- Boston Celtics
- December 13, 2018
Founded in 1946 by Walter Brown, the Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They compete in the NBA (National Basketball Association) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and are one of the only eight teams that survived the first ten years of the league. Their home games are played at the TD Garden, which they share with the NHL’s Boston Bruins. With 17 championships won, they are the most successful franchise in the NBA’s history.
The Boston Celtics’ dynasty was not an overnight success, as they had a losing record for the first four seasons. This prompted the hiring of coach Red Auerbach in 1950, under whom the team won their first title in the 1956 – 1957 season after defeating the St. Louis Hawks in a much contested final series. The Celtics were going to later shatter all records between 1958 and 1966, winning eight consecutive NBA titles, and another two in the 1967 – 1968 and 1968 – 1969 seasons.
The postwar era saw an increase in the number of television sets in the USA, which helped grow the sport’s national profile. It also helped turn the legendary lineup of the Boston Celtics into true icons for the NBA fans. Many players of the Celtics were voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) numerous times over the course of the years, with names like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Ed Macauley, Tom Heinsohn and Frank Ramsey defining a path for the future of the NBA. A little later, Sam Jones, John Havlicek and K.C. Jones were walking that same path under the green and white colors of the Boston team.
Rivalry breeds performance
The Boston Celtics – Los Angeles Lakers rivalry has been called the best in the NBA. One reason is that they are the two most established franchises in the history of basketball. The two giants have faced each-other in the NBA finals a record of twelve times, starting with the first 1959 Finals in which the Celtics swept the Lakers four to nothing. It was also the start of the consecutive eight championships won by the Celtics, and in six of those finals they faced the Lakers.
Those series cemented a rivalry that would last decades and reach its peak in 1978, when the Celtics acquired one of the greatest players to ever grace the NBA and one of the most beloved Celtic players of all times, the legendary forward sharpshooter Larry Bird. The supremacy battle between the Lakers led by another icon of the NBA, Magic Johnson, and Bird’s Celtics, took the league’s popularity to new heights. In the 1980s the Boston Celtics played five more NBA finals and won three of them.
In 1995-1996 season, the Boston Celtics began their first lengthy play-off drought. They struggled for six straight years, but made one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the NBA. In 2008, the “Celts” had a 42-win improvement, ending the season with the league’s best record. They reached the finals, where they faced and defeated their renowned rivals, the LA Lakers.
The key to this big return was knows as the new “Big Three” that was formed from all-star Paul Pierce and two off-season additions: Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, after the original “Big Three” featuring Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale who helped the Boston Celtics win the 1981, 1984 and 1986 championships.
The climb back
After the success of 2008, the Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens began a restoration process of the team’s former glory by targeting younger players. The rebuilding paid off, as the Celtics reached the playoffs in 2015.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were added to the roster in the 2017 off-season, further strengthening the team, but they both suffered injuries early in the season. The Celtics managed to finish second in the Eastern Conference standings, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers after seven games and being eliminated from the NBA playoffs.
Key Moment San Antonio scored on six straight possessions midway through the third quarter to take control of Sunday’s matchup with the Celtics. Boston had been building momentum prior to that run, but after it, the Spurs never relinquished control. The Celtics trailed by as many as 12 points during the first half and trailedREAD MORE
Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference. BRAD STEVENS RE: Meeting with the team postgame for longer than usual: “I listened. I talked. And you know, there’s frustration in there but we got beat by a good team and I don’t – ultimately, we don’t need to ride the emotionalREAD MORE
BOSTON – It’s easy for a team to get caught up in the negative emotions of a losing streak, especially when it’s trying to establish a rhythm before heading into the Playoffs. The Boston Celtics, despite being in the midst of a difficult stretch, are not that type of team. After dropping their fourth straightREAD MORE
Sunday, March 24 – Spurs at Celtics Pregame – Monroe Returns, Hopes to Help Prepare C’s for Playoffs BOSTON – His stay in Boston last spring was brief, but Greg Monroe’s veteran presence was one that Brad Stevens believed had a great impact on the young, 2017-18 Celtics roster. That’s why the C’s coach was elatedREAD MORE
CHARLOTTE – The Boston Celtics went into Saturday night’s matchup in Charlotte knowing that without three rotation players, they’d have to dig extra deep. And for 40 minutes, they did. Multiple players stepped up to fill the voids of Aron Baynes (sprained left ankle), Gordon Hayward (in the NBA’s concussion protocol) and Al Horford (leftREAD MORE
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