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NBA Preseason: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
Oct 4 2016
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The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Their 16 NBA championships are the most for any NBA franchise.The Celtics were formed in 1946 as a team in the Basketball Association of America, and became part of the National Basketball Association after the merger of the BAA and the National Basketball League to form the NBA in the fall of 1949. The Celtics struggled during their early years, but the hiring of Coach Red Auerbach changed their fortunes. One of the first major players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach initially refused to draft. Cousy eventually became the property of the Chicago Stags. When that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy was acquired by the Celtics in a dispersal draft. He became a huge part of the Celtics' success and eventually became good friends with his new coach.
The Boston Celtics have a long-standing rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, which is widely regarded as the league's greatest rivalry, as both faced each other 10 times in the NBA Finals, and won a combined 30 NBA championships. In the 1960s, the Celtics faced and defeated the Lakers six times in the NBA Finals, despite the efforts of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The rivalry was renewed in the 1980s, when the Lakers and Celtics won 8 of the 9 NBA Championships awarded from 1980-1988, and played each other in the NBA Finals on 3 occasions. The rivalry cooled off as the Celtics slipped into mediocrity in the mid and late-90s.In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics long-standing rivals have been the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics-Sixers rivalry in the 1980s was intense personal confrontations between Larry Bird and Erving.
In the 1980s another fierce rivalry formed between the Celtics and the Detroit Pistons. The two franchises met in the playoffs 5 times between 1985 and 1991, and more than once there was a physical confrontation between a Celtic and Detroit's Bill Laimbeer. Their rivalry with the Lakers, cooled in the 1990s as the Celtics slid into a long decline.Boston Arena (1946) is the site of the first Celtics game where the parquet floor was originally installed. Served as a secondary venue during the franchise's early years, it is now known as Northeastern University's Matthews Arena. Boston Garden (1946-1995) and Hartford Civic Center (1975-1995) are also home arenas, which are occasionally used. TD Banknorth Garden was formerly the Fleet Center. (1995-present)
1970 was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949-50 season. However, with Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, and Jo Jo White, the Celtics soon became dominant again. After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1972, the Celtics regrouped and came out determined in 1973 and posted an excellent 68-14 regular season record. But the season ended in disappointment, as they were upset in 7 games by the New York Knicks in the Conference Finals. The Celtics rebounded the next year, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals in 1974 for their 10th NBA Championship. In 1976 the team won yet another championship, defeating the Phoenix Suns in 6 games.
The Bird years (1979-1992)
Thanks to a trade and their poor record in 1977-78, the Celtics owned two of the top eight picks in the 1978 NBA Draft. Since he had two draft choices, Auerbach took a risk and selected junior Larry Bird of Indiana State with the 6th pick knowing that Bird would elect to remain in college for his senior year. The Celtics retained his rights for one year and Auerbach believed that Bird's potential would make him worth the wait. Auerbach also felt that when the college season ended the Celtics would have a great chance to sign Bird. Auerbach was right; Bird signed soon after leading Indiana State to the NCAA Championship game, where they fell to a Michigan State University team.
At the time of Bird's retirement former Celtics guard Chris Ford was the coach of the Celtics. Boston's Northeastern University's 26-year old Reggie Lewis was seen as Bird's successor and franchise player for the Celtics. In Bird's final season it was Lewis who led the team in scoring, and he made his first appearance in the 1992 All-Star Game. Lewis, a small forward, fainted during a 1993 first round playoff matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. It was later revealed that Lewis had heart problems, yet he cleared himself for a comeback. He died of a heart attack after participating in a pickup basketball game during the off season. The Celtics honored his memory during the following season by retiring his number 35.
Following the resignation of Rick Pitino, the Celtics improved greatly under Coach Jim O'Brien. Paul Pierce matured into an NBA star and was ably complemented by Antoine Walker, along with the other role players acquired over the years. The team finished the season going 24-24 under O'Brien and following the 2000-01 season O'Brien was given the job of head coach on a permanent basis. As a result of numerous trades, the Celtics had three picks in the 2001 NBA Draft, a luxury that seemed to set the franchise up well for the long term. General Manager Chris Wallace used the picks on Joe Johnson, Joe Forte and Kedrick Brown.
The 2006-07 season was a gloomy one for the franchise. The season began with the death of Red Auerbach at the age of 89. Auerbach was one of the few remaining people who had been a part of the NBA since its inception in 1946. The Celtics went 2-22 from late December 2006 through early February 2007 after losing Paul Pierce to injury, the result of a stress reaction in his left foot. At first, the Celtics received a much needed boost from guard Tony Allen but he tore his ACL on a dunk attempt in a game vs. the Indiana Pacers on January 10, 2007.
In any sport played around the world, be it baseball or football, there comes a team that absolutely dominates the sport and sets itself apart from others as the most legendary team ever to grace the sport with their presence. For the glorious sport of basketball, that team is the Boston Celtics. Established in 1946, the team hails from the city of Boston in Massachusetts. The Celtics are widely regarded as the most successful franchise in the National Basketball Association. Statistically, it outnumbers all other teams in terms of the success it has achieved over its history in the sport. It has won the NBA Champions a record seventeen times, more than any other team in the sport and one more than its closest rival; the LA Lakers, with the most recent one coming in 2008. It also has a total of twenty one Conference Titles to its name with their most recent success coming in 2010. The team has also won the Division Title on twenty different occasions with their most recent title coming in the 2011 season. The Boston Celtics holds the record for the longest championship winning streak with a total of eight consecutive titles; 1959 to 1966. The team also holds the record for the most NBA Most Valuable Player award, with a record total of ten. The Celtics are also known to have one of the most passionate fans in the sport. Considering the illustrious history of the team, seeing them live would be a dream for any of their fans. It is a dream that you can fulfill by buying your Boston Celtics Tickets today and ensuring you will be there to witness this legendary team in the upcoming season.
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