serious MVP candidate each time. The MVP voting: Bird 86, Parish 39, Gus Williams 18, Julius Erving 8, Richardson 5 and Kelly Tripucka 1

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