1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactions

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1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby MCT » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:54 pm

This is the first of a planned series of threads analyzing games played, games started and transactions for the 1980-81 season. Before reading any further, see the introductory thread below:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4961

BOSTON CELTICS – PART I

SEASON OVERVIEW

The Celtics had a 62-20 record. They finished the season tied with the 76ers for the best record in the Atlantic Division, but were considered the division champion under tiebreaker rules, and were the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

As a #1 seed, the Celtics got a bye for the First Round of the playoffs. In the Conference Semifinals, they defeated the Bulls 4-0, then defeated the 76ers 4-3 in the Conference Finals. They then beat the Rockets 4-2 in the NBA Finals. The Celtics played a total of 17 playoff games.

The Celtics used 12 different players for the season, one above the minimum.

ROSTER AND TRANSACTIONS

OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

Nate "Tiny" Archibald
Larry Bird
M.L. Carr
Eric Fernsten
Chris Ford
Gerald Henderson
Wayne Kreklow
Cedric Maxwell
Kevin McHale
Robert Parish
Rick Robey

IN-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

12/5/80 – Placed M.L. Carr on the injured list; signed Terry Duerod to a 10-day contract.

12/15/80 – Signed Terry Duerod to a second 10-day contract.

12/27/80 – Signed Terry Duerod as a free agent.

1/21/81 – Activated M.L. Carr from the injured list; waived Wayne Kreklow.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

A note on Duerod, which may also come up with other players in the future: the NBA Register, Celtics Media Guide and b-r.com all show Duerod simply signing outright with the Celtics in a single transaction in early December. They do not show three separate transactions as outlined above (two 10-day contracts followed by a “permanent” free agent signing), across the course of the month. There isn’t really a conflict here between the sources that show a single transaction and the ones that show the three separate transactions, though. At this time, when a player who initially started out on a 10-day contract ended up sticking around for longer than that, the NBA Register would just show him signing as a free agent on the initial date, and would omit all further detail. As a result, the information in the NBA Register isn’t really indicative of whether Duerod initially signed one or more 10-day contracts or was simply signed outright to begin with; it would show things the way it does in either case. I suspect that the Celtics Media Guide and b-r.com match the NBA Register because they used the NBA Register as their ultimate source.

My source for Duerod signing his second 10-day contract on 12/15/80 is pst.com. I didn’t find this reported in any other source.

My source for Duerod signing as a free agent on 12/27/80 is the Globe (i.e., it was reported in the transaction column in the 12/28/80 paper). I didn’t find this reported in any other source. The Globe stated that Duerod was signed to a “standard player’s contract”, which I take to mean that he was signed to a regular free agent contract, not a “remainder of the season” contract.

GAMES STARTED INFO

MEDIA GUIDE

The 2012-13 Celtics Media Guide has regular season games started stats going back to the 1979-80 season. For 1980-81, it shows the following:

Bird 82
Parish 82
Maxwell 81
Ford 75
Archibald 72
Henderson 10
Carr 7
McHale 1

TSN BOX SCORES

All but two of the TSN box scores for the 1980-81 Celtics appear to list the players in “starters first” F-F-C-G-G order. The two exceptions were games on 10/31/80 and 12/2/80.

--In the 10/31/80 box score, I’m not sure what order the players are listed in. The first three names look like they could be in “starters first” order (Maxwell at F, Bird at F, Parish at C), the fourth seems plausible if less certain (Henderson at G), but the fifth makes no sense at all (McHale at what would be a G slot).

--In the 12/2/80 box score, the Celtics players are clearly listed in alphabetical order.

From their eighth game of the season (10/29/80) onward, the Celtics consistently used a starting lineup of Robert Parish at center, Larry Bird & Cedric Maxwell at forward, and Nate Archibald & Chris Ford at guard. With one exception, all of those players appear in both of the above box scores. If we assume that these players started those games, the games started totals for all players are in agreement with those in the Celtics Media Guide, except for the discrepancy noted below.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

After making the above assumptions, there is one discrepancy between the Media Guide and the TSN boxes, involving one game and two players.

--The Media Guide indicates that Cedric Maxwell started 81 games, and Kevin McHale started 1 game. McHale presumably started the game that Maxwell did not. Since Maxwell played in 81 games, this means that he started every game he played in. The game that Maxwell did not play in was on 12/2/80. That is one of the games in which the TSN boxes do not list the players in “starters first” order, but it would follow that McHale must have started that game. So based on the Media Guide, it appears that Maxwell started every game except 12/2/80, which McHale started.

--The TSN boxes indicate that Maxwell did not start one of the games he played in, meaning that there were two games he did not start. In addition to not playing in the game on 12/2/80, the TSN boxes show that Maxwell came off the bench in the Celtics’ next game on 12/3/80. McHale is shown as starting the game on 12/3/80. This means that Maxwell couldn’t have started more than 80 games, and if McHale also started the game that Maxwell missed on 12/2/80, McHale must have started two games.

