BelichickEinstein's Blog

This is a new series that I am starting. It's pretty straightforward. I will go position by position and make my choices for the top five Celtics to ever play that position. Things I will take into account:

  • Production (of course)
  • Longevity of career spent with the Celtics
  • Postseason success

I will try my best to not take the usual picks, but there are certain ones that are impossible to change. I will do ever position, as well as coach. Finally, I will write my last blog on the current starters and their chances of making any of these lists. I will refrain from using current NBA players on the lists for that purpose.
Note: I will only be using stats with the Celtics.

Celtics All-Time Shooting Guards

1.)    John Havlicek

Regular Season:
Games: 1,270 - 1st all-time - Led NBA 2 times
Minutes: 46,471 - 1st all-time - Led NBA 2 Times
Field Goals: 10,513 - 1st all-time
Field Goal Percentage: 0.439
Free Throws: 5,369 - 2nd all-time
Free Throw Percentage: 0.815
Steals: 476 (not recorded until 1973-74 season)
Assists: 6,114 - 2nd all-time
Points: 26,395 - 1st all-time
Steals per Game: 1.2 (not recorded until 1973-74 season)
Assists per Game: 4.8
Points per Game: 20.8 - 3rd all-time

Points per Game: 22.0
Assists per Game: 4.8
Steals per Game: 1.13 - Led NBA 1 time (not recorded until 1973-74 season)
Games: 172 - Led NBA 5 times

Havlicek, like Cousy, is an "untouchable". There is simply no argument to be made for not putting him at number one. I was even surprised at some of his all-time rankings. He is first all-time among Celtics in games, minutes, field goals and points! As well as being in the top three in free throws, assists and points per game. His stats are simply incredible, resulting from a superb sixteen year career, all with the Celtics.

While on the C's, Havlicek compiled a 853-460 record, that is an excellent 64.97% winning percentage. He played on just two teams that had losing records. Six different times did Havlicek's team have a winning percentage north of 70%. And don't say this is because he played for Auerbach's teams. Nope, Havlicek played under four different coaches during his career (Auerbach, Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, Tom Sanders). Oh yeah, he has eight rings, too.

However, despite all of the positives in Havlicek's r??sum??, there is one argument to be made against him. Havlicek could be seen as a bit of a "compiler". He never lead the league in anything other than games and minutes, yet he is so high on the Celtics' all-time ranking lists. However, I don't really care. He has the production (take a look at those stats again), longevity (16 years with C's) and postseason success (8 rings) that I am looking for. He is #1.

2.)    Sam Jones

Regular Season:
Games: 871 - 10th all-time - Led NBA 1 time
Minutes: 24,285 - 10th all-time
Field Goals: 6,271 - 6th all-time
Field Goal Percentage: 0.456
Free Throws: 2,869 - 9th all-time
Free Throw Percentage: 0.803
Steals: N/A
Assists: 2,209
Points: 15,411 - 7th all-time
Steals per Game: N/A
Assists per Game: 2.5
Points per Game: 17.7

Points per Game: 18.9
Assists per Game: 2.3
Steals per Game: N/A
Games: 154 - Led NBA 6 times

Sam Jones was a scorer in every sense of the word. He is 7th all-time in points for the Celtics, and only averaged 2.5 assists per game. He was no Havlicek, but hey, who is? Right? Jones played on some very, very good teams. Just look at some of his teammates; Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, Tom Heinsohn, Don Nelson and Havlicek. Despite playing with so many great players, Jones still averaged over 20 points per game 4 times and at least 15 points per game 9 times.

Unfortunately, steals were not available during Jones' time. That does not mean it is impossible to know how good he was at defense (for those of us who couldn't watch him). According to defensive win shares, Sam Jones was an excellent defender. He had 43.7 defensive win shares, good for 8th all-time in Celtics history. Also, according to win shares per 48 minutes, Sam Jones meant more to the Celtics when it came to winning games than every player on that list I mentioned before other than Russell and Havlicek.

Should it be noted that Bill Russell played every single year that Jones did? It should be mentioned, yes, but how important is it? Well, according to win shares per 48 minutes, not that much. He was 6th all-time in that category among Celtics. Jones never led the league in scoring, but he was a great scorer. And, from what I can gather, a quality defender as well. This Hall of Famer is my #2 point guard.

3.)    Bill Sharman

Regular Season:
Games: 680 - Led NBA 1 time
Minutes: 21,793
Field Goals: 4,620
Field Goal Percentage:
Free Throws: 3,047 - 8th all-time
Free Throw Percentage: 0.883 - 4th all-time - Led NBA 7 times
Steals: N/A
Assists: 2.062
Points: 12,287
Steals per Game: N/A
Assists per Game: 3.03
Points per Game: 18.1 - 10th all-time

Points per Game: 18.5
Assists per Game: 2.6
Steals per Game: N/A
Games: 78

There is a steep drop off from #2 to #3, from Jones to Sharman, but do not underestimate Sharman. His stats aren't as awe-inspiring as Havlicek's, but do not take them at face value. Sharman was a great player and a great Celtic shooting guard. The most impressive part of Sharman's game was his sharp-shooting ability. He led the NBA in free throw percentage an astounding 7 times and he is the 11th all-time in NBA history. Sharman finished in the top 10 for effective field goal percentage 5 times and true shooting percentage 5 times as well. He was the definition of a sharpshooter.

He was quite the winner as well. This 8-time All-Star and 4-time All-NBA 1st team selection won 4 titles in 10 years with the Celtics. He also finished in the top 5 for offensive win shares 4 different times. His offensive win share total is good for 5th all-time among Celtics and 10th all-time in overall win shares. Reaching the top 10 for career win shares for the Celtics is no easy feat.

