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Old 01-07-2014, 09:12 PM   #31
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by stanlove1111
No you will have to stop acting like you are in a court of law and you are doing the bidding of your client. Its obvious from reading at the time and watching video of the two that Russell blocked his shots to teammates at a much better rate then Wilt. To deny it makes you a clown. One of Wilt's coaches even admitted he tried to talk to Wilt about it. Russell was the best defender ever..Period. There is no stat for that.

IT can not be proven that Wilt was a better passer. And for most of his career he sure was not a better outlet passer. They averaged about the same assists per game and Wilt obviously had the ball in his hands more often. Don't tell me you are going to base this on a couple of Wilt's best years and one when it was his goal to league the league in assists. Russell only cared about winning.

You can on and on with all the stats you want, but one thing I know is Russell was winning the MVP awards until he was in his 30 and past his prime.

And Russell only failed the win a title once in his career when not hurt and he had the same kind of talent that Wilt enjoyed from 65-73 when he won 2.

Again stop acting like some kid who just found a stat book.

So Russell winning his last MVP at age 30 means what?

Wilt won his last MVP at 31 (the third of three in a row.) And while Russell retired at age 34, Chamberlain won a FMVP at age 35.

The reality was, Chamberlain was considered the better player the first day he stepped onto the court. He not only won ROY, he easily won the MVP in his very first season. By the mid-to-late 60's he was winning three straight MVP's by landslides. And he was clearly robbed of MVPs in both '62 and '64.

Not only that, in their ten years in the league together, Chamberlain held a 7-2 margin in First Team All-NBA selections.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:31 PM   #32
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

It's true that from 59-60 until 63-64 Russell had clearly more talented rosters than Wilt. However he molded those teams into a juggernaut. Blocking shots to his teammates to kick-start fast breaks is just one. He covered for guys who had trouble defending, he tasked his guards with simply boxing out and he'd grab the rebounds, he'd facilitate from the high post and reward his teammates over and over and over for moving well without the ball. His intense competitiveness and puking before games got his team's respect and they were hyped before each and every game. They became him and he became them!! Celtics didn't have many one on one scorers. They need a system which Russell orchestrated and masterfully executed. He knew how to play and defend all five positions. He had detailed scouting reports on every player, his own and the opponents.

Also from 64-65 until 68-69 Wilt's rosters were either better or even with Russell's every year and in that span Russell still won FOUR OF THE FIVE SERIES between them. The notion that Wilt would dominate Russell every year with a better roster is LUDICROUS... because he didn't!

Russell's intelligence, psychological warfare, leadership, and dedication and sacrifice don't show up in the stat sheet. When you're discussing Bill Russell you may as well throw the stat sheet out the window... or at least put it in a giant pile of salt.

It's a fact that those stacked Celtics rosters laden with HOFers got nowhere before he came or after he left.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:34 AM   #33
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by dankok8
It's true that from 59-60 until 63-64 Russell had clearly more talented rosters than Wilt. However he molded those teams into a juggernaut. Blocking shots to his teammates to kick-start fast breaks is just one. He covered for guys who had trouble defending, he tasked his guards with simply boxing out and he'd grab the rebounds, he'd facilitate from the high post and reward his teammates over and over and over for moving well without the ball. His intense competitiveness and puking before games got his team's respect and they were hyped before each and every game. They became him and he became them!! Celtics didn't have many one on one scorers. They need a system which Russell orchestrated and masterfully executed. He knew how to play and defend all five positions. He had detailed scouting reports on every player, his own and the opponents.

Also from 64-65 until 68-69 Wilt's rosters were either better or even with Russell's every year and in that span Russell still won FOUR OF THE FIVE SERIES between them. The notion that Wilt would dominate Russell every year with a better roster is LUDICROUS... because he didn't!

Russell's intelligence, psychological warfare, leadership, and dedication and sacrifice don't show up in the stat sheet. When you're discussing Bill Russell you may as well throw the stat sheet out the window... or at least put it in a giant pile of salt.

It's a fact that those stacked Celtics rosters laden with HOFers got nowhere before he came or after he left.

Sorry, but again no real research.

The ONLY two years Chamberlain had rosters equal to, or better, top-to-bottom, were with his 66-67 and 67-68 Sixers.

The 64-65 Sixers? You are kidding right? This was essentially a lousy non-playoff team that gave up three players to get Chamberlain. They had POTENTIAL, but even in the playoffs, it was ALL Chamberlain in the most one-sided beatdown of a fellow GOAT center in NBA history. And it took that monumental series from Wilt to get them to a game seven, one point loss.

65-66? True, Philly edged Boston out for the best record, by winning their last 11 games. BUT, take a closer look. Sam Jones missed 13 games. Havlicek missed nine. And the rest of the roster, including Russell, missed games, as well. Also, the Sixers beat Boston 6-3 during their regular season H2H's, and in those nine games, Chamberlain averaged 28.3 ppg, 30.7 rpg, and shot a very educated guess of .525. Then, in the playoffs, Boston slapped Philly, 4-1. Surely Chamberlain fell on his face, right? Yep... 28.0 ppg, 30.2 rpg, and shot .509. As the recaps clearly proved...Chamberlain just murdered Russell. Even in his worst game of the series, one recap claimed that Wilt nearly beat Boston by himself. In his WORST game. So how did that Sixer team lose to the Celtics. It was not because of Russell...at all. It was because, as almost always, his TEAMMATES just trounced Wilt's. Chamberlain's teammates collectively shot .352 from the field in that series. Man for man the Celtics just annihilated them. ONLY Chamberlain played well, and again, he played nearly the same as he did during the regular season (when, as always, he waxed Russell in every aspect of the game.)

68-69? Surely a 55-25 Laker team would have had a better roster than the 48-34 Celtics, right? Well, the reality was, the Celtics coasted during the regular season. They resigned themselves early on to just make the playoffs. And aside from a peak West, and a severely shackled Chamberlain, Boston was clearly better, players 3-10...and by a landslide. And before someone mentions Baylor...he was arguably the WORST Laker player in that series (he had THE lowest FG% in the entire playoffs.) How deep was that Boston team? In a game seven, Em Bryant (yes, Em Bryant) scored 20 points. And I have documented many times, just how poorly coached that Laker team was. That they were able to take a much deeper Celtic team to seven games, with ONLY West playing well, and Chamberlain as their only other quality player (while his coach much preferred the shot-jacking Baylor taking the bulk of the shots, Wilt was still the best defensive player on the floor, and by far the best rebounder), was amazing in itself.