In this series of articles, I am assuming that the games started numbers in team media guides are correct, and I have used the numbers from the Celtics Media Guide in Part II below. In this case, though, I have to admit that what’s in the TSN box scores intuitively makes more sense to me, i.e., that Maxwell would have come the bench on 12/3 after not playing on 12/2. It was a common practice at the time for a player who had missed a game to come off the bench in the next game.

PLAYOFFS

As far as I can see, the Celtics Media Guide does not have games started stats for the playoffs.

The TSN box scores show the same five players who started for most of the regular season starting every game in the playoffs. While we don’t have any info from the Media Guide to double-check it against, I am assuming this is accurate, as there seems no reason to think it isn’t.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started and Transact

Postby MCT » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:57 pm

BOSTON CELTICS – PART II

PLAYER INFORMATION

Players are listed based on a snapshot as of late February, although the Celtics’ roster was the same from 1/21/81 to the end of the season, and this analysis would be more-or-less the same at any point in that timeframe.

LARRY BIRD

History: 1st round pick of Celtics in 1978, as a junior eligible; returned to college for 1978-79 season, but signed with Celtics in June 1979 rather than re-enter that year’s draft.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 39.5 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 44.1 MPG): Bird appeared in every game the Celtics played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 82; Playoffs: 17): Bird started every game the Celtics played.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as PF for this and all other seasons through 1983-84, SF for all seasons thereafter. Even though b-r.com lists Bird as a PF for this part of his NBA career, I think of him as more of an SF, though he was obviously a player who is hard to label.

NATE "TINY" ARCHIBALD

History: 2nd round pick of Royals in 1970. Acquired in transaction associated with “franchise swap” between owners of Celtics and Braves/Clippers franchises, July 1978.

Games Played (Regular Season 80 G, 35.3 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 37.1 MPG): The two games in which Archibald did not appear were two consecutive games on 2/10/81 & 2/11/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 72; Playoffs: 17): Archibald came off the bench for the first seven games of the season. He moved into the starting lineup for the eighth game, on 10/29/80. At that point the Celtics had 75 regular season games remaining, of which Archibald played in 73, starting 72. The only games after 10/29/80 which Archibald did not start were the two in February in which he didn’t play, and the game immediately following those two (2/13/81), in which he played but came off the bench.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

CEDRIC MAXWELL

History: 1st round pick of Celtics in 1977.

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 33.7 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 35.2 MPG): The only game in which Maxwell did not appear was on 12/2/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 80; Playoffs: 17): As discussed earlier, there is a one-game discrepancy in Maxwell’s regular season games started. The Celtics Media Guide credits him with 81 starts, but my analysis of the TSN box scores suggests that he started 80 games. The discrepancy involves a game on 12/3/80. It seems pretty clear that Maxwell started every other game he played in.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career. Even though b-r.com lists Maxwell as an SF, I think of him as more of a PF, at least early in his career, when paired up with Bird.

ROBERT PARISH

History: 1st round pick of Warriors in 1976. Acquired in trade with Warriors, June 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 28.0 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 28.9 MPG): Parish appeared in every game the Celtics played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 82; Playoffs: 17): Parish started every game the Celtics played.

The Celtics Media Guide indicates that Parish started all 82 regular season games, and the TSN box scores are consistent with this (Parish appears in the starting center slot for all 80 box scores which appear to list the Celtics’ players in “starters first” order, and I see no reason to doubt that he also started the other two games). b-r.com shows Parish as starting only 78 games, however, with Rick Robey starting the other 4. I believe that this is incorrect. b-r.com shows the same numbers for each player for 1981-82; it may be that Parish and Robey’s 1981-82 games started figures are being incorrectly repeated under 1980-81.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

CHRIS FORD

History: 2nd round pick of Pistons in 1972. Acquired in trade with Pistons, October 1978.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 33.2 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 29.8 MPG): Ford appeared in every game the Celtics played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 75; Playoffs: 17): Ford came off the bench for the first seven games of the season. He moved into the starting lineup for the eighth game, on 10/29/80, replacing the injured M.L. Carr. Ford started every game from that point on.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard-Forward. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career. Ford may have played some small forward earlier in his career, but at this point I would think that he was a full-time guard.

KEVIN McHALE

History: 1st round pick of Celtics in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 20.1 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 17.4 MPG): McHale appeared in every game the Celtics played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 2; Playoffs: 0): As discussed earlier, there is a one-game discrepancy in McHale’s regular season games started. The Celtics Media Guide credits him with 1 start, but my analysis of the TSN box scores suggests that he started 2 games. Either way, it seems pretty clear that he was almost always used off the bench.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career.

