For more than 60 years, the fundamental rivalry of certain clubs has been the engine of league progress, allowing the NBA to lure millions of fans around the world with merciless battles between legendary brands.
“Boston” against “Philadelphia”
Balance: 11 series in the playoffs (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2002), 7-4 in favor of Boston.
Protagonists: Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird vs. Julius Irving.
It’s the biggest league rivalry. To begin with, before moving to California, the Warriors were quartered in Philadelphia: in 1960 and 1962, the Celts beat the “warriors” in the finals of the Eastern Division. At the same time, perhaps the largest personal confrontation of the NBA was born: Bill Russell against Wilt Chamberlain. In 1964, when the Warriors already represented San Francisco, the clubs met in the Final. “Boston” was again stronger. The largest city of Pennsylvania did not survive for long without basketball: in 1963, Syracuse National, who beat the Celts in the playoffs 7 times (3 wins), moved to Philadelphia. Moreover, after the 1965th Star Weekend, they bartered Chamberlain, returning the main intrigue to the one who received a second wind of opposition. In the same year, in the finals of the East, an epic battle took place with the famous interception of Havlicek in the seventh meeting. The Sixers won the only victory over the enemy in the swinging decade in 1967 – it also opened the way to the first title for the team and their dominant center.
The next eruption occurred in the first half of the 80s. “76th” overcame a protracted crisis, in 1977, having bought the contract of Julius Irving from the Nets. The Pennsylvania made a bid for primacy in the conference, but the following year Boston drafted Larry Byrd. In 1981 and 1982, old rivals again revealed the champion of the East. In the course of both series, the Sixers created a serious start (3-1). In the first case, the Boston players heroically won the fifth, sixth and seventh matches with a total difference of “+4” and passed on. A year later, “Fili” again lost the advantage, but gathered and put on the sights of competitors in match number seven. Despite the fact that the confrontation was fierce (in two and a half years the famous brawl will happen), the Celtics fans behaved themselves to the highest degree worthily. 26 seconds before the siren, when the outcome of the decisive match (the winner had to fight the Lakers) did not cause doubts, Boston Garden exploded with the unanimous Beat LA – many witnesses call this impulse one of their favorite moments in the history of sports. Since then, chanting has become the trademark of Boston fans.
In the US, the confrontation “Celtics” and “Sixers” is considered the second most important. Knowing the history of the relationship of teams from Beantown and the City of brotherly love, you are unlikely to challenge this state of affairs.
“Boston” against “Detroit”
Balance: 7 episodes in the playoffs (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2008), 4-3 in favor of Boston.
Protagonists: Larry Bird vs Isaayi Thomas, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish vs Joe Dumars and Bill Leimbier.
On the way of almost every champion Dynasty there was a mighty opponent, overcoming of which opened a narrow path to the cherished goal. For Detroit Chuck Daley, Boston has become such an opponent – the best team of the East of the 80s, who played four times in the Finals in the middle of the decade. While the Celtics were sorting out their relationship with the Lakers, the Michigan people were gathering and training the Bad Boys grouping, consolidating themselves as a regular participant in the playoffs. And if at the first meeting with the “Celts” there was no talk of serious resistance, then in the famous final series of the Eastern Conference in 1987, the “pistons” made it clear that they were ready for big things. In the first four matches, the opponents excelled twice in their own court and fought hard. The most important fifth game became NBA classics. Five seconds before the end of “Detroit” led 107: 106 and entered the ball from the side. After a moment, it became clear what Byrd meant when he said: “If there is even a little time, it means there is a chance.” Larry became the author of one of the canonical interceptions of the playoffs, which brought the Celtics victory in the key duel of the series.
And yet the time of domination of the “Celts” in the conference came to an end. The cruelest style proposed by the Michigan people was not very suitable for the aging Boston stars. Exactly one year later, the Bad Boys took revenge, overcoming the most serious obstacle to the approval of the NBA elite. In 1989 and 1991, they repeated and consolidated their success. The rivalry is also marked by personal hostility to Byrd and Thomas and, in particular, the invective Ayzeyi, who said that, if Larry were not white, he would not have achieved his cult status. The Celtic forward clearly did not support this view: in 2003, he took the presidency of basketball operations in Indiana and first of all replaced the long-time enemy from Motown with Rick Carlisle.
Bulls VS Celtics: “Celtics” crushed on the road “Bulls” with a difference of 56 points
As part of the NBA regular season, the Boston Celtics Club at the United Center in Chicago met with the Bulls. The match ended in a crushing defeat of the hosts 77: 133. Thus, the “Celts” repeated the historical record of the NBA by the highest point’s difference (+56) in the winning away meeting. The guests were scored by Jaylen Brown, who collected 23 points on the court in 28 minutes. Previously, the record belonged to “Seattle”, which in 1986 defeated “Houston” with a score of 136: 80. It is worth noting that after the fiasco in the match against the “Boston” players, “Chicago” held a closed two-hour meeting instead of training. The meeting was initiated by defender Zack Lavin and light forward Justin Holiday.
One of the reasons for the event was the basketball players’ dissatisfaction with the experiments that the new head coach Jim Boylan is introducing. In particular, he sends the starting five players to the reserve for a long time, conducts lengthy trainings and severely criticizes the team for insufficient dedication. In this case, Boylan enjoys the full support of the leadership of “Chicago” in the faces of President John Paxon and General Manager Gary Foreman.
Celtics VS Heat: Kairi Clutch and 20 Teutum Points
Curious stories always happen between these teams when the Heath meets Celtics. Boston has won seven previous matches against Miami, including the last four games in their arena. Last season, the series between them ended with a score of 4 – 0. In this offseason, Boston beat Miami again, signing Gordon Hayward – goal # 1 for Heath (among free agents). However, Hayward broke his leg and dropped out before the end of the season. Brad Stevens said that Hayward will return to the Celtics entourage next week and will take an active part in the team’s life as a mentor. “We are going to give him different tasks, on which we work with the whole team,” Stevens said. “We want him to work with our newcomers and become a kind of mentor for them.” His departure was expected. For 5 seasons in Boston, he scored 9.5 points; in the last season, compared with the previous one, slightly increased the number of rebounds – from 4.8 to 6.5; the number of gears also increased to 3.0 (career-high). Due to the injury of Whiteside injuring his knee, Olinik’s playing time increased. Miami President Heath Pet Riley said it was too early to evaluate his team. “Let’s wait for Whiteside’s return,” Riley said. “This injury disappointed us a little.” Boston also has injury problems – Hayward and Marcus Morris. Morris, who has never played this season, will most likely return as early as next week.
Aaron Bains also suffered a bruise – a bruise of his right elbow. He played in all 5 matches, twice starting at the start, his appearance in today’s match was in question, but he still played. Curious was the confrontation of Kairi Irving (20.8 points, 6.2 assists) and Goran Dragić (19.8 points, 4.0 assists). Under the ring, Miami relied on Olinik, James Johnson (13.5 points, 6 rebounds) and rookie Bade Adebayo. At the perimeter of Miami, the talented Josh Richardson, experienced Dion Weiters, excellent defender Justis Winslow, shooter Wayne Ellington, and combo guard Tyler Johnson.
Marcus Smart and Terry Rosier are two young, talented and strong defenders, who together gain 21 points on average per game. The absence of such players as Hayward and Whiteside, suggests the idea of playing as a small five and attacking a lot from beyond the arc. Stevens and Spoelstra – both do not particularly pay attention to the position of the players, so the player in their teams can score not only from under the ring.