The Bill Walton Effect

There are many things I remember about the 1985-86 Boston Celtics' bench. Jerry Sichting shooting .570 from the floor and .924 from the stripe. The Celtics' posting a 15-3 record with Scott Wedman filling in for an injured Kevin McHale, and more than holding his own. Rick Carlisle coming up big against the Lakers in the Forum. David Thirdkill making the most of his minutes. And Bill Walton totally dominating Kareem in two games against the Fakers that season.

But the most vivid memory I have is the look on the faces of opponents when Bill Walton got up off the bench and walked over to the scorer's table. You could see the heads and shoulders of opposing players slump. Others cursed in disgust. Think Kobe Bryant after Paul Pierce hit his second three in a row during game 1 of the NBA Finals (I absolutely love this vid. Kobe's entire body slumps. Also note that right before the second three, PJ Brown rejects Kobe!).

Now let's turn our attention to this year.

If you read any Sixers' blogs, you'll find that their fans were congratulating themselves for playing our starters close in the first quarter of last night's game. Bravo. But then the Celtics' reserves came in, and the momentum of the game changed--immediately. This is par for the course over the first 5 games of the 2009-10 NBA season. If this continues, it won't be long before the sight of Celtics' reserves standing up and moving over to the scorer's table will strike fear in every opponent Boston faces the rest of the year.

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