CELTIC RECORD GOES UNNOTICED
One of the problems with being five-and-a-half games out of first place is that people tend to forget how well you're playing.
As Philadelphia continues its rendezvous with whatever destiny lies in store for it (such as 65 or more wins), the Celtics are the league's most unnoticed titan. Their 22-8 record happens to be the fourth best record in the league. Aside from Philadelphia only Phoenix (25-8) and Milwaukee (24-9) have better records.
In fact, the Celtics enter tonight's game with the Chicago Bulls (WBZ, 7:10) only one game behind their 30-game pace of a year ago. That 23-7 record was viewed in an entirely different light, because the club was coming off a 29-53 season the year before. This 22-8 record, by contrast, seems quite routine. Be assured that had someone told Bil Fitch he would lose M.L. Carr after seven games and that there would be no significant additions to the backcourt, he would have been very pleased to go 18-5 in the first 23 post- Carr games.
Tonight's game is a rematch between two of the league's tallest teams. Boston stands 3-0 against this conference rival, but none of the triumphs has come easy. Last Saturday's 106-95 victory coincided with a sensational (35- point, 20-rebound) performance by Larry Bird, and it wasn't secured until the last six minutes. The previous games between the two were likewise decided late.
The Celtics will be at home Friday against Houston (the only Rocket visit of the season) and will head to Richfield, Ohio, on Saturday in the hopes of avenging an embarrassing 113-98 setback against the Cavaliers in the Coliseum last month.