4.)    Frank Ramsey

Regular Season:
Games: 623 - Led NBA 2 times
Minutes: 15,330
Field Goals: 2,949
Field Goal Percentage: 0.399
Free Throws: 2,480
Free Throw Percentage: 0.804
Steals: N/A
Assists: 1,134
Points: 8,387
Steals per Game: N/A
Assists per Game: 2.7
Points per Game: 19.7

Points per Game: 13.6
Assists per Game: 1.5
Steals per Game: N/A
Games: 98

Remember when I said there was a steep decline from #2 to #3, well, there is a steeper one from three to four. Ramsey had a relatively short NBA career, just nine years long. His stats aren't all that great, either. He doesn't have that one aspect of his game that jumps out, like Bill Sharman did with his shooting ability. However, like with K.C. Jones, stats aren't everything. Ramsey won 7 rings in those short 9 years. His number 23 is hanging in the rafters at the Garden and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

What really makes Ramsey such a special player? Well, you've heard of Red Auerbach, right? I hope so. If not, get the hell off my blog! Anyway, Auerbach invented the role of the sixth man, which has become so important in the NBA that there is an official award for it. Well, do you know who that first sixth man was? That's right, Frank Ramsey. Ramsey was the first sixth man ever. He helped Red Auerbach change the entire game.

5.)    Reggie Lewis

Regular Season:
Games: 450
Minutes: 14,676
Field Goals: 3,198
Field Goal Percentage: 0.488
Free Throws: 1,479
Free Throw Percentage: 0.824
Steals: 569 - 9th all-time
Assists: 1,153
Points: 7,902
Steals per Game: 1.3
Assists per Game: 2.6
Points per Game: 17.6

Points per Game: 17.5
Assists per Game: 109
Steals per Game: 1.2
Games: 42

Ah, the sad, sad story of Reggie Lewis. The story of a young player, just reaching the peak of his career, tragically dying while playing the game he loved. During an off-season practice in 1993, Lewis suffered sudden cardiac death. At just 27 years old, Lewis had died. This was not just an out-of-the-blue occurrence, however. If you look at the stat sheet, you will see that Lewis played just one game in the '93 playoffs. This is because he suddenly collapsed on the court during the first game of the playoffs. Lewis was accused of using cocaine and that the abuse of this drug had caused his death, but doctors disagreed and found the evidence to be inconsistent with cocaine use. Lewis' death is officially contributed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Lewis' career was just burgeoning. He was becoming one of the best all-around players in the NBA. Lewis is the only Celtic to ever have 100 rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in one season. In the 1991-92 season, Lewis had 394 rebounds, 185 assists, 125 steals and 105 blocks. In his final season, Lewis averaged 20.8 points per game, 1.0 blocks per game, 1.5 assists per game and 4.3 rebounds per game. This season was one of the best by any Celtic player.

If Lewis had not tragically died, there is no telling where he would be on this list. He could have led the Celtics teams of the ???90s to plenty of success and become one of the best Celtics ever. He was a great defender, one of very few who managed to somewhat contain Michael Jordan. He was also a good scorer, averaging over 20 points per game each of his last two seasons. It is a heartbreaking thing, what happened to Reggie Lewis.


Current Player: Ray Allen
Note: The stats used in this section are not exclusive to ones acquired with the Celtics.
Seasons with Celtics: 3

Ray Allen has played 14 seasons in the NBA and only the last 3 with the Celtics. He is 34 years old and on his last legs. There is no way that Ray Allen will ever make it onto my list because I consider the player's career only with the Celtics. However, when considering his entire career as if it was all spent on the Celtics, Allen would definitely be up there, high up there. But, that is not how it works. Pete Maravich, Dominique Wilkins and Ray Allen aren't going to make my list.

Ray Allen's three seasons with the Celtics have been good. While they seem statistically inferior to his others, he has been excellent. In fact, his defensive win shares have gone up, so he is statistically better in that sense. His total defensive win shares before coming to the Celtics was 12.8, or 0.98 per 82 games. With the Celtics, that toal has already reached 10.7, or 3.57 every 82 games. That is a very significant improvement.

Despite his short Celtics career, Ray Allen still ranks in the top ten among Celtics in a number of categories:

Three Point Field Goals: 4th all-time
Three Point field Goal Percentage: 5th all-time
Free Throw Percentage: 1st all-time
True Shooting Percentage: 4th all-time
Effective Shooting Percentage: 4th all-time
Turnover Percentage: 10th all-time
Offensive Rating: 4th all-time

Ray Allen is having a shockingly good end to his career. Here are his season highs those years and how they shape up against the last three years of the other 5 on this list:

Points per Game: 18.2 (4th)
Steals per Game: 0.9 (3rd of 3)
Assists per Game: 3.1 (3rd)
Field Goal Percentage: 0.480 (2nd)
Free Throw Percentage: 0.952 (1st)
Offensive Win Shares: 7.4 (1st)
Defensive Win Shares: 4.1 (1st)
Win Shares: 11.1 (1st)

Ray's last three years have been very strong compared to the others. Reggie Lewis beats him in each of the first four stats listed, which is somewhat misleading since the last three years of his career were his prime. However, Ray Allen's sharpshooting sticks out as he had the 2nd and best seasons in field goal and free throw percentage during these years. Win shares are also impressive, as he is first in all three listed.

Once again, if Ray played his entire career with the Celtics, he would be very, very high on this list, as he is one of the best shooters to ever play in the NBA. However, he only played three years and he will be a free agent as of July 1st (or is it June?). He may retire, he may go to a different team, or he may come back. No matter what, his Celtic career just was not long enough.


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