66-67. Better players from 1-6. After that, and as ALWAYS, Boston had a MUCH deeper bench (and it while it would not come into play in THIS series, it surely did in their 67-68 EDF's.) But aside from the Chamberlain, the advantages were not dramatic. Philly had a much better frontcourt, and Boston had a better backcourt. Keep in mind that Boston still had Havlicek and Sam Jones, as well as Bailey Howell, who was a very good offensive player.

In any case, with Wilt's teammates playing Russell's about even in the '67 EDF's, guess what? The Sixers just crushed Boston. In fact, it took a horrible game by Philly (and Wilt's worst game of the series) for Boston to avoid a sweep in game four, with a 121-117 win at home. Then in the clinching game five, the Celtics shot out to an early 17 point lead, but behind Wilt's 22 first half points, the Sixers crept back into the game. They blew it open in the 3rd quarter, and by mid-way thru the 4th quarter, they led 131-104...or a staggering 44 point turnaround in a little over half the game.

What the 66-67 EDF's PROVED however, was that had Wilt been given an equal supporting cast, there was no doubt that he would have beaten Russell every year.


And of course that brings up to the OP. The 67-68 Sixers were essentially the same team that they had been in 66-67 (they did add Johnny Green.) And the result, even with Chamberlain suffering through injuries all season, they still romped to the best record in the league...and by a mile. They were clearlyn the best team in the league, and were well on their way to an second straight dominating title when...well, you have read it here. They were absolutely DECIMATED by injuries, and even with all of them, they still only lost a game seven by four points. That, in itself, was clear evidence that evn a reasonably healthy Sixer team would have repeated. And for sure, a fully healthy team would have waltzed to a title.


As for Russell's "winning." Russell was essentially traded to Boston for Ed Macauley. This was a 39-33 playoff team the year before Russell arrived. And it already had Bob Cousy Frank Ramsey, and Bill Sharman, as well as Arnie Risen (remember him...I will bring him up again.) And the Celtics actually drafted Tom Heinsohn before they drafted Russell. And Heinsohn would not disappoint, either, as he would go on to win ROY.

How did Russell not win ROY that season? He missed 24 games. This is where it gets interesting. In the 48 games that Russell played, Boston went 28-20. In the 24 he missed, and with Risen playing center, the Celtics went 16-8...or an actual better record withOUT Russell. THAT was the talent level that Russell enjoyed from day one.

And how about this?

In the 57-58 Finals, in which Russell was injured, ...the series was tied 1-1 when Russell injured his ankle in the third quarter of game three. They lost that game by three points, but they actually outscored the Hawks in the 4th period, and withOUT Russell, by five points.

Now, surely without Russell, Boston would have no chance, right? Well, without Russell in game four, Boston won handily, 109-98. And, while they did lose game five without him, it was by TWO points. Russell finally returned for game six, but could only play 20 minutes. Boston would go on to lose that game by one point, BUT, they outscored the Hawks in the second half, withOUT Russell.

Not only that, but Boston would continue to add players every year. Sam Jones in '58. Havlicek in '63. Then, Auerbach would go out and steal players too. How could the Celtics pick up Clyde Lovellette for their '64 title run, for nothing? Lovellette had averaged 21 ppg on .471 just the year before (of course, Chamberlain ended his career with one punch in the '64 Finals.) Later they added players like Wayne Embry (a multiple all-star), or Em Bryant (remember him in game seven of the '69 Finals) and Bailey Howell, a 20 ppg scorer on an very high efficiency for his era (.512.)

They always had by far, the deepest teams in the league, and aside from Russell, they could simply plug in another great player when they needed to.


And I have read those that use the argument that Boston flopped the year after Russell retired. The reality was, the Celtics had no idea that Russell was going to retire, and they didn't draft a center. Furthermore, the 68-69 Celtics were on their last legs. Sam Jones retired right after the final game, too, which no one seems to remember. This was a Celtic team that had slowly declined from its peak in the mid-60's.

And yes, they fell to 34-48 (down from 48-34 in '69) in '70. But here again, Henry Finkel was their center. They drafted Cowens in '71, and he immediately led them to a 44-38 record. In '72 Boston surged to 56-26. In '73 they set a new team record, which still stands, of 68-14. In '74 they won an NBA title. And they would go on to win one more in '76.

So the loss of Russell was really only felt for ONE season. And had Boston been better prepared, who knows. In any case, they became an elite team within two years, a record-breaking team in three, and a two time champion in four.

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Old 01-08-2014, 12:34 PM   #34
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by LAZERUSS
Sorry, but again no real research.

The ONLY two years Chamberlain had rosters equal to, or better, top-to-bottom, were with his 66-67 and 67-68 Sixers.

The 64-65 Sixers? You are kidding right? This was essentially a lousy non-playoff team that gave up three players to get Chamberlain. They had POTENTIAL, but even in the playoffs, it was ALL Chamberlain in the most one-sided beatdown of a fellow GOAT center in NBA history. And it took that monumental series from Wilt to get them to a game seven, one point loss.

65-66? True, Philly edged Boston out for the best record, by winning their last 11 games. BUT, take a closer look. Sam Jones missed 13 games. Havlicek missed nine. And the rest of the roster, including Russell, missed games, as well. Also, the Sixers beat Boston 6-3 during their regular season H2H's, and in those nine games, Chamberlain averaged 28.3 ppg, 30.7 rpg, and shot a very educated guess of .525. Then, in the playoffs, Boston slapped Philly, 4-1. Surely Chamberlain fell on his face, right? Yep... 28.0 ppg, 30.2 rpg, and shot .509. As the recaps clearly proved...Chamberlain just murdered Russell. Even in his worst game of the series, one recap claimed that Wilt nearly beat Boston by himself. In his WORST game. So how did that Sixer team lose to the Celtics. It was not because of Russell...at all. It was because, as almost always, his TEAMMATES just trounced Wilt's. Chamberlain's teammates collectively shot .352 from the field in that series. Man for man the Celtics just annihilated them. ONLY Chamberlain played well, and again, he played nearly the same as he did during the regular season (when, as always, he waxed Russell in every aspect of the game.)

