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1985-86 Boston Celtics: Sweet Sixteen Part 1/7

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Uploaded on Dec 27, 2009

If there was any doubt that Larry Bird deserved to be ranked among the greatest players in basketball history, he dispelled it with a masterful 1985-86 season. Bird did everything that year, finishing fourth in the league in points (25.8 ppg), seventh in rebounds (9.8 rpg), and ninth in steals (2.02 per game). He led the league in free throw percentage (.896) and finished fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.423). He also led his team in assists with 6.8 per game. Bird's stellar numbers earned him a third consecutive MVP Award. Only two other players had claimed Most Valuable Player honors three years running: Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

Bird wasn't the only Boston player to have a good year. Kevin McHale averaged 21.3 points, and the Celtics got a good performance out of Bill Walton, newly acquired from the Clippers, who resurrected an injury-plagued career by appearing in 80 games and contributing 7.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Walton earned the NBA Sixth Man Award at season's end. Boston rode roughshod over the league, then lost only one game in the first three rounds of the playoffs. Los Angeles had been stunned by Houston in the Western Conference Finals, so the Celtics found themselves facing the Rockets in the 1986 NBA Finals. Despite Houston's "Twin Towers," Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, Boston took the series in six games. It was the club's 16th NBA title.

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