Banner #12

Celtics top Bucks in NBA Finals – Tommy’s first (coaching) ring

Tommy Heinsohn 1974 copyright Boston Herald

Today, as the Celtics prepare to honor Paul Pierce, we also remember some of the great banners past. Including: Tom Heinsohn, Jo Jo White, and the 1974 Boston Celtics. NBA Champs, and the hoisters of Banner #12.

Here are some series highlights from our “I remember Ed McCauley” correspondent.

Despite being the #1 seed in the east that year, ahem, the Celtics were underdogs against what some considered the emerging GOAT, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Jabbar, of course, played alongside an aging but wiley Oscar Robertson, and an under-rated Bobby Dandridge.

Kareem Abdul-Goliath

1974 nba finals - kareem jabbar - dave cowens - photo credit: UPI - Celtics - Milwaukee BucksTommy recalls the team’s elation and underdog status in an excellent years-later piece by a Milwaukee journalist that includes reminiscences from both teams:

“We were David and they were Goliath,” Tommy recalled.

“You just can’t get more satisfying.”

John Havlicek was the series MVP, but in many ways you could have given a co-MVP to Big Red, Dave Cowens.

Cowens contained Jabbar and played — well, you have to just go watch him. But he played like Marcus Smart on PED’s with a few extra inches and a reliable outside shot.

Cowens drove Jabbar crazy, and, imho, outplayed him…. taking nothing from Jabbar’s greatness at scoring.

Meanwhile White — who would win finals MVP two years later — was steady throughout the series, and came up big in a Game 5 in in Milwaukee.

White scored 18 points and dished out 5 assists. He was also a thorn in the side of Robertson all day.

Game 7 video


Sadly, most of the game tapes (from CBS) are lost.

But luckily, game 7’s Celtic victory was saved, and appears nearby.

Note that Red Auerbach, was still running the show for the Celtics, and hopefully his spirit will be present on Paul Pierce night.

Celtic fans, if you’re in town for the contest, there’s a group that may meet up at one of Red’s fave restaurants after the game. Win or lose.

Cigars are hoped for, but optional.

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Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff

Celtics247 staff is composed of fans, journalists, disbarred attorneys, people laid off by ESPN, and other disreputable types who spend too much time watching basketball -- and loving it. If you'd like to join our merry band, you can post a comment, tweet us at @Celts247, or email us (see the contact page.) The only requirement is that you bleed green.
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