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Regular-season record means very little

 Quick question! What Celtics team holds the team's record for most wins in the regular season? The answer is - the 1972-73 crew led by John Havlicek, Dave Cowens and JoJo White. The Green won 68 games in that campaign.

But that team did not win the Title that year. Why? Primarily because Hondo Havlicek suffered a severe right arm injury in Game-3 of the Eastern Finals versus the New York Knicks. He sat for Game-4 and returned for games five and six - both wins for Boston.

John played the role of one-armed man for the final three games of the series, with the Knicks moving on to the Finals and winning the 1973 Championship.

Now to the present. The Celtics have a 57-16 record with nine games to play. Their nearest competitor is the Minnesota Timberwolves at 51-22. Home court is likely for the entire playoffs, but what does that mean?

"Very little" is the correct answer. Injuries - illness - poor game or series by a key Celtics player - an MVP-type performance by an opposing player. In short -= anything can happen in the post-season.

How about Don Nelson's "look what I found" play in the final two minutes of Game-7 versus the Lakers in 1969. Boston led by only one point when a loose ball was knocked into Nellie's hands. He let it fly - just beating the clock - and the ball bounced straight up from the hoop and fell in. That sealed the win - and Title - for Boston. So I will add "luck" - both good and bad - to factors that determine the final outcome of an NBA season.


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