1980–81 Boston Celtics season

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1980–81 Boston Celtics season
NBA champions
Conference champions
Division champions
Head coachBill Fitch
General managerRed Auerbach
OwnersHarry Mangurian
ArenaBoston Garden
Hartford Civic Center
Results
Record62–20 (.756)
PlaceDivision: 1st (Atlantic)
Conference: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finishNBA Champions
(Defeated Rockets 4-2)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionWBZ-TV, WATR
RadioWBZ Radio, WTIC
< 1979–80 1981–82 >
A ticket for a March 1981 game between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks.

In 1980–81 the Boston Celtics went 62-20 under coach Bill Fitch. Despite losing center Dave Cowens to retirement late in training camp, the Celtics went on to capture the 1981 NBA Championship over the Houston Rockets. The highlight was that this championship was achieved just two years after Larry Bird had been drafted. Cedric Maxwell was named NBA Finals MVP.

Offseason[edit]

NBA draft[edit]

After the 1979-80 season, Auerbach completed what may be the most lopsided trade in NBA history. Auerbach had always been a fan of stockpiling draft picks, so even after the success of 1979-80 the Celtics had both the 1st and 13th picks in the 1980 NBA draft left over from the M.L. Carr trade. Auerbach saw an opportunity to improve the team immediately, sending the two picks to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for center Robert Parish and the Warriors first round pick, the 3rd overall, University of Minnesota power forward Kevin McHale. With these three future Hall of Famers on the team the Celtics had a core in place to become a dominant team in the NBA.

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 1 Joe Barry Carroll Center  United States Purdue
1 13 Rickey Brown Center  United States Mississippi State

[1]

Roster[edit]

Roster listing
1980–81 Boston Celtics roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
PG 7 Archibald, Nate 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 150 lb (68 kg) 1948–09–02 UTEP
PF 33 Bird, Larry (C) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1956–12–07 Indiana State
SF 30 Carr, M. L. 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1951–01–09 Guilford
SG 40 Duerod, Terry 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1956–07–29 Detroit
C 45 Fernsten, Eric 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1953–11–01 San Francisco
SG 42 Ford, Chris 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1949–01–11 Villanova
PG 43 Henderson, Gerald 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1956–01–16 Virginia Commonwealth
SF 31 Maxwell, Cedric 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1955–11–21 Charlotte
PF 32 McHale, Kevin 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1957–12–19 Minnesota
C 00 Parish, Robert 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1953–08–30 Centenary College of Louisiana
C 53 Robey, Rick 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1956–01–30 Kentucky
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (L) On leave from the team
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Boston Celtics 62 20 .756 35–6 27–14 19–5
x-Philadelphia 76ers 62 20 .756 37–4 25–16 15–9
x-New York Knicks 50 32 .610 12.0 28–13 22–19 14–10
Washington Bullets 39 43 .476 23.0 26–15 13–28 8–16
New Jersey Nets 24 58 .293 38.0 16–25 8–33 8–16
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Boston Celtics 62 20 .756  –
2 y-Milwaukee Bucks 60 22 .732 2
3 x-Philadelphia 76ers 62 20 .756
4 x-New York Knicks 50 32 .610 12
5 x-Chicago Bulls 45 37 .549 17
6 x-Indiana Pacers 44 38 .537 18
7 Washington Bullets 39 43 .476 23
8 Atlanta Hawks 31 51 .378 31
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 28 54 .341 34
10 New Jersey Nets 24 58 .293 38
11 Detroit Pistons 21 61 .256 41


