1961-1962 Boston Celtics: Championship #5

Friday, June 26, 2009

The 1961-1962 Boston Celtics were known as the best defensive team in the league. In an era defined by quick shots, porous defense and extremely fast pace, the Celtics held teams to and NBA-low 111.9 points per game while averaging 121.1 ppg themselves.

On their way to the first 60-win season in franchise history (their final regular season record was 60-20), the 1961-1962 Boston Celtics emphasized team play and a team-wide selfless attitude.

Sam Jones cracked the starting five in 1961-1962, along with Frank Ramsey, Bob Cousy , Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell. All the starters averaged at least 15 points per game, and Tom “Satch” Sanders came off the bench to average 11.3 points.

Bill Russell was once again named the MVP, averaging 18.9 points and 23.6 rebounds per game. Despite the gaudy numbers, Russell was named MVP more for the effect he had on his teammates. His great defense, outstanding rebounding and unselfish play lifted his teammates and allowed the team to be greater than the sum of its parts.

In the 1961-1962 playoffs, the Boston Celtics struggled past Wilt Chamberlain’s Philadelphia Warriors, four games to three, and met the recently relocated Los Angeles Lakers (previously located in Minneapolis). Against the Lakers, the 1961-1962 Boston Celtics prevailed in a hotly contested series, winning four games to three and giving the organization its fourth straight NBA championship.


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