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1976–77 Boston Celtics season

1976–77 Boston Celtics season

The 1976–77 Boston Celtics season was the 31st season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Even though the Celtics were the defending NBA champions, they were an aging team in transition. 35-year-old Don Nelson retired as a player, but the key contributors left were aging, namely John Havlicek (age 36), Jo Jo White (31), and Paul Silas (33). The Celtics took steps to get younger in the frontcourt by sending Silas to the Denver Nuggets in a three-way that ended up bringing Detroit Pistons forward Curtis Rowe. The Celtics also traded a first-round draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Sidney Wicks. Wicks and Rowe would provide athleticism, the Celtics felt, and, more importantly, allow John Havlicek to return to a sixth-man role and not log as many minutes as in the past.

1976–77Boston Celticsseason
Head coachTom Heinsohn
General managerRed Auerbach
ArenaBoston Garden
Hartford Civic Center
Record44–38 (.537)
PlaceDivision: 2nd (Atlantic)
Conference: 4th (Eastern)
Playoff finishEast Semifinals
(Lost to 76ers 3–4)

Stats @ **Basketball-Reference.com [2] **
Local media

Draft picks

The Celtics picked 16th in the 1976 NBA draft and selected Norm Cook, a 6–8, 210-lb. junior-eligible forward from the University of Kansas. Cook, however, didn't contribute much, playing in only 25 games and averaging 2.5 points per game.[1]


Boston Celtics roster
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
C34United StatesArd, Jim6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)215 lb (98 kg)Cincinnati
F31United StatesBoswell, Tom6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)220 lb (100 kg)South Carolina
F52United StatesCook, Norm6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)210 lb (95 kg)Kansas
F/C18United StatesCowens, Dave6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)230 lb (104 kg)Florida State
G/F17United StatesHavlicek, John6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)203 lb (92 kg)Ohio State
F/C33United StatesKuberski, Steve6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)215 lb (98 kg)Bradley
F41United StatesRowe, Curtis6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)225 lb (102 kg)UCLA
F20United StatesSaunders, Fred6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)210 lb (95 kg)Syracuse
G11United StatesScott, Charlie6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)175 lb (79 kg)North Carolina
G27United StatesStacom, Kevin6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)185 lb (84 kg)Providence
G10United StatesWhite, Jo Jo6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)190 lb (86 kg)Kansas
F12United StatesWicks, Sidney6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)225 lb (102 kg)UCLA
Head coach
  • United StatesTom Heinsohn
Assistant coach(es)
  • United StatesJohn Killilea

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • InjuredInjured

Roster [3]

Regular season

The Celtics started the season 4-0 (with their first two games entering overtime, as well having another overtime game during their sixth game of the season), but Wicks and Rowe had trouble fitting in with Celtic coach Tom Heinsohn's system, and the team played .500 ball for most of the season. Charlie Scott suffered a broken foot and only played 31 games, which meant Havlicek had to log more minutes, primarily at off-guard. Depth was a problem for the Celtics, as backup center Jim Ard was the only reliable reserve. Havlicek, White, and Cowens carried most of the scoring load for the team all season.

Season standings

Atlantic DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDiv
y-Philadelphia 76ers5032.61032–918–2311–5
x-Boston Celtics4438.537628–1316–259–7
New York Knicks4042.4881026–1514–278–8
Buffalo Braves3052.3662023–187–346–10
New York Nets2260.2682810–3112–296–10

Eastern Conference
1z-Philadelphia 76ers5032.610
2y-Houston Rockets4933.5981
3x-Washington Bullets4834.5852
4x-Boston Celtics4438.5376
5x-San Antonio Spurs4438.5376
6x-Cleveland Cavaliers4339.5247
7New York Knicks4042.48810
8New Orleans Jazz3547.42715
9Atlanta Hawks3151.37819
10Buffalo Braves3052.36620
11New York Nets2260.26828

Record vs. opponents

1976–77 NBA Records
Golden State4–03–13–02–22–22–21–32–14–01–32–21–31–31–33–13–14–01–32–21–33–1
Kansas City2–11–33–02–21–31–30–43–12–22–21–32–22–24–04–01–33–12–21–31–32–2
Los Angeles2–21–23–11–32–22–23–12–22–23–13–13–13–01–34–02–23–13–13–13–14–0
New Orleans3–12–21–30–42–21–31–33–12–22–22–20–32–13–12–20–43–12–21–31–32–2
N.Y. Knicks3–12–23–12–22–22–22–13–12–22–20–43–13–11–32–21–32–21–31–31–22–2
N.Y. Nets1–31–32–21–21–31–31–31–32–20–40–40–41–32–22–21–32–20–31–31–31–3
San Antonio0–40–44–01–32–22–12–12–22–22–23–11–31–33–13–13–13–13–12–23–12–2


Due to identical 44-38 regular season records, good enough for fourth and fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics and San Antonio Spurs met in the opening round of the 1977 NBA Playoffs. The Celtics dispatched the Spurs easily, winning two games to none for the right to face the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers and Celtics played a hard-fought seven-game series, with the Sixers prevailing in the seventh game 83–77.


Citation Linkwww.basketball-reference.comhttps://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/cookno01.html
Sep 21, 2019, 3:10 AM
Citation Linkwww.basketball-reference.comBasketball-Reference.com
Sep 21, 2019, 3:10 AM
Citation Linkwww.basketball-reference.comRoster
Sep 21, 2019, 3:10 AM
Citation Linkwww.basketball-reference.comhttps://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/cookno01.html
Sep 21, 2019, 3:10 AM
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Sep 21, 2019, 3:10 AM