Notes

  • z, y – division champions
  • x – clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1980-81 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND KCK LAL MIL NJN NYK PHI PHO POR SAS SDC SEA UTA WAS
Atlanta 2–4 2–4 1–5 2–0 1–1 4–2 2–0 1–1 1–5 1–1 0–2 1–5 3–2 2–4 1–5 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–4
Boston 4–2 5–1 4–1 2–0 2–0 4–1 1–1 2–0 3–3 1–1 2–0 3–3 6–0 5–1 3–3 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 5–1
Chicago 4–2 1–5 5–1 1–1 1–1 5–1 1–1 1–1 3–2 2–0 1–1 3–3 3–2 3–3 2–4 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 5–1
Cleveland 5–1 1–4 1–5 2–0 1–1 3–3 1–1 0–2 2–4 0–2 0–2 0–6 3–3 0–5 0–6 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 4–2
Dallas 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 3–3 0–2 2–3 0–6 0–2 0–6 0–5 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–4 1–4 1–5 2–3 1–4 1–5 0–2
Denver 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–3 2–0 3–2 2–4 1–1 4–2 3–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–4 2–3 2–4 3–2 3–2 2–4 0–2
Detroit 2–4 1–4 1–5 3–3 2–0 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–4 1–1 0–2 1–5 3–3 1–5 1–4 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–5
Golden State 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–2 2–3 2–0 3–2 1–1 5–0 1–5 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 2–4 2–4 1–4 2–4 3–3 4–1 1–1
Houston 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 6–0 4–2 1–1 2–3 1–1 2–4 2–3 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 1–4 3–2 3–3 1–4 4–1 4–2 0–2
Indiana 5–1 3–3 2–3 4–2 2–0 1–1 4–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 2–4 5–1 3–2 0–6 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 4–2
Kansas City 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–0 6–0 2–4 1–1 0–5 4–2 0–2 0–5 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 3–2 3–2 2–4 3–2 2–3 5–1 1–1
Los Angeles 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 5–0 2–3 2–0 5–1 3–2 2–0 5–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–4 3–3 2–3 3–3 6–0 3–2 1–1
Milwaukee 5–1 3–3 3–3 6–0 2–0 1–1 5–1 1–1 2–0 4–2 1–1 2–0 5–1 3–3 3–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 4–1
New Jersey 2–3 0–6 2–3 3–3 1–1 1–1 3–3 1–1 0–2 1–5 0–2 0–2 1–5 0–6 1–5 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–3
New York 4–2 1–5 3–3 5–0 1–1 2–0 5–1 0–2 2–0 2–3 1–1 0–2 3–3 6–0 3–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 4–2
Philadelphia 5–1 3–3 4–2 6–0 2–0 1–1 4–1 2–0 2–0 6–0 2–0 1–1 2–3 5–1 3–3 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 4–2
Phoenix 2–0 0–2 2–0 1–1 4–1 4–1 2–0 4–2 4–1 1–1 2–3 4–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–3 3–2 6–0 5–1 5–0 1–1
Portland 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 4–1 3–2 2–0 4–2 2–3 2–0 2–3 3–3 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–3 2–3 4–2 4–2 2–3 2–0
San Antonio 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 5–1 4–2 2–0 4–1 3–3 0–2 4–2 3–2 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 2–3 3–2 4–1 3–2 5–1 1–1
San Diego 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–2 2–3 1–1 4–2 4–1 1–1 2–3 3–3 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–6 2–4 1–4 5–1 3–2 0–2
Seattle 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 4–1 2–3 2–0 3–3 1–4 2–0 3–2 0–6 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–5 2–4 2–3 1–5 4–1 1–1
Utah 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 5–1 4–2 2–0 1–4 2–4 1–1 1–5 2–3 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–5 3–2 1–5 2–3 1–4 0–2
Washington 4–1 1–5 1–5 2–4 2–0 2–0 5–1 1–1 2–0 2–4 1–1 1–1 1–4 3–3 2–4 2–4 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0

Game log[edit]

Regular season[edit]

1980–81 game log: 62–20 (Home: 35–6; Road: 27–14)
1981 regular season schedule

Playoffs[edit]

