Newcomers McHale and Parish Propel C's to Win

November 1980

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."

As 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."

What he 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 102-101 decision.

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.

This 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.


FLCeltsFan said...

Good old Nellieball Rest in peace. I think successful coaches have to think ahead to the next game as soon as the last one is over. That's why they are successful. :)

FLCeltsFan said...

Loving these old reports and articles.

Lex said...

Thanks, FCF.

Hope you are having a good weekend

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