68-69? Surely a 55-25 Laker team would have had a better roster than the 48-34 Celtics, right? Well, the reality was, the Celtics coasted during the regular season. They resigned themselves early on to just make the playoffs. And aside from a peak West, and a severely shackled Chamberlain, Boston was clearly better, players 3-10...and by a landslide. And before someone mentions Baylor...he was arguably the WORST Laker player in that series (he had THE lowest FG% in the entire playoffs.) How deep was that Boston team? In a game seven, Em Bryant (yes, Em Bryant) scored 20 points. And I have documented many times, just how poorly coached that Laker team was. That they were able to take a much deeper Celtic team to seven games, with ONLY West playing well, and Chamberlain as their only other quality player (while his coach much preferred the shot-jacking Baylor taking the bulk of the shots, Wilt was still the best defensive player on the floor, and by far the best rebounder), was amazing in itself.

66-67. Better players from 1-6. After that, and as ALWAYS, Boston had a MUCH deeper bench (and it while it would not come into play in THIS series, it surely did in their 67-68 EDF's.) But aside from the Chamberlain, the advantages were not dramatic. Philly had a much better frontcourt, and Boston had a better backcourt. Keep in mind that Boston still had Havlicek and Sam Jones, as well as Bailey Howell, who was a very good offensive player.

In any case, with Wilt's teammates playing Russell's about even in the '67 EDF's, guess what? The Sixers just crushed Boston. In fact, it took a horrible game by Philly (and Wilt's worst game of the series) for Boston to avoid a sweep in game four, with a 121-117 win at home. Then in the clinching game five, the Celtics shot out to an early 17 point lead, but behind Wilt's 22 first half points, the Sixers crept back into the game. They blew it open in the 3rd quarter, and by mid-way thru the 4th quarter, they led 131-104...or a staggering 44 point turnaround in a little over half the game.

What the 66-67 EDF's PROVED however, was that had Wilt been given an equal supporting cast, there was no doubt that he would have beaten Russell every year.


And of course that brings up to the OP. The 67-68 Sixers were essentially the same team that they had been in 66-67 (they did add Johnny Green.) And the result, even with Chamberlain suffering through injuries all season, they still romped to the best record in the league...and by a mile. They were clearlyn the best team in the league, and were well on their way to an second straight dominating title when...well, you have read it here. They were absolutely DECIMATED by injuries, and even with all of them, they still only lost a game seven by four points. That, in itself, was clear evidence that evn a reasonably healthy Sixer team would have repeated. And for sure, a fully healthy team would have waltzed to a title.


As for Russell's "winning." Russell was essentially traded to Boston for Ed Macauley. This was a 39-33 playoff team the year before Russell arrived. And it already had Bob Cousy Frank Ramsey, and Bill Sharman, as well as Arnie Risen (remember him...I will bring him up again.) And the Celtics actually drafted Tom Heinsohn before they drafted Russell. And Heinsohn would not disappoint, either, as he would go on to win ROY.

How did Russell not win ROY that season? He missed 24 games. This is where it gets interesting. In the 48 games that Russell played, Boston went 28-20. In the 24 he missed, and with Risen playing center, the Celtics went 16-8...or an actual better record withOUT Russell. THAT was the talent level that Russell enjoyed from day one.

And how about this?

In the 57-58 Finals, in which Russell was injured, ...the series was tied 1-1 when Russell injured his ankle in the third quarter of game three. They lost that game by three points, but they actually outscored the Hawks in the 4th period, and withOUT Russell, by five points.

Now, surely without Russell, Boston would have no chance, right? Well, without Russell in game four, Boston won handily, 109-98. And, while they did lose game five without him, it was by TWO points. Russell finally returned for game six, but could only play 20 minutes. Boston would go on to lose that game by one point, BUT, they outscored the Hawks in the second half, withOUT Russell.

Not only that, but Boston would continue to add players every year. Sam Jones in '58. Havlicek in '63. Then, Auerbach would go out and steal players too. How could the Celtics pick up Clyde Lovellette for their '64 title run, for nothing? Lovellette had averaged 21 ppg on .471 just the year before (of course, Chamberlain ended his career with one punch in the '64 Finals.) Later they added players like Wayne Embry (a multiple all-star), or Em Bryant (remember him in game seven of the '69 Finals) and Bailey Howell, a 20 ppg scorer on an very high efficiency for his era (.512.)

They always had by far, the deepest teams in the league, and aside from Russell, they could simply plug in another great player when they needed to.


And I have read those that use the argument that Boston flopped the year after Russell retired. The reality was, the Celtics had no idea that Russell was going to retire, and they didn't draft a center. Furthermore, the 68-69 Celtics were on their last legs. Sam Jones retired right after the final game, too, which no one seems to remember. This was a Celtic team that had slowly declined from its peak in the mid-60's.

And yes, they fell to 34-48 (down from 48-34 in '69) in '70. But here again, Henry Finkel was their center. They drafted Cowens in '71, and he immediately led them to a 44-38 record. In '72 Boston surged to 56-26. In '73 they set a new team record, which still stands, of 68-14. In '74 they won an NBA title. And they would go on to win one more in '76.

So the loss of Russell was really only felt for ONE season. And had Boston been better prepared, who knows. In any case, they became an elite team within two years, a record-breaking team in three, and a two time champion in four.

From 64-65 to 68-69 there was no considerable gap in talent between Wilt's and Russell's teams. From 66-67 yo 68-69 it was Wilt with the stronger rosters. In the '69 Finals, the Lakers were overwhelming favorites over the Celtics. That's my point.

When Russell came in the league he was traded for Ed McCauley and Cliff Hagan (two perennial all-stars) and yet the Celtics won a title the first year he came in after never making the finals before that. The Celtics' DRtg went from from 91.7 (6th) to 84.0 (1st), a dramatic improvement to say the least. Many articles called the Russell the best player in the league from the time he set his foot on the court... a game-changer on defense that was blocking shots and covering areas no one else could.

When Russell retired (and Sam Jones) Celtics immediately drafted JoJo White for 69-70 and kept the entire rest of their title roster including an improving Havlicek. With Russell gone they finished 34-48 and their DRtg declined from 89.1 (1st) to 98.9 (8th). That's a huge decline! In 70-71 they already had Cowens but they missed the playoffs again and their DRtg was still just 95.3. Offensively Boston didn't miss a beat when Russ retired but defensively they took a nosedive showing his enormous impact.