RICK ROBEY

History: 1st round pick of Pacers in 1978. Acquired in trade with Pacers, January 1979.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 19.1 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 15.6 MPG): Robey appeared in every game the Celtics played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0; Playoffs: 0): Robey did not start any games.

The Celtics Media Guide indicates that Robey did not start any regular season games, and the TSN box scores are consistent with this (Robert Parish appears in the starting center slot for all 80 box scores that seem to list the Celtics’ players in “starters first” order, and I see no reason to doubt that he also started the other two games; there are no TSN box scores that indicate Robey as a starter). b-r.com shows Robey as starting 4 games, however, with Parish shown as starting only 78. I believe that this is incorrect. b-r.com shows the same numbers for each player for 1981-82; it may be that Robey and Parish’s 1981-82 games started figures are being incorrectly repeated under 1980-81.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

GERALD HENDERSON

History: 3rd round pick of Spurs in 1978. Signed as a free agent, June 1979.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 19.6 MPG; Playoffs 16 G, 14.3 MPG): The only game in which Henderson did not appear was a playoff game on 4/26/81. This was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Philadelphia.

Games Started (Regular Season: 10; Playoffs: 0): Henderson started the first seven games of the season before moving to the bench. His three remaining starts were the three games in February that Nate Archibald did not play in/start.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

M.L. CARR

History: Signed first pro contract with ABA, 1973. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, July 1979 (compensation owed to Pistons).

Games Played (Regular Season 41 G, 16.0 MPG; Playoffs 17 G, 16.9 MPG): Carr appeared in the first 7 games of the season, then was absent from the next 41 games. According to newspaper articles in the Google News Archive, Carr broke his foot in a game against Washington on 10/25/80. He was formally placed on the injured list on 12/5/80. Carr was activated from the injured list on 1/21/81, returning to the Celtics’ lineup that same day. He appeared in every game the Celtics played from that point on (the final 34 games of the regular season, and all 17 playoff games).

Note that, when Carr got injured, the team did not immediately place him on the injured list or sign a replacement, but played shorthanded for about six weeks before doing so. This was a common practice in this era. The Celtics may have wanted to wait until the contract-guarantee deadline, when a player of interest to them might get cut by another team, and when they could begin signing players to 10-day contracts. That’s what ended up happening, with the Celtics picking up Terry Duerod, initially on a 10-day contract. The Celtics ultimately decided to keep Duerod and cut another player, Wayne Kreklow, to make room for Carr when he returned.

Games Started (Regular Season: 7; Playoffs: 0): Carr started the first seven games of the season at guard, before he got injured. After he returned, he was used strictly off the bench and did not start any further games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career. Despite what b-r.com shows, I believe that Carr played much more heavily this year at shooting guard than at small forward, though he probably saw some time at both positions.

TERRY DUEROD

History: 3rd round pick of Pistons in 1979. Signed as a free agent (initially to a 10-day contract), December 1980.

Duerod was the only player on the Celtics’ end-of-season roster who did not begin the season with the team. He started out with the Mavericks, who waived him on 12/2/80, replacing him with Brad Davis. The Celtics initially signed Duerod to a 10-day contract on 12/5/80, filling the roster slot vacated by the injured M.L. Carr. Duerod was signed to a second 10-day contract on 12/15/80, then to a regular free agent contract on 12/27/80. When Carr returned in late January, the Celtics kept Duerod and cut Wayne Kreklow instead.

Games Played (Regular Season 32 G, 3.6 MPG; Playoffs 10 G, 1.2 MPG): The Celtics played approximately 57 regular-season games with Duerod on the roster. Duerod appeared in 32 of them. I’m not going to list out exactly which games Duerod appeared in and which he didn’t, but his appearances in the regular season box scores do add up to his official games played total. Including the 18 games he had played for the Mavericks earlier in the season, he appeared in 50 NBA regular-season games this year.

Between Duerod’s initial signing and 1/28/81, the Celtics played approximately 28 games with Duerod on the roster. Duerod appeared in less than half (12), and looks to have been buried very deep on the bench. Then, of the Celtics’ next 26 games, Duerod appeared in nearly three-quarters of them (19). This is kind of the opposite of what you’d expect, since Carr was back from his injury by then.

Duerod closed out the regular season by appearing in just 1 of the team’s last 4 regular-season games, then 10 of 17 playoff games. I can only find him listed in 9 of the TSN playoff box scores, but b-r.com’s game log lists him as appearing in a tenth game. Maybe Dick Pfander or b-r.com noticed this discrepancy and was able to verify elsewhere that he really did appear in a tenth playoff game, and which game it was. The TSN box scores show Duerod playing in Games 1, 2 & 4 of the Chicago series; Games 2 & 3 of the Philadelphia series; and Games 2, 3, 4 & 5 of the Finals against Houston. b-r.com also credits him with playing in Game 1 of the Philadelphia series. Duerod played only 12 minutes during the entire playoffs.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0; Playoffs: 0): Duerod did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for most of his career, including this season with Boston. The only exception is the portion of 1980-81 that Duerod spent with Dallas, where his primary position is listed as SF (note that this is the case even though the header doesn’t indicate that Duerod played forward at all).