1981 playoff game log
Conference Semifinals: 4–0 (Home: 2–0; Road: 2–0)
Game Date Team Score High points High rebounds High assists Location
Attendance
Series
1 April 5 Chicago W 121–109 Larry Bird (23) Larry Bird (12) Bird, Maxwell (5) Boston Garden
15,320
1–0
2 April 7 Chicago W 106–97 Archibald, Parish (27) Larry Bird (12) Larry Bird (9) Boston Garden
15,320
2–0
3 April 10 @ Chicago W 113–107 Larry Bird (24) Larry Bird (17) Larry Bird (10) Chicago Stadium
19,995
3–0
4 April 12 @ Chicago W 109–103 Larry Bird (35) Larry Bird (11) Tiny Archibald (6) Chicago Stadium
18,249
4–0
Conference Finals: 4–3 (Home: 3–1; Road: 1–2)
Game Date Team Score High points High rebounds High assists Location
Attendance
Series
1 April 21 Philadelphia L 104–105 Larry Bird (33) Robert Parish (13) Tiny Archibald (9) Boston Garden
15,320
0–1
2 April 22 Philadelphia W 118–99 Larry Bird (34) Larry Bird (16) Larry Bird (5) Boston Garden
15,320
1–1
3 April 24 @ Philadelphia L 100–110 Larry Bird (22) Larry Bird (13) Tiny Archibald (5) Spectrum
18,276
1–2
4 April 26 @ Philadelphia L 105–107 Cedric Maxwell (20) Larry Bird (17) Tiny Archibald (14) Spectrum
18,276
1–3
5 April 29 Philadelphia W 111–109 Larry Bird (32) Larry Bird (11) Tiny Archibald (7) Boston Garden
15,320
2–3
6 May 1 @ Philadelphia W 111–109 Larry Bird (25) Larry Bird (16) Tiny Archibald (6) Spectrum
18,276
3–3
7 May 3 Philadelphia W 91–90 Larry Bird (23) Larry Bird (11) Tiny Archibald (7) Boston Garden
15,320
4–3
NBA Finals: 4–2 (Home: 2–1; Road: 2–1)
Game Date Team Score High points High rebounds High assists Location
Attendance
Series
1 May 5 Houston W 98–95 Larry Bird (18) Larry Bird (21) Larry Bird (9) Boston Garden
15,320
1–0
2 May 7 Houston L 90–91 Larry Bird (19) Larry Bird (21) Archibald, Henderson (4) Boston Garden
15,320
1–1
3 May 9 @ Houston W 94–71 Cedric Maxwell (19) Larry Bird (13) Larry Bird (10) The Summit
16,121
2–1
4 May 10 @ Houston L 86–91 Cedric Maxwell (24) Cedric Maxwell (14) Larry Bird (7) The Summit
16,121
2–2
5 May 12 Houston W 109–80 Cedric Maxwell (28) Cedric Maxwell (15) Larry Bird (8) Boston Garden
15,320
3–2
6 May 14 @ Houston W 102–91 Larry Bird (27) Larry Bird (13) Tiny Archibald (12) The Summit
16,121
4–2
1981 schedule

Player stats[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; REB= Rebounds; AST= Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; AVG = Average

Player GP REB AST STL BLK PTS AVG
Nate Archibald 80 176 618 75 18 1106 13.8
Larry Bird 82 895 451 161 63 1741 21.2
M. L. Carr 41 83 56 30 18 248 6.0
Eric Fernsten 45 62 10 6 7 96 2.1
Chris Ford 82 163 295 100 23 728 8.9
Wayne Kreklow 25 12 9 2 1 30 1.2
Cedric Maxwell 81 525 219 79 68 1234 15.2
Kevin McHale 82 359 55 27 151 818 10.0
Robert Parish 82 777 144 81 214 1552 18.9
Rick Robey 82 390 126 38 19 740 9.0

Award winners[edit]

  • Nate Archibald, All-NBA Second Team
  • Larry Bird, All-NBA First Team
  • Cedric Maxwell, NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
  • Kevin McHale, All-NBA Rookie Team

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-21. Retrieved 2009-04-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)