By 72-73 all of their old guard from 68-69 except Hondo were gone/3rd stringers so to compare those 70's championship teams to Russell's teams is pretty short-sighted. Boston had to completely rebuild and missed the playoffs two straight years after Bill retired.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:25 PM   #35
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by dankok8
From 64-65 to 68-69 there was no considerable gap in talent between Wilt's and Russell's teams. From 66-67 yo 68-69 it was Wilt with the stronger rosters. In the '69 Finals, the Lakers were overwhelming favorites over the Celtics. That's my point.

When Russell came in the league he was traded for Ed McCauley and Cliff Hagan (two perennial all-stars) and yet the Celtics won a title the first year he came in after never making the finals before that. The Celtics' DRtg went from from 91.7 (6th) to 84.0 (1st), a dramatic improvement to say the least. Many articles called the Russell the best player in the league from the time he set his foot on the court... a game-changer on defense that was blocking shots and covering areas no one else could.

When Russell retired (and Sam Jones) Celtics immediately drafted JoJo White for 69-70 and kept the entire rest of their title roster including an improving Havlicek. With Russell gone they finished 34-48 and their DRtg declined from 89.1 (1st) to 98.9 (8th). That's a huge decline! In 70-71 they already had Cowens but they missed the playoffs again and their DRtg was still just 95.3. Offensively Boston didn't miss a beat when Russ retired but defensively they took a nosedive showing his enormous impact.

By 72-73 all of their old guard from 68-69 except Hondo were gone/3rd stringers so to compare those 70's championship teams to Russell's teams is pretty short-sighted. Boston had to completely rebuild and missed the playoffs two straight years after Bill retired.

Again, the 64-65 Sixers were NOWHERE near as talented as the 64-65 Celtics. The Sixers had been 34-46 the year before, and it's not like they just acquired Wilt. They traded THREE players to get him (and over 21 ppg in the process.) They were still relatively young, had not drafted Cunningham yet, and were clearly outmatched, player-for-player, by a 62-18 Celtic team at the peak of their dynasty. The reality was, Chamberlain almost single-handedly beat Boston by himself in that series with the most incredible beatdown by a prime GOAT center administered on another prime GOAT center in NBA history.

And, I already explained why the 65-66 Sixers just edged out Boston by one game in the regular season. Boston's roster was littered with their best players missing games that year. They were the seven time defending champions, as well. And, of course, they completely shelled Chamberlain's teammates in the EDF's.

In the 68-69 season, Boston was much deeper, had far more weapons, and the Lakers were saddled with an incompetent coach whose hatred for Wilt cost them the Finals. Still, had the idiotic VBK had West handling the ball at the end of game four, instead of the nomadic Egan, LA would have won that game, and with their solid win in game five, would have won that series, 4-1.

As for 66-67 and 67-68...agreed. Philly was the better team, although not by a large margin. The 66-67 Celtics went 60-21, and yet were completely destroyed by the 68-13 Sixers in the EDF's. And as we ALL know by now, the 67-68 Sixers were just decimated with injuries, including Chamberlain, himself, and Boston still barely eked out a game seven win. The reality was, (and the newspaper articles by PHILA confirmed it), that Sixer team had no business even making this a series, much less barely losing it. Clearly, a healthy Sixer team would have repeated their carpet-bombing from the 66-67 EDF's.

Had Wilt been given equal rosters in his entire career, and he likely would have won nearly all of their H2H's. And futhermore, had Wilt enjoyed the one-sided margin in talent that Russell had in their first six seasons in the league together, and there is little doubt that Chamberlain would have had a resounding 6-0 margin in rings.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:34 AM   #36
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by LAZERUSS
Again, the 64-65 Sixers were NOWHERE near as talented as the 64-65 Celtics. The Sixers had been 34-46 the year before, and it's not like they just acquired Wilt. They traded THREE players to get him (and over 21 ppg in the process.) They were still relatively young, had not drafted Cunningham yet, and were clearly outmatched, player-for-player, by a 62-18 Celtic team at the peak of their dynasty. The reality was, Chamberlain almost single-handedly beat Boston by himself in that series with the most incredible beatdown by a prime GOAT center administered on another prime GOAT center in NBA history.

And, I already explained why the 65-66 Sixers just edged out Boston by one game in the regular season. Boston's roster was littered with their best players missing games that year. They were the seven time defending champions, as well. And, of course, they completely shelled Chamberlain's teammates in the EDF's.

In the 68-69 season, Boston was much deeper, had far more weapons, and the Lakers were saddled with an incompetent coach whose hatred for Wilt cost them the Finals. Still, had the idiotic VBK had West handling the ball at the end of game four, instead of the nomadic Egan, LA would have won that game, and with their solid win in game five, would have won that series, 4-1.

As for 66-67 and 67-68...agreed. Philly was the better team, although not by a large margin. The 66-67 Celtics went 60-21, and yet were completely destroyed by the 68-13 Sixers in the EDF's. And as we ALL know by now, the 67-68 Sixers were just decimated with injuries, including Chamberlain, himself, and Boston still barely eked out a game seven win. The reality was, (and the newspaper articles by PHILA confirmed it), that Sixer team had no business even making this a series, much less barely losing it. Clearly, a healthy Sixer team would have repeated their carpet-bombing from the 66-67 EDF's.

Had Wilt been given equal rosters in his entire career, and he likely would have won nearly all of their H2H's. And futhermore, had Wilt enjoyed the one-sided margin in talent that Russell had in their first six seasons in the league together, and there is little doubt that Chamberlain would have had a resounding 6-0 margin in rings.

You look at Wilt's and his teammates' performance in a vacuum. It doesn't work that way. One AFFECTS the other... Wilt is partly responsible for his teammates performing poorly. Taking too many shots, not passing the ball effectively/willingly, discouraging his teammates with his crazy antics like living in NYC and skipping practices...

Is it a coincidence that the 66-67 Sixers with basically the same players as the year prior suddenly became a powerhouse? NO... Wilt changed his style of play and his team blossomed.

Even if Wilt doesn't deserve to get ripped so much then Russell should be praised. Do you not believe in intangibles or you just pretend they don't exist?
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:08 AM   #37
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by dankok8
You look at Wilt's and his teammates' performance in a vacuum. It doesn't work that way. One AFFECTS the other... Wilt is partly responsible for his teammates performing poorly. Taking too many shots, not passing the ball effectively/willingly, discouraging his teammates with his crazy antics like living in NYC and skipping practices...