ERIC FERNSTEN

History: 4th round pick of Cavaliers in 1975. Signed as a free agent, June 1979.

Games Played (Regular Season 45 G, 6.2 MPG; Playoffs 8 G, 1.8 MPG): I’m not going to list out exactly which games Fernsten appeared in and which he didn’t, but his appearances in the TSN box scores do add up to his official games played total.

Fernsten appeared in 18 of the Celtics’ first 23 games (including 17 out of 19 at one point), then just 27 of the remaining 59. Why Fernsten’s appearances became so much less frequent isn’t clear to me. If it was due to an injury, it must have been “nagging” in nature, as Fernsten never really missed any extended number of games. There is no roster change involving another player that would seem to explain it, either. Maybe the Celtics were becoming more comfortable with the rookie Kevin McHale, and gave him more playing time at Fernsten’s expense.

Fernsten appeared in 8 out of 17 playoff games. The games he played in were Game 1 of the Chicago series; Games 2, 3 & 7 of the Philadelphia series; and Games 3, 4, 5 & 6 of the Finals against Houston. Fernsten played only 14 minutes during the entire playoffs.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0; Playoffs: 0): Fernsten did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as C for four of his six NBA seasons, including this one, and PF for the other two (1979-80 and 1983-84).

NO LONGER WITH TEAM:

WAYNE KREKLOW

History: 3rd round pick of Celtics in 1979. Signed as a free agent, September 1980. (Note: Kreklow had been cut by the Celtics in training camp in 1979, so even though he had come out of college a year earlier, he had no regular-season NBA experience prior to this season.)

Kreklow started the season with the Celtics, but was waived on 1/21/81, to make room for M.L. Carr upon the latter’s return from the injured list. The Celtics elected to keep the player they had signed while Carr was out, Terry Duerod, and let Kreklow go. The Celtics played a game on the day Kreklow was waived, but Carr appeared in that game. So it is apparent that the roster move was made before the game, and Kreklow’s last game on the roster was the Celtics’ previous game on 1/19/81. That game was also his last appearance. Kreklow never played in the NBA again.

Games Played (Regular Season 25 G, 4.0 MPG): While Kreklow was on the Celtics’ roster, the team played 48 games. Kreklow appeared in 25. I’m not going to list out exactly which games Kreklow appeared in and which he didn’t, but his appearances in the TSN box scores do add up to his official games played total.

In terms of games played, Kreklow’s season breaks into three parts. He appeared in just 1 of the Celtics’ first 6 games; then played in 17 of the next 19 (a stretch running from 10/25/80 to 12/5/80); then played in just 7 of the remaining 23 for which he was with the team (including just 1 of the last 7). Not surprisingly, Kreklow’s turn as a near-everyday player begins with the game where Carr got hurt and ends on the day Duerod was signed.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Kreklow did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG; this is the only season that Kreklow played in the NBA.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started and Transact

Postby MCT » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:02 pm

BOSTON CELTICS – PART III

PLAYERS BY POSITION

STARTERS

The Celtics had a stable starting lineup throughout most of the season: Parish at center; Bird and Maxwell at forward; and Archibald and Ford at guard. At the very beginning of the season, the starting backcourt was Henderson and Carr, but that changed eight games in. Ford took over for Carr due to the latter’s injury. At the same time, Archibald took over for Henderson.

b-r.com lists Bird as the PF and Maxwell as the SF, but I think of them the other way around. (b-r.com lists Bird’s primary position as PF every season through 1983-84, SF thereafter; they show Maxwell’s primary position as SF throughout his entire career.) The ‘80s Celtics didn’t always use their frontcourt players strictly in traditional roles, though, and Bird was one of those guys whose skill set can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role very well – he led the team in rebounds, and was second in assists. More than anything, I think Bird just played his game, and the other frontcourt players adapted around him.

In the backcourt, b-r.com lists Archibald as the PG, and Ford as the SG. That assessment seems pretty clear-cut.

The Celtics’ starters played fairly heavy minutes. Four of the five starters averaged at least 33 minutes per game during the regular season, with Parish the only exception.

RESERVES

The primary reserves were Robey (center), McHale (power forward), Henderson (point guard), and when healthy, Carr. Carr looks to have been a swingman who saw time at both shooting guard and small forward, but primarily shooting guard. All four of these players averaged between 16.0 and 20.1 minutes per game, with no one player standing out to me in a clear sixth man role.

