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1-on-1: Kevin McHale vs. Danny Ainge (1986)


Today, one is the Boston Celtics GM and the other is TV-analyst.
Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale are both doing a great job in promoting basketball around the globe!

In the mid-80s, they were the starters on the legendary Boston Celtics squad, built around superstar forward Larry Bird, which won NBA Championship titles in 1981, 1984, and 1986.

But make no mistake - as versatile as he was, even Bird couldn't do it all by himself. Not without the savvy backcourt consisted of the Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge, not without 'the Boston black hole' Kevin McHale at power forward, not without 'the Chief' Robert Parish in the middle.

Not without the bench which included Hall-of-Fame center Bill Walton on a comeback mission, sharp-shooting point guard Jerry Sichting and Scott Wedman. Not without the great head coach K.C. Jones.

At any given night, those Celtics were as competitive as they could be!

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Sure, they did had some problems keeping up the pace with the younger and more athletic team on the rise like the Lakers, but the Celtics players helped and covered for each other on the defensive end.

The figures on Basketball-Reference simply don't lie - 1985-86 Celtics were the NBA Best in the 'defensive rating' category, which measures how many points had team allowed per 100 possessions.

Great team chemistry between the Celtics aces also reflected on the quality of the team practices in the legendary Boston Garden, which was closed after the 1994-95 NBA season.

After one of the practice sessions was completed teammates Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge scrimmaged 1-on-1, having a ton of fun. You can actually hear that they tease each other by saying 'I stole your brain waves'.

It was 1985-86 Atlantic Division Champions Boston Celtics who ‘stole everybody's brain waves’ across the League during 1985-86 season winning their sixteenth NBA title in their history and the last one before 2008!

Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is a BN contributor and the co-author of the books ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ ('Drazen - Godine Zmaja') and 'Bridging the Generations' ('Most Generacija'). He resides in Zagreb, Croatia, currently working on his third book which tells the untold story of the 1989 Green Card Five.

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