Robert Parish: From Laboring in Obscurity to All Star?

November 1980


Will Robert Parish be a 1981 All-Star game participant? It's certainly possible, judging from both his performance over the Celtics' first 20 games and the quality of his competition (the Eastern Conference is not exactly overloaded with All-World centers). Moses Malone has gone to the West, where he can battle the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jack Sikma, Dan Issel and Alvan Adams for a berth. Back East, there are such names as Artis Gilmore, Bill Cartwright, Westley Unseld and Darryl Dawkins to contend with.

Parish has performed well for the most part, even heroically on occasion. In the six games prior to last night's confrontation with the Knicks, Parish had averaged 19.5 points per game while shooting .597 (49 for 82) from the floor. These figures were obtained in 27 minutes a game. He had averaged a mere 1 1/2 turnovers a game all season, and since a 4-for-13 performance against Kansas City on Oct. 31, he had also become automatic from the foul line, connecting on 38 of 44 for a sparkling .863 percentage. Moreover, he was coming off a 13-rebound effort against Portland that tied his season's high. He had also supplied the defensive intimidation requested by Bill Fitch. With 21 blocked shots in his last six games, he had moved to third place in the league with 54, an average of 2.7 a game.-

The Celtics have been establishing themselves as a sound defensive club, almost completely without notice. They had yielded a paltry 97.3 ppg in their six November home dates, and the highest opponent tally was 106. Two foes had been held under 90 . . . The Celtics journey to Milwaukee tomorrow night, but there will be no TV. However, there will be TV on Tuesday, when they head to Pontiac, Mich., for a game with the Pistons . . . The Knicks' Michael Ray Richardson had been struggling offensively ever since injuring an ankle a while back. His shooting accuracy had dipped to 42 percent, and he was not penetrating with his old zest. But he and Ray Williams have been very rough on the Celtics over the past two seasons. Both men are too quick and too big for Boston's guards to handle . . . Sly Williams has been writing one of the great stories in the league. Slated for Italian duty as training camp opened, the former Rhode Island star has instead emerged as one of the league's bright young stars. The 6-foot-7 forward arrived in Boston in possession of a 17-ppg scoring average, and he was also leading the team in rebounds. How about that?

1 comment:

FLCeltsFan said...

Looking back on Parish's career, it's hard to believe the change that happened once he got to Boston. It reinforces my conjecture that the system matters and some players just don't fit in some systems and with some coaches.

Kind of like S Van Gundy didn't like Bass and he wasn't given much playing time down there.

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