If you add up the minutes played by Parish and Robey, it yields a sum that includes all but 89 of the available minutes at center for the regular season; and if you add up the minutes played by Bird, Maxwell and McHale, it yields a sum that includes all but 298 of the available minutes at forward for the regular season. So it looks like Robey and McHale were the only guys with significant playing time in a frontcourt reserve role. With basically a three-man rotation at forward, McHale must have seen playing time alongside both starters. In a lineup with McHale and Maxwell, I’d call McHale the PF and Maxwell the SF.

The backcourt was similar, if not as extreme. If you add up the minutes played by Archibald, Ford and Henderson, it yields a sum that includes all but 761 of the available minutes at guard for the season. The majority of those minutes were likely played by Carr, and he was absent for half the season. As such, Henderson must have seen significant playing time alongside both Archibald and Ford.

Duerod (shooting guard) and Fernsten (center-power forward) were pretty clearly the last two guys on the bench. Both played far fewer minutes than the other reserves. Neither was really an everyday player, and neither appears to have typically gotten many minutes even when they did play.

POSITION NOTES

McHale and Robey: C versus PF

I’m finding that a lot of teams have players listed by b-r.com as playing both center and (power) forward, and it isn’t always obvious who played how many minutes where. b-r.com shows Robey’s primary position as C throughout his NBA career, and McHale’s as PF. But the headers list Robey’s position as “Center-Forward”, and McHale’s as “Forward-Center”. If you look at the available minutes and assume that each stuck to the position identified as his primary position, there wouldn’t seem to have been any pressing need to give Robey much playing time at forward or McHale much at center. I don’t know how the Celtics actually used these two, though; they could have been used somewhat interchangeably. Adding up the playoff minutes for Bird, Maxwell and McHale yields a total that is actually greater than the available minutes at forward, so it looks like McHale saw at least a little bit of time at center then.

Where did Carr play (more): SG or SF?

b-r.com shows Carr’s primary position as SF throughout his NBA career (including this season), but the header lists his position as “Forward-Guard”, and during the small portion of the 1980-81 season when he was starting, he was starting at guard. Looking at the minutes played by others on the Celtics’ roster, while Carr probably saw some time at both positions, he likely got the vast majority of his minutes this year at shooting guard. If you add up the minutes played for all of the Celtics’ other frontcourt players (including Eric Fernsten), only 108 minutes remain; if you add up the minutes for all of the Celtics’ other backcourt players (including Terry Duerod and Wayne Kreklow), 547 minutes remain. Performing the same exercise on playoff minutes yields a similar result, with 255 available backcourt minutes versus 33 frontcourt minutes. Unless someone who was primarily a forward saw a significant amount of playing time at guard, I don’t see how Carr couldn’t have played far more minutes at guard than at forward.

Where did Fernsten play (more): C or PF?

b-r.com shows Fernsten’s primary position as center for most seasons of his NBA career, including this one, although there are a couple where he’s listed at power forward, and the header shows his position as “Center-Forward”. This year Fernsten probably saw time at both center and power forward, but he played so few minutes that it’s hard to tell which one he played more of.

Ford at SF?

b-r.com shows Ford’s primary position as SG throughout his NBA career, but the header lists his position as “Guard-Forward”. I’d hazard a guess that Ford may have played some small forward earlier in his career, but by this point was a full-time guard. I’d be surprised if Ford saw any significant minutes at forward in 1980-81.

TRIVIA

Oldest Player: Nate Archibald, born 9/2/48 (age 32 throughout the season).

Played in ABA: M.L. Carr.

Longest continuous service with team: Cedric Maxwell, with the team since the 1977-78 season.

Highest original draft position*: #3 overall – Rick Robey and Kevin McHale.

Lowest original draft position*: 5th round, #76 overall - M.L. Carr.

Youngest Player: Kevin McHale, born 12/19/57 (age 22 at start of season, turned 23 in December). McHale was the only player on the team who was in his first year out of college.

*Which player was chosen with the highest/lowest selection, by round and/or overall pick, with no regard to whether any players may have been drafted under circumstances not reflecting their “true” value (e.g., player was a junior eligible who had not committed to turn pro right away; player was already under contract to ABA, or thought to be likely to sign with ABA).
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started and Transact

Postby meej » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:13 am

Wayne Krekow spent the previous season in the CBA with the Maine Lumberjacks, and went back to the Commercial league when he was cut.

viewtopic.php?t=3620

Image
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started and Transact

Postby MCT » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:23 am

Assuming that photo was taken during a regular season game, it would have to be 10/10/80 (opening night of the 1980-81 season), as that was the only home game against Cleveland Kreklow ever appeared in.

