1960-1961 Boston Celtics: Championship #4

Friday, June 26, 2009

The 1960-1961 Boston Celtics won 57 games, compared to 22 losses, to finish first in the NBA’s Eastern Division. They played at a breakneck pace, averaging 119.7 points per game and winning their third straight NBA championship.

Led by the starting five of Bob Cousy , Bill Sharman, Tom Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey and Bill Russell , the 1960-1961 Celtics had six players average at least 15 ppg (Sam Jones was the other). They were known for their balanced scoring attack, fast break, and vaunted interior defense.

In the 1960-1961 playoffs, the Boston Celtics handily beat the Syracuse Nationals in the Eastern Division Finals to earn the right to play the St. Louis Hawks in the NBA Finals. Once again, the Celtics demonstrated their superiority, winning the Finals’ series 4-1.

1960-1961 also marked Bill Russell’s first MVP season. The award was clearly attributed to the ability he had to raise his teammates play and win basketball games, as Wilt Chamberlain had better statistics more or less all the way across the board, except the one stat that mattered the most: championships - Russell and the 1960-1961 Celtics won their third straight NBA title.


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