The Celtics were one of the greatest super teams of all-time and 1986 just may have been their greatest year. Boston owned the best defensive rating in the league, Larry Bird was at the height of his powers, along his side were the “Chief” Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. Off the bench was Bill Walton and his archival knowledge of the Grateful Dead. The four towers were a green nightmare for all opponents, dominating their way to a record of 67-15.
Bird averaged 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists per game per game, while finishing eighth in steals to win his third straight MVP. Meanwhile, injury-ridden Bill Walton came off the bench to play a career-high 80 games, have the highest defensive rating in the league, and win the 6th Man of the Year award. Walton’s miraculous year would be all but his last, only playing ten games the following year. But we can all thank the basketball gods that the world was able to see Larry Bird and Bill Walton on the same team, even if it was just for one year.
The Celtics beat young Jordan’s Bulls in four games despite send-year MJ serving up a fresh 63 on the Parquet floor. The only loss on their way through the East came in the second round to the Atlanta Hawks. After dismantling the Bucks, the Celtics faced the Houston Rockets and their twin towers, Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. The Celtics would defeat the young “Dream” in six games.