Here are the most re-watchable Celtics series of the past four decades. Unfortunately, this list can only include games from the 1980’s on. The Bill Russell and John Havlicek Celtics played in some incredible series, but it is hard enough to find highlights from those years, let alone an entire playoff game.
The series chosen will be spread out by era and especially by season. If not, the list would be entirely dedicated to the Larry Bird Era. One playoff round for each year and different eras will receive representation. Lastly, the series chosen are not guaranteed to be the last two rounds of years the Celtics raised a banner.
Celtics most re-watchable series: 1984 NBA Finals, 2008 Eastern Conference Finals, 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals. (Honorable Mentions, 1981 Eastern Conference Finals, 1986 NBA Finals, 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, 2008 NBA Finals, 2018 Eastern Conference Semifinals)
If there is one Larry Bird Celtic series to watch, it is the 1984 NBA Finals. The only time Bird defeats Magic in The Finals is one of the most entertaining NBA series of all time. Gerald Henderson’s steal, Kevin McHale’s close-line on Kurt Rambis, Bird’s go-ahead jumper over Magic, the Garden practically melting in Game 5 all became a part of Celtic lour. A nine point Celtic win over the Lakers ended the series in Game 7. It would take 24 years for Boston to get the better of LA in The Finals again.
The 2008 Eastern Conference Finals pitted Boston’s new Big 3 of Allen, Garnett, and Pierce against a tough, hard nosed Pistons roster. The series really got interesting after Game 2 of the series, when Detroit won in Boston. The Celtics had been undefeated at home in the playoffs until that point. They knew they would have to win at least one game in Detroit to advance. The Celtics would prevail in thee of the next four contests, with two of them coming on the road. Boston was on to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987.
While the 2017 Celtics were not quite championship contenders, their second round battle against the Washington Wizards was a very intriguing series. Most fans will remember Isaiah Thomas scoring 53 points in Game 2. It was his sister’s birthday, who tragically passed away in April of that year in a car accident. Kelly Olynyk came up huge in Game 7, pouring in 26 points off the bench to help give Boston a 115-105 win. This series showed why the 2017 Celtics were such a blast to follow. Far from the most talented roster, but they played with a certain energy that radiated throughout the Boston Garden.
These series were chosen due to how competitive the rounds were, and also since each team’s best players stepped up when they needed to. While there have been countless compelling Celtic playoff series throughout years, these three highlight the components needed to make a memorable basketball playoff series.
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