Author Topic: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’  (Read 723 times)

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1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« on: September 13, 2021, 02:14:09 PM »

Offline Ed Monix

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Lakers going unorthodox and running out a super duper small lineup against the Celtics in the 1966 Finals.

(Boston Globe, April 18, 1966)




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Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 02:20:44 PM »

Online Roy H.

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I guess if you're going to play three guards, it helps if two of them are future Hall of Famers.


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Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2021, 02:36:12 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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So Jerry West playing SF was considered small ball back in those days.  It doesn't say who the other two on the court were at that time but probably two legit bigs.  I think Elgin Baylor was on that team also, he was 6'-5".

Kind of like the Celtics playing Jaylen Brown at SF.  I guess at the time, maybe this was real innovative.

Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2021, 03:21:35 PM »

Offline Moranis

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It isn't like the Lakers or Celtics were all that big back then. 
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Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 05:02:27 PM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Small ball died off for a long time after that though for several decades, I might add.

Speed always kills in sports, it is the speed factor that makes small ball work, not the size of the guys.  Smaller guys often have a quickness and speed advantage in the running game.

Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2021, 08:19:49 PM »

Offline mr. dee

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Russell is an explosive 6'9" center who can guard basically everyone on the floor and is an underrated passer. People who says he won't thrive on the modern NBA doesn't know what they are  talking about.

Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2021, 05:04:57 AM »

Offline Somebody

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Lakers going unorthodox and running out a super duper small lineup against the Celtics in the 1966 Finals.

(Boston Globe, April 18, 1966)




Via @ProHoopsHistory
It's not really as small as people would like to think when you have a 6'4ish guard with a 6'9 wingspan like West - it would be kind of like playing Wade at SF nowadays, which obviously isn't his natural position but also not something that he's completely unable to do. But yeah the 60s were surprisingly modern, you had Russell being an 'analytics nerd' out there with his obsession about efficiency back then.
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Re: 1966 NBA Finals: The Celtics Cause ‘Small Ball’
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2021, 12:06:43 PM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Quote
Russell is an explosive 6'9" center who can guard basically everyone on the floor and is an underrated passer. People who says he won't thrive on the modern NBA doesn't know what they are  talking about.

His will to win would have served him well in any area.   He was a better athlete than Robert Williams, so people thinking he could not just don't know what they are talking about.

Everyone has seen this one where he jumps over a guy on a long layup, notice the speed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWelUNrJUMM


Lazily dunking it leap
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv8HigqOCts

Quote
As Russell pointed out in his tweet, he was a standout track and field athlete, particularly in the high jump. In his graduation year in 1956, Russell was ranked as the 7th best high-jumper in the world. One of his highest jumps occurred at the West Coast Relays, where he achieved a mark of 6 feet 9 1⁄4 inches (2.06 m). At the meet, Russell tied Charlie Dumas, who would later in the year both win gold in the Melbourne Olympics for the United States and become the first human to high-jump 7 feet (2.13 m).

Keep in mind Russell didn’t use the technique you can see today, where the jumpers leap and land on their back (the Fosbury Flop high-jump). We can only speculate what would’ve been his personal best if he did, but we know it would’ve been much better. Russell also competed in the 440 yards (402.3 m) race, which he could complete in 49.6 seconds.

https://www.basketballnetwork.net/many-people-dont-know-bill-russell-was-an-olympic-level-high-jumper/