Is it a coincidence that the 66-67 Sixers with basically the same players as the year prior suddenly became a powerhouse? NO... Wilt changed his style of play and his team blossomed.

Even if Wilt doesn't deserve to get ripped so much then Russell should be praised. Do you not believe in intangibles or you just pretend they don't exist?

I look at Wilt's teammates perfomances in their regular seasons, and then in their post-seasons. And in nearly every post-season, they declined, and quite often, dramatically. And if anything, Chamberlain shot LESS in his post-season play, which explains his scoring "decline" in the playoffs, as well.

Again, a great example, the 65-66 Sixers. In the regular season, Wilt's teammates collectively shot .416 from the field (Wilt was at .540.) In the EDF's against Boston...they collectively shot .352 (Wilt was at .509.)

Furthermore, during their regular season H2H's with Boston, the Sixers went 6-3. And in those nine games, Chamberlain averaged 28.3 ppg, 30.7 rpg, and shot an est. .525 from the floor. In the EDF's, Chamberlain put up a 28.0 ppg, 30.2 rpg, and .509 series. Wilt played almost exactly the same, and yet the results were far different.

Of course, the 65-66 Sixers were a young, up-and-coming team, and they exploded behind Wilt in 66-67. Early in the season they annihilated Boston by a 138-96 margin, and never looked back. At one point they were 46-4, and then coasted down the stretch.

True, Chamberlain shot less, and passed more, but in the 65-66 season, he averaged 5.2 apg with his 33.5 ppg. In 66-67 he averaged 7.8 apg to go along with his 24.1 ppg. But he still lit up any center any time he wanted to in 66-67, and even Rick Barry, who led the league at 35.6 ppg remarked that the only reason he (Barry) won the scoring title, was because Chamberlain didn't care about winning it.

The reality was, Chamberlain did whatever was asked of him his entire career. The Wilt-bashers love to point out his 50 ppg season as an example of a "selfish" Wilt, but the fact was, it was Wilt's COACH who asked Chamberlain to score that much. Why? Because in the 60-61 playoffs, while Wilt scored 37 ppg, his teammates collectively shot .332 from the field (and Wilt's two HOF teammates that year, Arizin and Gola, shot .325 and .205 respectively in that series.) McGuire took one look at that old and crappy Warrior roster, and decided the only hope that they had, was for Chamberlain to shoot 40 times per game. And it worked. Wilt single-handedly carried that team to a 49-31 record, then thru the first round of the playoffs, and then to a game seven, two point loss against a HOF-laden 60-20 Celtic team.

Hannum asked Wilt to be a scorer, rebounder, and defensive anchor in 63-64, and the result was Chamberlain single-handedly took a rag-tag roster that had gone 31-49 the year before (and with Wilt having a mind-boggling Win-Share of 20.9 BTW..or a 70% share of the wins) to a 48-32 record. Then, in the first round of the playoffs, and against a Hawk team that was markedly better, players 2-6, Wilt put up a 39-23 .559 seven game series to get them into the Finals. That they lost the last two games of that series in the waning seconds, in a 4-1 series loss, against a Celtic team with EIGHT HOFers, was just a mind-numbing accomplishment. Again, a one-man wrecking crew. And he HAD to play that way.

And in that 66-67 season, while Wilt dramatically cut back his scoring and shooting (and still put up 24.1 ppg on an eye-popping .683 FG%), he would completely take over at the offensive end almost at will. I have mentioned the first Thurmond encounter. Wilt had been facilitating the offense in the first half, and had only scored six points. Hannum felt that the only way Philly could win that game, was for Wilt to take over at the offensive end. He had his teammates feed him the ball, and Chamberlain hung 24 points on Nate in the second half (and outscored him for the game, 30-13.)

And against Russell in the clinching game five win in the EDF's that year, Wilt kept Philly in the game in the first half, with 22 points, en route to a 29 point game, in a blowout win. Clearly, Chamberlain could have been hanging 40+ point games on both Russell and Nate had he been inclined. BUT, for the first time in his career, it wasn't necessary. He finally had teammates that weren't get trashed by their opponents.

And that philosophy worked in 67-68, too. It would have been an easy repeat had the Sixers remained healthy.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:21 AM   #38
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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From 64-65 to 68-69 there was no considerable gap in talent between Wilt's and Russell's teams. From 66-67 yo 68-69 it was Wilt with the stronger rosters. In the '69 Finals, the Lakers were overwhelming favorites over the Celtics. That's my point.

In 1965 at least, there is a huge experience gap between Wilt's and Russell's teams. Actually, there had always been an experience gap between Wilt's and Russell's teams, but in 1965, it is at an all-time high among the times Wilt has a team with talent anywhere near Russell's.
And no, Wilt's 1968 playoff roster, without Billy C. and with pretty much any other significant player injured, isn't stronger than Russell's, not even close. You'd have a point if we only referred to regular season, but we obviously don't.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:10 AM   #39
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by dankok8
It's true that from 59-60 until 63-64 Russell had clearly more talented rosters than Wilt. However he molded those teams into a juggernaut. Blocking shots to his teammates to kick-start fast breaks is just one. He covered for guys who had trouble defending, he tasked his guards with simply boxing out and he'd grab the rebounds, he'd facilitate from the high post and reward his teammates over and over and over for moving well without the ball. His intense competitiveness and puking before games got his team's respect and they were hyped before each and every game. They became him and he became them!! Celtics didn't have many one on one scorers. They need a system which Russell orchestrated and masterfully executed. He knew how to play and defend all five positions. He had detailed scouting reports on every player, his own and the opponents.

Also from 64-65 until 68-69 Wilt's rosters were either better or even with Russell's every year and in that span Russell still won FOUR OF THE FIVE SERIES between them. The notion that Wilt would dominate Russell every year with a better roster is LUDICROUS... because he didn't!

Russell's intelligence, psychological warfare, leadership, and dedication and sacrifice don't show up in the stat sheet. When you're discussing Bill Russell you may as well throw the stat sheet out the window... or at least put it in a giant pile of salt.

It's a fact that those stacked Celtics rosters laden with HOFers got nowhere before he came or after he left.