I'm not sure that it was taken in a regular season game, though. The Cleveland player on the left is wearing number 14; b-r.com shows that no one wore that number for the Cavs in 1980-81. Foots Walker wore it in 1979-80, but he was traded to the Nets about halfway through training camp in 1980. Is the photo presumably then from an exhibition game game in the 1979 preseason, or early in the 1980 preseason?

I recall reading somewhere that even after the Celtics released Kreklow, they let him continue working out with the team for the remainder of the season. The contract-guarantee deadline for the season had passed by the time they cut him, so they had to continue paying Kreklow anyway. With the reduced 11-man rosters of that era, it was also useful to have an extra player for practice. (This would have also given the Celtics a readily available fill-in if they had another injury in the backcourt -- it probably would have made more sense to sign Kreklow than anyone else they could've gotten out of the CBA or off the waiver wire -- but that never came to pass.) IINM, the Celtics ultimately included Kreklow in their championship parade and gave him a championship ring, even though he is technically probably not considered a "member of a championship team".
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby D.Highmore » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:47 pm

That's got to be from the 1980-81 preseason - you can see the 35th Anniversary patch on Kreklow's shorts, which was only used during that season.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby tpakrac » Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:40 pm

MCT, fantastic post.

I think you should include 1980-81 Celtics preseason games with box scores. Regular season box scores can be found both on b-r and stats.nba.com but early 80's preseason box scores are not published on b-r and stats.nba.com.

I am not subscriber to newspaperarchive.com but I did some digging on Google Newspaper and found the following 1980-81 Celtics preseason games:

Sunday, September 21, 1980: Boston 106, New Jersey 99

Tuesday, September 23, 1980: New York vs Boston at Portland, Me

Thursday, September 25, 1980: Milwaukee 121, Boston 110

Friday, September 26, 1980: Milwaukee 104, Boston 95 at Hartford, Conn.

Saturday, September 27, 1980: New York 113, Boston 107

Monday, September 29, 1980: Boston 97, Indiana 105

Wednesday, October 1, 1980: Chicago 103, Boston 113 (at Evansville, Ind.)

Friday, October 3, 1980: New York vs Boston at Terre Haute, Ind.

This was quick search on Google Newspapers and I probably missed a game or two, and couldn't find Cavaliers preseason game.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby MCT » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:39 pm

I haven't been able to find any evidence that the Celtics played the Cavaliers in the 1980-81 preseason, either. After studying the team photos in the Cavaliers Media Guide, and the snapshots of players' faces that appear in NBA Registers, I'll offer a different theory. I'm not entirely convinced that the Cleveland player wearing number 14 is actually Foots Walker. To the contrary, I think it looks a lot like Robert Smith.

Smith had two brief stints with the Cavaliers, appearing in one game in 1980-81 and seven games in 1984-85. His only appearance in 1980-81, and his only regular-season game against Boston in either of his stints with Cleveland, was on opening night of the 1980-81 season (10/10/80). So if the picture is from a regular-season game, and if the player in the photo is Smith, it must be from 10/10/80. As noted earlier, the game on 10/10/80 is also the only home game against Cleveland that Kreklow ever appeared in. So if the picture is from a regular-season game, based on Kreklow’s appearance in it, it must be from 10/10/80. That’s just too much of a coincidence; the picture has to be from that game.

There are two catches to this theory, however. First, reference sources indicate that Smith wore number 10 for Cleveland. Is it possible that Smith wore number 10 only during his stint with the Cavaliers in 1984-85, and wore number 14 in 1980-81, but the latter fact has gotten lost somewhere along the line (bearing in mind that Smith only appeared in one regular-season game in 1980-81)?

Note that number 14 would have been open when Smith arrived in Cleveland, because he didn't get there until after Walker was traded. Smith began the 1980-81 preseason with the Nets, for whom he had played the previous year, then was picked up by Cleveland after the Nets cut him. Walker was traded on 9/24, and Smith was signed on 10/1. Also, based on my comments in the 1980-81 Cavaliers thread about the misidentifications in the team photo in the Cavaliers Media Guide, the team seems to have been in the habit around this time of at least initially assigning new players the numbers of recently departed players. It looks like Kim Hughes initially got Elmore Smith's old number, and Richard Washington initially got Dave Robisch's (although both subsequently changed numbers). Against that backdrop, it makes sense that the Cavaliers would have given Walker's old number to Smith when they signed him.

