• Jonathan Ebrahimi

Greatest All-Time Starting 5: Boston Celtics


Here at Off the Glass we’re taking on the arduous task of going through every NBA teams’ greatest possible starting five, using players that have played for that franchise. A player at each position (Point Guard through Center) will be selected, along with a 6th man who can be any position.

This is how it works:

  • Players selected must have played at least two full seasons for the franchise

  • The selection will be based on a combination of statistics, accomplishments/accolades and their significance to the franchise in question

  • Players had to have predominantly played at that particular position for at least one season to be eligible

Let’s get started.

Boston Celtics

*Photo via Boston.com

Point Guard: Bob Cousy The Celtics have seen a lot of good point guards suit up in green over the years – but only one great point guard spent his prime in Boston. Bob Cousy was a prototypical point guard who could be a threat to score, set the offense and create for teammates. He didn’t see much team success until Bill Russell’s arrival, but the two of them would eventually create one of the greatest NBA tandems of all time.

Shooting Guard: Paul Pierce Paul Pierce doesn’t have the team accomplishments of some Celtics legends, but based on talent alone, Pierce could quite possibly top this list. A dynamic all-around player on offense, Pierce could score from anywhere on the court and when he decided to, could be an elite defender as well (seen when he asked to guard Kobe Bryant during the 2008 NBA finals). After a career of carrying the Celtics through obscurity, he finally led them to an NBA championship in 2008 once help arrived in the form of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Small Forward: John Havlicek John Havlicek can sometimes feel like the ‘forgotten Celtic’, which is hard to believe considering he is the franchise leader in both games played and points scored. Havlicek was an elite two-way player, asked on many nights to pace the team in scoring, and guard the opponents’ best player on the other end. He was obviously effective as he led the Celtics to 8 NBA championships.

Power Forward: Larry Bird Known to some (and I am NOT one of these people) as the greatest small forward of all time, it may surprise a few people to know Larry Bird played the first half of his career at power forward. Larry Legend is arguably the greatest Celtic of all-time. His numbers are eye-popping and he carried the Celtics to 3 championships in the 1980s.

Center: Bill Russell Bill Russell might genuinely be sports greatest example of a winner and team player. He let the offense come to him in the flow of the game while simply dominating on the defensive end, essentially inventing the concept of team defense. His team-first approach led to an unbelievable 11 NBA championships, a record that very well could stand the test of time.

6th Man: Kevin McHale Depending on whether you agree with the positioning of the above players, Kevin McHale could have easily made the starting 5. One of the more underrated players of his era, McHale wasn’t even a consistent starter on his own team, but that didn’t stop him from racking up impressive numbers. Sharing the ball with Larry Bird and Robert Parish during the 1980s has allowed him to fly under the radar a little but that didn’t stop him from becoming a 3 time NBA champion and one of the greatest two-way power forwards of all-time.

Did I miss any of your favorite Celtics? Let me know if you agree or disagree – @awrxshxx

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