LOL, this post just cracks me up. You're a Russell worshiper who lays the Boston dynasty at the feet of Russell. You seem to forget about a certain individual named Red Auerbach. I don't disagree with the notion that there would have been no Boston dynasty without Russell, but neither would there have been without Auerbach. Of course I understand that Auerbach has to be minimized to build Russell up to make him appear greater than Chamberlain. And some people that don't know any better fall for it. Well, some of us know better. The real key to the Boston dynasty was the "marriage" of Auerbach and Russell.

As for the bolded part...........you say that from 65-69 Wilt had rosters just as good if not better than Russell. That's partially true. But you seem to forget about DEPTH. Wilt's rosters simply didn't have the depth that Russell's did, and that can be attributed to Auerbach, who always saw to it that Russell had what he needed. The fact is though, in comparing Boston and Philly over those five years, it's more than a matter of personnel. There are two other key elements in the comparison. First is injuries, and second is coaching. In knowing the facts of 68, had Philly been healthy, there's no question they would have beaten Boston. And in 69 had the lakers had a competent coach, they more than likely would have won. Boston was clearly superior in 65 and 66.....they still had Auerbach and Philly had Schayes. And I might just say this......in 66 nobody was beating Boston due to Auerbach's retirement.

I've observed these Chamberlain/Russell debates for 50 years. It always amazes me how Russell supporters always fall back on the championships.....it always ends up Russell's eleven rings against Chamberlain's individual dominance. In doing that they're pulling Auerbach into the debate, yet they refuse to acknowledge him. The truth is, the debates are rarely Chamberlain vs. Russell, they're Chamberlain vs. Russell and Auerbach.

You said.....It's a fact that those stacked Celtics rosters laden with HOFers got nowhere before he came or after he left. That's a very superficial statement, so answer me this....just "where" would Russell have been without those stacked Celtic rosters and without Auerbach? I had one clown insist that Russell would have had the same success no matter what team he had gone to. Hehe, now THAT's ludicrous.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:46 AM   #40
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by LAZERUSS
I look at Wilt's teammates perfomances in their regular seasons, and then in their post-seasons. And in nearly every post-season, they declined, and quite often, dramatically. And if anything, Chamberlain shot LESS in his post-season play, which explains his scoring "decline" in the playoffs, as well.

Again, a great example, the 65-66 Sixers. In the regular season, Wilt's teammates collectively shot .416 from the field (Wilt was at .540.) In the EDF's against Boston...they collectively shot .352 (Wilt was at .509.)

Furthermore, during their regular season H2H's with Boston, the Sixers went 6-3. And in those nine games, Chamberlain averaged 28.3 ppg, 30.7 rpg, and shot an est. .525 from the floor. In the EDF's, Chamberlain put up a 28.0 ppg, 30.2 rpg, and .509 series. Wilt played almost exactly the same, and yet the results were far different.

Of course, the 65-66 Sixers were a young, up-and-coming team, and they exploded behind Wilt in 66-67. Early in the season they annihilated Boston by a 138-96 margin, and never looked back. At one point they were 46-4, and then coasted down the stretch.

True, Chamberlain shot less, and passed more, but in the 65-66 season, he averaged 5.2 apg with his 33.5 ppg. In 66-67 he averaged 7.8 apg to go along with his 24.1 ppg. But he still lit up any center any time he wanted to in 66-67, and even Rick Barry, who led the league at 35.6 ppg remarked that the only reason he (Barry) won the scoring title, was because Chamberlain didn't care about winning it.

The reality was, Chamberlain did whatever was asked of him his entire career. The Wilt-bashers love to point out his 50 ppg season as an example of a "selfish" Wilt, but the fact was, it was Wilt's COACH who asked Chamberlain to score that much. Why? Because in the 60-61 playoffs, while Wilt scored 37 ppg, his teammates collectively shot .332 from the field (and Wilt's two HOF teammates that year, Arizin and Gola, shot .325 and .205 respectively in that series.) McGuire took one look at that old and crappy Warrior roster, and decided the only hope that they had, was for Chamberlain to shoot 40 times per game. And it worked. Wilt single-handedly carried that team to a 49-31 record, then thru the first round of the playoffs, and then to a game seven, two point loss against a HOF-laden 60-20 Celtic team.

Hannum asked Wilt to be a scorer, rebounder, and defensive anchor in 63-64, and the result was Chamberlain single-handedly took a rag-tag roster that had gone 31-49 the year before (and with Wilt having a mind-boggling Win-Share of 20.9 BTW..or a 70% share of the wins) to a 48-32 record. Then, in the first round of the playoffs, and against a Hawk team that was markedly better, players 2-6, Wilt put up a 39-23 .559 seven game series to get them into the Finals. That they lost the last two games of that series in the waning seconds, in a 4-1 series loss, against a Celtic team with EIGHT HOFers, was just a mind-numbing accomplishment. Again, a one-man wrecking crew. And he HAD to play that way.

And in that 66-67 season, while Wilt dramatically cut back his scoring and shooting (and still put up 24.1 ppg on an eye-popping .683 FG%), he would completely take over at the offensive end almost at will. I have mentioned the first Thurmond encounter. Wilt had been facilitating the offense in the first half, and had only scored six points. Hannum felt that the only way Philly could win that game, was for Wilt to take over at the offensive end. He had his teammates feed him the ball, and Chamberlain hung 24 points on Nate in the second half (and outscored him for the game, 30-13.)

And against Russell in the clinching game five win in the EDF's that year, Wilt kept Philly in the game in the first half, with 22 points, en route to a 29 point game, in a blowout win. Clearly, Chamberlain could have been hanging 40+ point games on both Russell and Nate had he been inclined. BUT, for the first time in his career, it wasn't necessary. He finally had teammates that weren't get trashed by their opponents.

And that philosophy worked in 67-68, too. It would have been an easy repeat had the Sixers remained healthy.

Wilt's assists numbers dropped from 5.2 apg in the 65-66 regular season to 3.0 apg in the '66 EDF. That's 4.4 LESS POINTS that he contributed to his teammates.

And no he didn't play nearly as good as in the regular season.

Look at how he did the first four games of the series... 23.5 ppg on 48.7% shooting. If he didn't explode for 46 points in Game 5 to improve his stats, he would be harshly criticized for this series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psileas
In 1965 at least, there is a huge experience gap between Wilt's and Russell's teams. Actually, there had always been an experience gap between Wilt's and Russell's teams, but in 1965, it is at an all-time high among the times Wilt has a team with talent anywhere near Russell's.
And no, Wilt's 1968 playoff roster, without Billy C. and with pretty much any other significant player injured, isn't stronger than Russell's, not even close. You'd have a point if we only referred to regular season, but we obviously don't.

