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Kevin Garnett led big 3 better than Bird big 3?

by james on June 21st, 2008

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Robert Parish joined Larry Bird and Kevin McHale in the Original Big 3

Image details: Boston Celtics served by picapp.com

You knew this was coming. The comparisons of this great Celtic team with the Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish big 3 of 1986.

In my mind, feeble as it is, the 1986 team was awesome. They would kick the tail of this current team. Now that is just my opinion and literally means nothing really. The 1986 team ended up winning a lot of titles. Maybe it would be fairer to see if this current Celtic team can win any more titles, before we start making wild comparisons.

Still…Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com is going with the current team.

Speed and athleticism and speed. And did I mention speed?

Speed is the reason why if you took almost any championship team in any sport and matched it against ancient predecessors, the more modern group would usually win. Belichick’s Patriots would beat Lombardi’s Packers. The athleticism of the Shaquille O’Neal-Ko-Me Bryant Lakers would beat Magic’s version.


Ok, the problem to start with is that modern training methods have produced superior athletes and no one argues that. Kind of makes most comparisons unfair. Mike has a point here, but he did not stop there.

Let’s begin with Bird. In this game, Pierce would guard Bird and Bird would eat him alive. Because he’s, well, Bird.

Pierce, however, on offense would reciprocate the beating. Bird might drop 40 but Pierce might score 30 to 35 points of his own on Bird. Pierce wouldn’t be able to defend Bird and Bird wouldn’t be able to defend the stronger Pierce. It’d be a wash.

Pierce may have the muscle tone of 14-year-old debutante, but he is quicker than most people give him credit. He’s definitely quicker than Bird.

The next matchup is where the speed and athleticism difference would be far more visible. Garnett and McHale would face one another and Garnett would deliver a weapons-grade ass-kicking.

Garnett’s speed would be the difference. You don’t understand how quick Garnett is for his size until you see him in person. It’s astounding.

McHale’s only chance is that he could coax Garnett into foul trouble.

This is where you will get some argument. Larry was not a great defender, but a clever one and he was a big boy. Man, my mind is stuffed with images of Larry Bird drilling shots from the corner like they were nothing and then if you went out to defend him, he just blew by you. Pierce is not putting 35 points up on Bird, because the Celtics played team defense. Pierce would meet the hammer of McHale if he drove to the hole. The Original Big 3 played a physical brand of ball.

Speaking of McHale there is this image of him putting up 50 on my Pistons. Kevin was unstoppable in the low post. Garnett is too thin to have stopped McHale down low. This isn’t Pau Gasol we are talking about.

And what is this Johnson stuff? Parish, the Chief, was the 3 of the big 3. Robert would eat Kendrick Perkins alive. Parish had this move in the paint where he took steps on his tippy toes every time, but it was his signature move so no ref ever called it. When he shot the ball it was high over his head. Unblockable.

As for Ainge and Johnson, they were both shooters and passers to the postup players. Both of them very disciplined. You had to play them honest.

Hey, let’s not take away from the 2008 NBA Champions. Today’s Celtics are great, but, please; do not tarnish the Original Big 3.

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

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POSTED IN: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA Basketball, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen

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