Pity the poor coach. While the
rest of the world can exult over a smashing, artistically fulfilling
triumph such as the Friday night trampling of the Knicks, he must view
the world through mud-colored glasses.
Bill Fitch is no
Scrooge. He wouldn't be a basketball coach if he weren't first a fan.
He'd like to sit around and rhapsodize about the play of Kevin McHale
(20 points, 10 rebounds), the growing confidence of Robert Parish (17
points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks) the way his team passed the ball (36
assists) and the general splendor of his team's 120-106 triumph over the
Knicks, but he can't.
"I sit here," Fitch said in the locker room, "and all I can think of is a tough game coming up on Sunday. I see the pock marks."
Fitch prepares for tonight's confrontation with Don Nelson's exciting
Bucks at Milwaukee (WBZ, 8:10, no TV), he thinks specifically of
turnovers. "You get more when you're a running team," Fitch
acknowledged, "but we still have too many."
envisions are turnovers leading to many easy Milwaukee baskets, for the
Bucks make the defense-to-offense transition as well as any contemporary
team. The Bucks take full advantage of rival teams' largesse. Play too
loose and easy with them and you may be looking at a "140" on the
Milwaukee Arena scoreboard tonight.
The teams have
played twice, with each club winning on the other guy's floor. The
Celtics exploited the absence of Bob Lanier (who had 29 points in the
Bucks' 113-108 overtime conquest of Atlanta on Friday) for a 110-103
victory back on Oct. 16. The Bucks evened the account on Nov. 7 by
handing the Celtics their only Garden loss of this season, a thrilling
Since that time the Celtics have won
eight of nine, and their front court is becoming the talk of the league.
Milwaukee, meanwhile, has compiled an 11-1 road record, and is cruising
along atop the Central Division with an impressive 19-5 record.
game is one half of an abbreviated Midwest tour that will conclude
Tuesday evening in Pontiac against the Pistons. Boston's 6-4 road record
is among the league's best, and the team has a history of playing well
in Milwaukee. The Tuesday game will be televised, beginning at 8 p.m.