The 1973-1974 Boston Celtics set the bar After Bill Russell and Sam Jones retired, the Celtics had a bit of a championship lull (only by their standards). Tom Heinsohn became the coach, and with Heinsohn coaching and John Havlicek taking the reigns as the team’s star, the Celtics struggled (once again, by their standards) for a few years.
In 1972-1973, the Celtics had the league MVP (Dave Cowens) and the league’s best record in the regular season at a Celtics’ all-time best 68-14, before seeing Havlicek get hurt in the playoffs and championship hopes go down the drain.
In ’73-’74, the Celtics again featured Havlicek and Cowens as the stars, and surrounded them with a great supporting cast consisting of Jo Jo White, Paul Silas, Don Nelson, Don Chaney, and a young Paul Westphal.
The Celtics finished best in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, with a 56-26 record. They placed six players in double digit scoring, and were known for their tenacity down low, provided by Silas and Cowens.
They would go on to defeat the Buffalo Braves, New York Kickerbockers and Milwaukee Bucks to become NBA champions, dispatching the Bucks in a tightly-contested seven-game series.