1976–77 Boston Celtics season

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1976–77 Boston Celtics season
Head coachTom Heinsohn
General managerRed Auerbach
ArenaBoston Garden
Hartford Civic Center
Results
Record44–38 (.537)
PlaceDivision: 2nd (Atlantic)
Conference: 4th (Eastern)
Playoff finishEast Semifinals
(Lost to 76ers 3–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionWBZ-TV
RadioWBZ
< 1975–76 1977–78 >

The 1976–77 Boston Celtics season was the 31st season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Even though the Celtics were the defending NBA champions, they were an aging team in transition. 35-year-old Don Nelson retired as a player, but the key contributors left were aging, namely John Havlicek (age 36), Jo Jo White (31), and Paul Silas (33). The Celtics took steps to get younger in the frontcourt by sending Silas to the Denver Nuggets in a three-way that ended up bringing Detroit Pistons forward Curtis Rowe. The Celtics also traded a first-round draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Sidney Wicks. Wicks and Rowe would provide athleticism, the Celtics felt, and, more importantly, allow John Havlicek to return to a sixth-man role and not log as many minutes as in the past.

Draft picks[edit]

The Celtics picked 16th in the 1976 NBA draft and selected Norm Cook, a 6–8, 210-lb. junior-eligible forward from the University of Kansas. Cook, however, didn't contribute much, playing in only 25 games and averaging 2.5 points per game.[1]

Roster[edit]

Boston Celtics roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
C 34 United States Ard, Jim 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Cincinnati
F 31 United States Boswell, Tom 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) South Carolina
F 52 United States Cook, Norm 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Kansas
F/C 18 United States Cowens, Dave 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Florida State
G/F 17 United States Havlicek, John 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 203 lb (92 kg) Ohio State
F/C 33 United States Kuberski, Steve 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Bradley
F 41 United States Rowe, Curtis 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) UCLA
F 20 United States Saunders, Fred 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Syracuse
G 11 United States Scott, Charlie 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 175 lb (79 kg) North Carolina
G 27 United States Stacom, Kevin 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Providence
G 10 United States White, Jo Jo 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Kansas
F 12 United States Wicks, Sidney 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) UCLA
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Regular season[edit]

The Celtics started the season 4-0 (with their first two games entering overtime, as well having another overtime game during their sixth game of the season), but Wicks and Rowe had trouble fitting in with Celtic coach Tom Heinsohn's system, and the team played .500 ball for most of the season. Charlie Scott suffered a broken foot and only played 31 games, which meant Havlicek had to log more minutes, primarily at off-guard. Depth was a problem for the Celtics, as backup center Jim Ard was the only reliable reserve. Havlicek, White, and Cowens carried most of the scoring load for the team all season.

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Philadelphia 76ers 50 32 .610
Boston Celtics 44 38 .537 6
New York Knicks 40 42 .488 10
Buffalo Braves 30 52 .366 20
New York Nets 22 60 .268 28

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1976–77 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS BUF CHI CLE DEN DET GSW HOU IND KCK LAL MIL NOJ NYK NYN PHI PHO POR SAS SEA WAS
Atlanta 0–4 4–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–4 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–1 1–3 0–4 3–1 4–0 1–2 1–3
Boston 4–0 3–1 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–2 3–1 2–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–2 1–3 4–0 2–2 0–4
Buffalo 0–4 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–3 1–3 1–3 0–3 1–3 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 0–4 3–1 0–4
Chicago 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 4–0 2–2 2–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 3–1 2–2 1–2
Cleveland 2–2 3–1 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 2–1 3–1 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3
Denver 2–2 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–2 3–1 2–2 3–0 3–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 1–3 3–1 2–2 1–2 4–0 2–2
Detroit 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–2 4–0 1–3 3–1 3–1 1–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–2 1–3 1–3
Golden State 4–0 3–1 3–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–1 4–0 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–3 3–1 3–1 4–0 1–3 2–2 1–3 3–1
Houston 3–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 3–1 0–3 2–2 1–2 4–0 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 3–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 3–1
Indiana 4–0 2–1 3–1 2–2 1–2 1–3 2–2 0–4 0–4 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–2 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–2 0–4 2–2 2–2 0–4
Kansas City 2–1 1–3 3–0 2–2 1–3 1–3 0–4 3–1 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–2 4–0 4–0 1–3 3–1 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2
Los Angeles 2–2 1–2 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–0 1–3 4–0 2–2 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 4–0
Milwaukee 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–3 0–4 1–3 1–3 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–2 1–3 3–1 1–2 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–3
New Orleans 3–1 2–2 1–3 0–4 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–3 2–1 3–1 2–2 0–4 3–1 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2
N.Y. Knicks 3–1 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–2 2–2
N.Y. Nets 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–2 1–3 1–3 1–3 1–3 2–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 0–3 1–3 1–3 1–3
Philadelphia 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–1 4–0 3–1 3–1 1–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 3–1
Phoenix 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–2 1–3 2–2 0–4 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 2–1 1–3 1–3 3–1 1–3
Portland 1–3 3–1 3–1 4–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–0 2–2 3–1 2–2 3–1 1–2
San Antonio 0–4 0–4 4–0 1–3 2–2 2–1 2–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–3 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 2–2
Seattle 2–1 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 0–4 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–3 3–1 3–1 2–1 3–1 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–3 3–1
Washington 3–1 4–0 4–0 2–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–3 4–0 2–2 0–4 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 3–1 2–1 2–2 1–3

Postseason[edit]

Due to identical 44-38 regular season records, good enough for fourth and fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics and San Antonio Spurs met in the opening round of the 1977 NBA Playoffs. The Celtics dispatched the Spurs easily, winning two games to none for the right to face the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers and Celtics played a hard-fought seven-game series, with the Sixers prevailing in the seventh game 83–77.

References[edit]