The second catch: information I am finding online suggests that the Cleveland uniforms in the photo were replaced by a new uniform in 1980-81. The uniform the Cavs had been wearing since the 1974-75 season, with the multicolored patches up and down the sides, was replaced by a very bland-looking uniform which lasted through the 1982-83 season. The players in the 1980-81 team photo in the Cavaliers Media Guide (which appears to have been taken sometime between 10/31/80 and 11/17/80 based on the personnel present) are wearing the new uniform. The only way the photo could have been taken on 10/10/80 is if the new uniform wasn't ready at the start of the 1980-81 season, and the Cavs kept wearing their old style uniforms into the early part of the season. I haven’t been able to confirm that from online sources. The Cavaliers web site shows the old uniform in use until “1981” (which could be taken to mean “sometime in the 1980-81 season”), although in listing the team’s record while wearing each style of uniform, the entire 1980-81 season is clearly being assigned to the later uniform. I guess the photo itself provides some evidence that the change didn’t occur until after the season began, as it is clearly from 1980-81 (based on the 35th anniversary patch on Kreklow’s shorts), yet the Cleveland players are wearing the old uniforms.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby MCT » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:12 pm

MCT wrote:The second catch: information I am finding online suggests that the Cleveland uniforms in the photo were replaced by a new uniform in 1980-81. The uniform the Cavs had been wearing since the 1974-75 season, with the multicolored patches up and down the sides, was replaced by a very bland-looking uniform which lasted through the 1982-83 season. The players in the 1980-81 team photo in the Cavaliers Media Guide (which appears to have been taken sometime between 10/31/80 and 11/17/80 based on the personnel present) are wearing the new uniform. The only way the photo could have been taken on 10/10/80 is if the new uniform wasn't ready at the start of the 1980-81 season, and the Cavs kept wearing their old style uniforms into the early part of the season. I haven’t been able to confirm that from online sources. The Cavaliers web site shows the old uniform in use until “1981” (which could be taken to mean “sometime in the 1980-81 season”), although in listing the team’s record while wearing each style of uniform, the entire 1980-81 season is clearly being assigned to the later uniform. I guess the photo itself provides some evidence that the change didn’t occur until after the season began, as it is clearly from 1980-81 (based on the 35th anniversary patch on Kreklow’s shorts), yet the Cleveland players are wearing the old uniforms.

The Google News Archive has a UPI wire service photo, taken in the 10/21/80 Cleveland-Milwaukee game and published in the 10/22/80 Reading (Pa.) Eagle, which shows Dave Robisch wearing the old style uniform. This provides further evidence that the Cavs continued wearing the old 1974 style uniform into at least the early part of the 1980-81 season:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 79,1066165

The photo of the player I believe to be Smith and the photo of Robisch were both taken in road games. It's possible that home uniforms and road uniforms did not switch to the new style at the same time.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby MCT » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:53 pm

A while back, Mike G. posted some material in the Spurs thread, with position information for 1980-81 sourced from Neft & Cohen’s NBA Encyclopedia. I recently posted about this in the introductory thread to this series, noting that I planned to post and comment on this data on a team-by-team basis. See the eighth post in the introductory thread for more information.

Here’s what Neft & Cohen have for the Celtics:

Mike Goodman wrote:
Code: Select all
tm     player         pos   Min     PO   Min
Bos   Larry Bird       F   3239      F   750
Bos   Nate Archibald   G   2820      G   630
Bos   Cedric Maxwell   F   2730      F   598
Bos   Chris Ford       G   2723      G   507
Bos   Robert Parish    C   2298      C   492
Bos   Kevin McHale    fc   1645     fc   296
Bos   Gerald Henderson g   1608      g   228
Bos   Rick Robey      cf   1569      c   265
Bos   M.L. Carr       gf    655     gf   288
Bos   Eric Fernsten    c    279      f    14
Bos   Terry Duerod     g    114      g    12


MCT wrote:I’m finding that a lot of teams have players listed by b-r.com as playing both center and (power) forward, and it isn’t always obvious who played how many minutes where. b-r.com shows Robey’s primary position as C throughout his NBA career, and McHale’s as PF. But the headers list Robey’s position as “Center-Forward”, and McHale’s as “Forward-Center”. If you look at the available minutes and assume that each stuck to the position identified as his primary position, there wouldn’t seem to have been any pressing need to give Robey much playing time at forward or McHale much at center. I don’t know how the Celtics actually used these two, though; they could have been used somewhat interchangeably.

Neft & Cohen seem to think McHale and Robey were used interchangeably, because they have McHale as “fc”, and Robey as “cf”.

MCT wrote:Adding up the playoff minutes for Bird, Maxwell and McHale yields a total that is actually greater than the available minutes at forward, so it looks like McHale saw at least a little bit of time at center then.

Note that for the playoffs, Neft & Cohen have McHale as “fc”, but Robey as just “c”.

MCT wrote:b-r.com shows Carr’s primary position as SF throughout his NBA career (including this season), but the header lists his position as “Forward-Guard”, and during the small portion of the 1980-81 season when he was starting, he was starting at guard. Looking at the minutes played by others on the Celtics’ roster, while Carr probably saw some time at both positions, he likely got the vast majority of his minutes this year at shooting guard. If you add up the minutes played for all of the Celtics’ other frontcourt players (including Eric Fernsten), only 108 minutes remain; if you add up the minutes for all of the Celtics’ other backcourt players (including Terry Duerod and Wayne Kreklow), 547 minutes remain. Performing the same exercise on playoff minutes yields a similar result, with 255 available backcourt minutes versus 33 frontcourt minutes. Unless someone who was primarily a forward saw a significant amount of playing time at guard, I don’t see how Carr couldn’t have played far more minutes at guard than at forward.

