'60s Celtics games on NBA TV

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by Dumars4Ever, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. Dumars4Ever

    Dumars4Ever Bench Warmer

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    I had never watched full coverage of any old Celtics games before last night, though I'd seen highlights in plenty of features and documentaries. They showed parts of playoff games from the '60s last night. Though with the first one I watched, the last game of the '63 Celtics-Lakers finals, they showed the entire first half, but then Andre Aldridge stepped in at the end with a 1-minute summary of what happened the rest of the game! Weird that they only showed the first half. I also watched their '69 Lakers-Celtics 7th game coverage, where they showed the entire 4th quarter.

    The '63 Lakers-Celtics game ended up being the last one of Bob Cousy's career, as the Celtics closed out the Lakers in Game 6 in LA. Watching it was pretty weird, as several of the players (most notably Cousy) were really clearly from an earlier era. They were dribbling around and jacking up a lot of insane shots, like one where Cousy dribbled in from the wing, and pulled up for a one-foot runner off the wrong foot, which of course he missed horribly. But he also had a running across-the-lane hook shot off the glass that was totally sweet. There were also several guys who would basically take set shots from the outside, or just barely jumping at all when they shot. Compared to what we're used to, it was like a crazy run-and-gun game at the gym where everyone is throwing up ridiculous shots. There was hardly even any pick-and-roll.

    The '69 Lakers-Celtics Game 7 (last game of Russell's career) seemed a lot more like what we're used to, with the only difference being a faster pace and quicker shots. It seems like the pro game developed quite a bit just in that short time period--I guess some of those guards and forwards who came up in the early-to-mid '50s, or before (Cousy played in college in the late '40s), were the last breed of the really old-school run-and-gun game-of-HORSE style. Nobody was taking set shots anymore. But it was amusing to see Don Nelson shooting his free throws as jumpers!

    By far the most impressive player in both of those games, from what I saw, was Jerry West. Of course Russell, Baylor, etc. are all-time legends, and Russell in particular was making a lot of great defensive plays in the '69 game, but holy crap, West was from another planet. It looked like he could unquestionably step on the floor in today's NBA and still light it up. Perfect body control, perfect shooting motion, uncanny instinct for finding just the slightest opening to drive to the hole or elevate for a jumper--simply breathtaking. Anyone wondering how he ended up as "The Logo" only needs to watch a bit of this footage to be utterly convinced that he was the be-all-and-end-all. I hope I can see some game footage of The Big O at some point, who I'm sure would be similarly impressive, but his Cincinnati teams never made the Finals, so they don't get shown very much.

    Another weird thing was that before teams got into the bonus on fouls, they would get at least one free throw for every non-shooting foul. I sometimes hear announcers today talking about "one and the bonus"--or maybe I'm remembering it from some years ago--which might be a residue of that. You'd get one FT for non-shooting fouls until the bonus, at which point it became two, i.e. "one and the bonus." The '60s games also had that three-to-make-two business, which I did know about, though it was gone by the time I became an NBA fan. I think the 3-to-make-2 lasted all the way into the early '80s, if I'm not mistaken.

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