Ever find yourself wishing for the good old days? I remember watching the Celtics when defense was important and when the Celtics didn't back down from anyone. They had a certain swagger back then. Of course, I know that part of that swagger came from winning, but anther part came from just being the Celtics. A few incidents come to mind when I think of the good old days.
I remember game 4 of the classic 7 game Detroit/Boston playoff series in 1987. Laimbeer the Evil jerked Larry Bird to the floor by the head. Bird reacted and a bench clearing brawl ensued. After the tangle of bodies was straightened out, Bird and Laimbeer were both ejected. It was at this point that Larry fired the ball point blank at Laimbeer's face so hard that it had to have left an imprint of the logo on his face. Later, hearing that Laimbeer claimed he was just trying to go for the ball, Larry replied that he was just giving it to him.
In game 5 of that same series, Robert Parish, who was generally even tempered and very hard to rattle, sucker punched Laimbeer. He wasn't thrown out of the game for it but was later suspended one game. Since he was nursing a mildly sprained ankle at the time and probably would have sat out anyway, it wasn't all that bad.
In the 1984 finals, Larry Bird wasn't happy with his teammates. He called them out saying that they had played like a bunch of women. The game after this pronouncement from Bird, the teams locked in a classic battle. It was literally 48 minutes plus overtime of a basketbrawl. Kareem attempted to take Larry's head off his shoulder with an elbow. James Worthy hammered Cedric Maxwell into the basket support and Rambis and Carr were at each others throats over and over. The most memorable of these run ins was McHale's clothesline of Rambis. Laker fans still hate McHale and talk about it to this day. http://www.kurtrambis.com/anti-mchale.html This play and this game changed the whole complexion of that playoff series. A little intimidation goes a long way.
And finally, there are no two players who are as professional and as classy as Bird and Doctor J. But in 1984, frustration set in and with his team losing, Doctor J punched Larry Bird. Larry then went for Dr J's throat giving us a photo that will live in NBA infamy.
We all remember the "Bad Boys" from Detroit who were famous for their intimidation and tough play. I can still hear Johnny Most complaining about McFilthy and McNasty and who can forget the call when Boston played in Detroit, Oh, the yellow gutless way they do things here!”
Ok, enough of the reminiscing. I am not pushing for more fights or for the current Celtics to become thugs, but it would be nice to see that swagger again. That tough defense that says "Not in my house." Today's Herald has a headline that says that Doc wants the Celtics to show a little fight. This refers to the same thing that I am talking about. Not a fist fight, but the heart and the swagger that shows people that the Celtics won't back down and that we are a force to reckon with.
I think that is why I love Perk so much. He brings some of that swagger and toughness back to the Celtics and he does it with defense. His "No layups!" motto takes me back to the days when the Celtics took defense seriously. Back to when Parish guarded the basket with the intense visage that won him the nickname "Chief." Back to the days when it meant something to be a Celtic and they didn't back down from a challenge. Perk is a throwback to those days. He is our enforcer. Now if we could get the rest of the team on board with that attitude. "No Layups!" They need to lay that tough form of defense that says "You won't score on me!"
No, we don't need to get in fist fights or to clothesline players to get that swagger or that Celtics Pride back. We need to go with Perk's "No Layups!" We need to play tough strangling defense on teams and let them know "Not in my house!" It's time to go back to the good old days. Every player must commit to playing defense and bring back that swagger to Boston. "No layups!" The Celtics are back! Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!
I would like for us to have a swagger about ourselves. I want this team to have an identity, as a tough team to play against physically.
I look at teams like the Wiz and the Griz, and they just don't have an identity that is unique to just them. When you think of the Pistons, you think of defense. You think of the Suns, you think of offense. Hopefully, when people think of the Celtics, they think of a tough defensive team with a killer offensive attack.
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