Re: What really set the Celtics back in the 1990's
posted at 2/17/2014 1:03 AM EST
Red Auerbach made a mistake by picking Michael Smith over Tim Hardaway or Shawn Kemp in the 1989 Draft.
But that was his only mistake.
I don't consider not trading McHale for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins a mistake.
You really think the Celts would won another championship with Schrempf and Perkins?
Of course not!
There was no need to break up the Big 3 in 1989 because Bird, Parish, and McHale were still playing at a high level.
First, it is two mistakes being reversed, not one. Yes I do believe that had he traded McHale for Schrempf and Perkins we had a shot at another title.
Ainge and Tim Hardaway would have been on those teams. Why? Because Red made the Ainge for Pinckney-Kleine moves (two bigs) INSTEAD of trading McHale. Come draft day, after seeing how good Perkins and Schrempf were at the forward spots (instead of being underwhelmed by Pinckney and knowing McHale had screws in his foot) Red would have conceded that Hardaway be the choice over Schrempf clone Michael Smith.
Bird was DESTROYED in 1990 at 39 mins a game.
That was McHale's last good season at 33 mins, 20.9 points and 8 rebs before he fell apart. But it was barely better than the 33 minutes, 16.2 points and 8 rebounds Schrempf gave that year.
Smith's (9 mins, 5ppg/1.5rpg), Pinckney's (14mpg, 4.7ppg/3rpg) and Kleine's (17mpg, 5.4ppg/4.4rpg) outputs combined were basically the same as Perkins 35.5mpg, 15 points and 7.5 rebounds. Perkins remember could play center. So the frontcourt strength you brag about was pretty much a wash had that trade been made.
Meanwhile, Ainge scored 18ppg and dished out 6apg in 36 minutes in Sacramento in 1990. Yes they were a bad team, but still, he was a $0.50 traded for two quarters. Brian Shaw fled overseas to Italy to make more money. Red didn't solve that one correctly either. Yuck!
Reggie Lewis was forced to play SG all of 1990 (b/c Ainge and Shaw were gone) after breaking out as a SF in 1989. He actually regressed slightly from 18.5ppg to 17ppg and played a minute less per game. Think the C's would have been better off giving Ainge those 32 minutes at SG and giving Lewis half his mins at SF? Bird could have had his mins cut from the insane 39 down to a reasonable 32 and Parish could have played 26 minutes instead of 30.
Think Bird would have been a better player in the 1990 playoffs and the 1991 and 1992 seasons if he had some of those 39 mins back?
Hardaway went for 14.7ppg, 8.7apg and 2.2spg in 33 mins as a rookie then was an all-star 22/10 guy the next 3 seaoson in a row. DJ was run out there an idiotic 27 mins a game his final season but still dished out 6.5 dimes. Hardaway could have extended his career by a year.
So yes Fiercy, I think the 1990 or 1991 Celtics could have won a title with this rotation:
C - Parish (28 mins) Perkins (20 mins)
PF - Bird (32 mins), Perkins (16 mins)
SF - Schrempf (34 mins) Lewis (14 mins)
SG - Ainge (28 mins) Lewis (20 mins)
PG - Hardaway (32 mins) DJ (16 mins)
DJ could still have retired after 1990 and Shaw (who returned and put up 13.7/7.6 in 35 minutes) could have taken over backup PG and been MUCH better. Or Red could have just PAID SHAW before the 1989-90 season and had an incredible backcourt. Or traded Shaw for a backup center who was at least as good or hopefully better than Joe Kliene.
The run and gun teams that Chris Ford tried to implement to compete with the Bulls in the early 90's would have been truly amazing with Schrempf, Perkins, Ainge, Shaw, Tim Hardaway and a more rested and healthy Larry Bird instead of running bird into the ground and playing guys like Pinckney, Smith, Bagley, DJ, McHale and Kleine instead.
Get it Fierce?
Then come 1992 maybe Bird....WOULDN'T HAVE RETIRED!
He'd have probably played 1-2 more years if he wasn't absolutely annhiliated at 38/39 mins a game in '90 and '91.
And when he finally did retire, Hardaway, Perkins and Schrempf would be sitting there representing 4-5 first round picks from '94-'97. McHale and Parish in 1992 as a PAIR would have been lucky to land a first rounf pick in the last half of the 1993 draft.
Do you get it now Fiercy?