Sure but my point is when discussing Wilt vs. Russell from '65 to '69 you can't really use the teammate card. Wilt's teams were good enough to win.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helix
LOL, this post just cracks me up. You're a Russell worshiper who lays the Boston dynasty at the feet of Russell. You seem to forget about a certain individual named Red Auerbach. I don't disagree with the notion that there would have been no Boston dynasty without Russell, but neither would there have been without Auerbach. Of course I understand that Auerbach has to be minimized to build Russell up to make him appear greater than Chamberlain. And some people that don't know any better fall for it. Well, some of us know better. The real key to the Boston dynasty was the "marriage" of Auerbach and Russell.

As for the bolded part...........you say that from 65-69 Wilt had rosters just as good if not better than Russell. That's partially true. But you seem to forget about DEPTH. Wilt's rosters simply didn't have the depth that Russell's did, and that can be attributed to Auerbach, who always saw to it that Russell had what he needed. The fact is though, in comparing Boston and Philly over those five years, it's more than a matter of personnel. There are two other key elements in the comparison. First is injuries, and second is coaching. In knowing the facts of 68, had Philly been healthy, there's no question they would have beaten Boston. And in 69 had the lakers had a competent coach, they more than likely would have won. Boston was clearly superior in 65 and 66.....they still had Auerbach and Philly had Schayes. And I might just say this......in 66 nobody was beating Boston due to Auerbach's retirement.

I've observed these Chamberlain/Russell debates for 50 years. It always amazes me how Russell supporters always fall back on the championships.....it always ends up Russell's eleven rings against Chamberlain's individual dominance. In doing that they're pulling Auerbach into the debate, yet they refuse to acknowledge him. The truth is, the debates are rarely Chamberlain vs. Russell, they're Chamberlain vs. Russell and Auerbach.

You said.....It's a fact that those stacked Celtics rosters laden with HOFers got nowhere before he came or after he left. That's a very superficial statement, so answer me this....just "where" would Russell have been without those stacked Celtic rosters and without Auerbach? I had one clown insist that Russell would have had the same success no matter what team he had gone to. Hehe, now THAT's ludicrous.


Players are out on the floor winning games. Auerbach obviously did a lot for the Celtics including the front office pulls but Red is also on record saying he could never coach a primadonna like Wilt.

Unfortunately I can't answer your last question (I can only guess...) but given that Russell never lost as the favorite I have to think he'd win at least 5 titles with Wilt's rosters. '67, '69, '70, '72, and '73...

People also underrate the fact that Russell won in '68 and '69 while coaching his teams. And that he was an underdog in both years especially in '69.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:59 AM   #41
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by dankok8
You look at Wilt's and his teammates' performance in a vacuum. It doesn't work that way. One AFFECTS the other... Wilt is partly responsible for his teammates performing poorly. Taking too many shots, not passing the ball effectively/willingly, discouraging his teammates with his crazy antics like living in NYC and skipping practices...

Is it a coincidence that the 66-67 Sixers with basically the same players as the year prior suddenly became a powerhouse? NO... Wilt changed his style of play and his team blossomed.

Even if Wilt doesn't deserve to get ripped so much then Russell should be praised. Do you not believe in intangibles or you just pretend they don't exist?


Who's saying Russell SHOULDN'T be praised? He was truly a very great player. And I don't disagree with a lot of what you say about him. But to lay the Boston dynasty at HIS feet, and refuse to acknowledge the HUGE part Auerbach played, well, that's just wrong. And by denying Auerbach's role you're denying the huge advantage Russell had over Chamberlain.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #42
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by dankok8
Wilt's assists numbers dropped from 5.2 apg in the 65-66 regular season to 3.0 apg in the '66 EDF. That's 4.4 LESS POINTS that he contributed to his teammates.
Only if you give all credit to the assister and none to the scorer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dankok8
And no he didn't play nearly as good as in the regular season.

Look at how he did the first four games of the series... 23.5 ppg on 48.7% shooting. If he didn't explode for 46 points in Game 5 to improve his stats, he would be harshly criticized for this series.
If Walt Wesley, Willie Burton, Tony Delk and Tracy Murray hadn't played a bunch more games they'd have had 50ppg career averages. But it isn't the case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dankok8
Sure but my point is when discussing Wilt vs. Russell from '65 to '69 you can't really use the teammate card. Wilt's teams were good enough to win.

Essentially "Sure ... but I'm going to ignore your point". In '65 they self evidently weren't good enough to compete. The team Russell joined already had the best record in the league (and win-loss record superior to that which they had with him, not saying that he harmed them but his impact in the first year is certainly not proportionate with his later reputation). The team Chamberlain joined was 34-46 the year prior with a -3.75 SRS, in '65 they were better but were just 22-23 before he first first arrived (and had been outscored over the season, scoring 5015 points, conceding 5037).

In '66 the teams were very close overall. BUT

1) That's including Russell and Chamberlain. And the consensus is that Chamberlain was better (he won the official (player vote) MVP, was first team all-NBA and won the US Basketball Writers MVP, there's only one MVP trophy unaccounted for the Metropolitan Sportswriters Sam Davis Memorial Award and it's probable that Wilt won this too). That means if the teams were even overall then part of that is Wilt overcoming the deficit created by his teammates.

2) Aha but they weren't even, Philly had a better win loss record. Well yes, one game better by win loss record, but more representatively Boston had a better points differential and SRS. Boston lost some games because they had a number of minor injuries (a number of core players including Sam Jones and Havlicek playing around 71 games). Those injuries (artificially) deflated their win total, yet despite this their points differential over the season was superior to the 76ers. Had the Celtics been fully healthy their SRS advantage would have been larger, and their superiority clearer.

For '68 point 1 above again, but note that Russell gets no MVP votes, i.e. the individual gap is getting larger (we don't know about the "alternate" MVP votes that year the US Basketball writers award seems to have ended, and we don't have confirmation on the Sam Davis award winner).

