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Constructing the best NBA team ever, the 1986 Champion Celtics

 Building the 1986 Champion Celtics team was Red Auerbach at his very best. Grabbing Larry Bird as a junior-eligible out of Indiana State in the 1978 NBA draft meant Larry would not be coming to Boston for a year - but the wait proved worth the move.


The Robert Parish/Kevin McHale heist from the Warriors in 1980 stands in the top-3 exploits by the Redhead, in contention with acquiring Bill Russell and Bird. Effectively bringing in Parish and McHale for a guy that earned the name, Joe Barely Cares (Joe Barry Carroll) tells the tale.

Danny Ainge came on board via the 1981 draft, where Red chose him with the 31st overall pick. Dennis Johnson joined the Celtics when he was brought in via a trade of Bird's drinking buddy, Rick Robey, to the Phoenix Suns.

 Scott Wedman, Bill Walton and Jerry Sichting rounded out Boston's "Elite-8". The 6'7" Wedman was already a 2-time All-Star prior to coming to Beantown, and the 6'11" Walton (not really - more like 7'1" - see top photo), likewise, had two All-Star appearances pre-Boston, in addition to being named League MVP in 1978. Thre 6'1" Sichting picked up his sole Title ring with the Celtics in 1986.

In the regular season, the Celtics Elite-8 averaged 112 points per game, while the Fab Four of Bird, Parish, MvcHale and Walton combined to haul down 34 rebounds per contest. Larry, DJ and Danny combined for 18 assists per game

Oh, and that Elite-8 averaged a field goal percentage of 51.6% during the regular season. Amazing! In the post-season, Boston took out the Bulls in three games (3-0) - the Hawks in five (4-1) - the Bucks in four (4-0) - and the Rockets in six (4-2). The Celtics were rated first in the League in Defensive Rating and third in Offensive Rating.

That 1986 crew had it all - size, skills, scoring, defense, rebounding, passing, team play, synergy, seasoning and excitement. In my estimation, no team matches them for best-ever in the history of the NBA.


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