Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who Would Guard Kevin McHale?

One great by product of your local team winning the NBa Championship is that you get treated to great articles ranking your team amongst the all time greats. In today's Boston Globe we were treated to an article by the legendary Bob Ryan ranking this Celtic team the second greatest Celtic team of all time. For those that might not be familiar with the great history of the Boston Celtics, this is not as easy as picking the top Arizona Diamondback teams of all time.

The current team was ranked behind the 1985-86 team. That team was IMO the greatest team ever assembled. But how would this team match up with the greatest of all time. Let's look at the matchups:

Point guard
Dennis Johnson 86 vs Rajon Rondo 08
Dennis was a lot slower and older than Rondo and also had difficulties hitting outside shots. Rondo could use his speed to make DJ work, but DJ was one of the most clutch players in the league. Rondo has the potential to be better than DJ but today he is not. Advantage DJ.

Danny Ainge 86 vs Ray Allen 08
This is the best match up for the 08 team. I would expect DJ to occasionally guard Allen and Ainge to guard Rondo, but neither could play straight up defense against Allen. Advantage Allen.

Larry Bird 86 vs Paul Pierce 86
Wow! This would be a problem match up for both defenders. Bird would post up Pierce and bury him. Then take him outside and bury jumpers on him. Paul is a good defender but this is a tough match up for him. On the other hand Pierce is a tough match up for Legend. Paul is too quick for Larry and can get into the lane for layups and intermediate jumpers. An epic match up, but Bird brings too much size and court presence to be denied. Advantage Bird, but not by as much as you would think.

Robert Parrish 86 vs Kevin Garnett 08
Although Parrish is a true center, it is to intriguing not too match these guys against each other. Two guys that have completely different personalities and two very similar game. Two guys that can play in or out, two good passers, rebounders, and defenders. Advantage to KG on the basis of his better defense, but not by much.

Kevin McHale 86 vs Kendrick Perkins 08
This is the only one sided matchup. Kevin would have Perk fouled out in the first quarter. PJ would do better, but again he would wind up committing a lot of fouls. It might be tempting for Doc to match up KG on him, but his former boss would be a tough match up. McHale would use KGs aggression against him with all the fakes and moves, again drawing a lot of fouls.

Bench 86 vs bench 08
when you can bring Bill Walton in off the bench, you have to have an edge. Posey is a great role player as are Brown, House, & Powe but Walton, Wedman, Sicting, Carlisle, and Vincent comprise one of the best benches in history. Advantage 86.

KC Jones 86 vs Doc Rivers 08
Doc Rivers has often been called the KC Jones of this team. I think that was a complement, but I think that Doc is a better coach, no knock on KC. Doc gets the advantage slightly.

The series, the 86 team was 50 and 1 at the garden, they take the first 2 games in the old garden on that alone. The 08 team goes next door to TD BN Fleet Shawmut Garden and wins games 3 and 5 but lose gm 4 in an all time 2ot classic. In game 6, the 86 team closes it out with a tough but convincing 9 point win at the old Garden. DJ essentially closes down a late rally with a steal and a fast break lay up as Johnny Most goes wild.

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