The secondary point for '68 would be even if Chamberlain's superiority over Russell at that point didn't make up all of Philly's advantage over Boston, subtract Cunningham (as they actually played in the playoffs) and Philly's cast is certainly worse. All the more so after we injure Walker, Jones and Jackson (not to mention Chamberlain's own injury).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dankok8
Players are out on the floor winning games. Auerbach obviously did a lot for the Celtics including the front office pulls but Red is also on record saying he could never coach a primadonna like Wilt.

What's your point with the first part? That coaching has no influence? I'd argue especially in that era when coaches just made ex-pros coaches (see Neil Johnston and Dolph Schayes) after no apprenticeship as assistants, having a good coach.

And Auerbach is very loyal to Russell and thus sometimes put down Chamberlain to boost Russell.

But as a counterpoint here's what long time Celtic and later Chamberlain coach K.C. Jones said
Quote:
Originally Posted by K.C. Jones
“The press was all over Wilt and Wilt couldn’t do anything right. And I sorta felt, well, they may be right in that. And then I changed my mind when I had a chance to be with Wilt with the Lakers. I said this man has such power, maybe it was the fault of his teammates, but this guy, he has such power and he’s such a great guy to work with, that I just totally turned my opinion around to say, well, ‘I was wrong before.’”
That's someone with strong Celtics loyalties but who actually had the chance to work with Wilt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dankok8
People also underrate the fact that Russell won in '68 and '69 while coaching his teams. And that he was an underdog in both years especially in '69.
It's admirable that he won as a player coach, but it's relevence to the discussion of playing careers is minimal. And for what its worth, from what I've read, the Celtics to a significant degree coached themselves with (iirc not totally sure on this) Havlicek taking the lead on offense (and Russell leading the D).

And the underdog thing is true to a degree but overstated. In '68 as above they were underdogs both teams at full strength, as the series actually was played (injuries) they'd have to be favourites. In '69 their regular season falloff is overstated. They posted the 2nd best SRS and points differential over the season (behind New York), they just happened to lose a bunch of close games. And they limited Jones and Russell's minutes in regular season, allowing for an easy "improvement" in the playoffs simply by shortening their rotation. Nor were the defending champs written off prior to the season in the press (see, for instance, SI's preseason coverage).
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:48 PM   #43
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Default Re: Wilt Chamberlain vs Bill Russell 1968 EDF stats

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Originally Posted by Owl
Only if you give all credit to the assister and none to the scorer.


If Walt Wesley, Willie Burton, Tony Delk and Tracy Murray hadn't played a bunch more games they'd have had 50ppg career averages. But it isn't the case.



Essentially "Sure ... but I'm going to ignore your point". In '65 they self evidently weren't good enough to compete. The team Russell joined already had the best record in the league (and win-loss record superior to that which they had with him, not saying that he harmed them but his impact in the first year is certainly not proportionate with his later reputation). The team Chamberlain joined was 34-46 the year prior with a -3.75 SRS, in '65 they were better but were just 22-23 before he first first arrived (and had been outscored over the season, scoring 5015 points, conceding 5037).

In '66 the teams were very close overall. BUT

1) That's including Russell and Chamberlain. And the consensus is that Chamberlain was better (he won the official (player vote) MVP, was first team all-NBA and won the US Basketball Writers MVP, there's only one MVP trophy unaccounted for the Metropolitan Sportswriters Sam Davis Memorial Award and it's probable that Wilt won this too). That means if the teams were even overall then part of that is Wilt overcoming the deficit created by his teammates.

2) Aha but they weren't even, Philly had a better win loss record. Well yes, one game better by win loss record, but more representatively Boston had a better points differential and SRS. Boston lost some games because they had a number of minor injuries (a number of core players including Sam Jones and Havlicek playing around 71 games). Those injuries (artificially) deflated their win total, yet despite this their points differential over the season was superior to the 76ers. Had the Celtics been fully healthy their SRS advantage would have been larger, and their superiority clearer.

For '68 point 1 above again, but note that Russell gets no MVP votes, i.e. the individual gap is getting larger (we don't know about the "alternate" MVP votes that year the US Basketball writers award seems to have ended, and we don't have confirmation on the Sam Davis award winner).

The secondary point for '68 would be even if Chamberlain's superiority over Russell at that point didn't make up all of Philly's advantage over Boston, subtract Cunningham (as they actually played in the playoffs) and Philly's cast is certainly worse. All the more so after we injure Walker, Jones and Jackson (not to mention Chamberlain's own injury).


What's your point with the first part? That coaching has no influence? I'd argue especially in that era when coaches just made ex-pros coaches (see Neil Johnston and Dolph Schayes) after no apprenticeship as assistants, having a good coach.

And Auerbach is very loyal to Russell and thus sometimes put down Chamberlain to boost Russell.

But as a counterpoint here's what long time Celtic and later Chamberlain coach K.C. Jones said

That's someone with strong Celtics loyalties but who actually had the chance to work with Wilt.

It's admirable that he won as a player coach, but it's relevence to the discussion of playing careers is minimal. And for what its worth, from what I've read, the Celtics to a significant degree coached themselves with (iirc not totally sure on this) Havlicek taking the lead on offense (and Russell leading the D).

And the underdog thing is true to a degree but overstated. In '68 as above they were underdogs both teams at full strength, as the series actually was played (injuries) they'd have to be favourites. In '69 their regular season falloff is overstated. They posted the 2nd best SRS and points differential over the season (behind New York), they just happened to lose a bunch of close games. And they limited Jones and Russell's minutes in regular season, allowing for an easy "improvement" in the playoffs simply by shortening their rotation. Nor were the defending champs written off prior to the season in the press (see, for instance, SI's preseason coverage).

Fair points on '65 and '66. Most of that was said above and I agree. But the Celtics and Sixers were pretty evenly matched. Boston wasn't overwhelmingly better no way.

In '68 injuries did kill Philly but even in the regular season it was 4-4. And Boston was also suffering through injuries (though I admit less). Siegfried hurt his back and also had a flu early in the series. Satch Sanders DNP in Game 6 and 7. Sam Jones was suffering through nagging injuries all year and his effectiveness was very low compared to years prior.

In '69 Lakers were 7-5 favorites in the Finals. Jones was completely breaking down, Boston was old, and many times during the regular season they were written off. LA had the big 3 of West, Baylor, and Wilt. If Johnny Egan didn't lose the ball in Game 4 and Wilt and Baylor contributed a bit more than almost nothing on offense LA would have run away with that series.
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