Neft & Cohen seem to agree with my take. They have Carr as “gf”. Note that this contradicts b-r.com’s identification of Carr’s primary position as SF (which I had disputed in my previous analysis).

MCT wrote:b-r.com shows Fernsten’s primary position as center for most seasons of his NBA career, including this one, although there are a couple where he’s listed at power forward, and the header shows his position as “Center-Forward”. This year Fernsten probably saw time at both center and power forward, but he played so few minutes that it’s hard to tell which one he played more of.

Neft & Cohen have Fernsten as “c” for the regular season, but “f” for the playoffs.

MCT wrote:b-r.com shows Ford’s primary position as SG throughout his NBA career, but the header lists his position as “Guard-Forward”. I’d hazard a guess that Ford may have played some small forward earlier in his career, but by this point was a full-time guard. I’d be surprised if Ford saw any significant minutes at forward in 1980-81.

Neft & Cohen have Ford as exclusively a guard.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby Mike Goodman » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:29 pm

According to the summary stats at b-r.com -- PER, WS/48, and BPM -- the Celtics 4 or 5 best players were C and F. So ML Carr was not going to see floor time at F, but the team could use him at G, even if he's out of position.
Ford of course would not replace McHale, Maxwell, Bird, or even Robey for any F minutes.

Sorting the playoff minutes by position, it would seem to be:
Code: Select all
center   mpg     forward  mpg     guard     mpg
Parish  28.9    Bird     44.1    Archibald 37.1
Robey   15.6    Maxwell  35.2    Ford      29.8
McHale   3.5    McHale   13.9    Carr      15.0
.               Carr      2.0    Henderson 13.4
.               Fernsten  0.8    Duerod     0.7
. all   48.0     all     96.0    all       96.0
`
36% of all statistics are wrong
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby MCT » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:31 pm

Mike Goodman wrote:So ML Carr was not going to see floor time at F, but the team could use him at G, even if he's out of position.

Carr was only playing out of position at guard if you look at his current b-r.com page and conclude that he was exclusively a forward. But I don't think that's accurate. Based on the totality of all the sources we're using, I think Carr could actually play either forward or guard. (Of the three sources we're using with position information, b-r.com's current data is the only one of the three that doesn't indicate that Carr could also play guard.) Since the 1980-81 Celtics had more of a need for him at guard than at forward, he played more at guard.

There are two issues going on with b-r.com's position data on Carr:

1) b-r.com currently goes by (what they show as) the player's primary position for each season of his career, not taking into account any position the player may have seen significant time at as a secondary position. Because they show Carr's primary position as SF for every season of his career, the information currently on Carr's b-r.com page provides no clue that he ever played any position other than SF. By contrast, the information that formerly appeared in the b-r.com headers did take into account secondary positions - it used to list Carr as "Forward-Guard". This is why I've continued using the old b-r.com header information as a source, even though b-r.com has changed it.

2) Put bluntly, I don't think b-r.com's conclusion that SF was Carr's primary position for every season of his career is accurate. It seems to be wrong for 1980-81, and while I haven't done this type of analysis on any other season, I would be surprised if this was the only season Carr played more extensively at SG than at SF.
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Re: 1980-81 Boston Celtics Games Played/Started & Transactio

Postby Mike Goodman » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:43 pm

My big file has corroded some over the years, but here's ML Carr's position designation thru the years:
Code: Select all
year    tm    min   pos   pos#   po  pos
1976   StL   2174   F      3     min
1977   Det   2643   F      3     112  F
1978   Det   2556   F      3     
1979   Det   3207   Fg   2.67
     
1980   Bos   1994   fg   2.67    172  fg
1981   Bos    655   gf   2.33    288  gf
1982   Bos   1296   gf   2.33    305  G
1983   Bos    883   fg   2.67     22  g
1984   Bos    585   g      2     

. totals    15993        2.76     

Calling a SF a 3, and a SG a 2, I've assigned numbers to the positions, weighted by annual minutes, and guess that ML played about 3/4 of his career minutes at SF.
His last stint as a starter looks like the '82 playoffs, when Archibald went down.

EDIT: Carr played one more season, 1985; listed as f for both RS and PO. And g for '84 PO.
Not counting his final season (last legs) his rebounds/36 min ran like this, by position:
F - 6.3 to 8.2
FG - 4.2 to 6.6
GF - 2.7 to 4.0
G - 2.1 to 3.0
`
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