Russell's 51 rebound game in 1960

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Post by swish on Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:30 am

During the Cavs - clippers game last night the Announcers noted that 2/5/2015 was the 55th anniversary of Russell's (Personal Best) 51 rebound effort against Syracuse.

  Below is the Link for the Box Score for that game. Note that rebound totals for many  of the players are missing 


  http://michaelhamel.net/boxtop/russell/Celtics1960.htm#Game55

  swish


Last edited by swish on Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Sloopjohnb on Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:42 am

Great site. Box scores from the early 60's.

Talk about volume basketball. 132 FGA's for Boston and 122 FGA's for Syracuse.

The last Celtic title team averaged under 80.

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Post by swish on Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:55 am

Sloopjohnb wrote:Great site.  Box scores from the early 60's.

Talk about volume basketball.  132 FGA's for Boston and 122 FGA's for Syracuse.

The last Celtic title team averaged under 80.

  I stumbled onto this site a few years ago. Use it all the time when referencing the 50's-60's.

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Post by Sam on Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:17 pm

Nice find, Swish. Much more complete than the box scores shown on the Basketball Reference site.

So interesting insights:

• As usual, Russ played 48 minutes. And Gene Conley (his backup) played 29 minutes. That means that the Celtics played twin towers during 60% of the game.

• Conley was tied with Frank Ramsey for most shots taken (20). Quite a number for a guy (Conley) thought of mainly for his defense and rebounding.

• The Celtics shot 38% on 122 shots. A perfect example of volume basketball. Only three Celtics shot at least 50%: Heinsohn, Sam Jones and Russ.

• Bill Sharman, known as one of the sharpshooters in the league, went 3 for 18. And yet I bet Red was telling him to keep shooting. What had already transpired was not nearly as important to Red as his confidence in the capabilities of a player.

• Look at the incredible rebound totals: 96 for the Celtics and 2 for the Nats. And it wasn't an overtime game.

• The Celtics assisted on exactly 50% of their made field goals. I can't prove it, but I'd bet the farm that the reason that figure was not much higher was that they had so many fast break baskets, when the "finisher" took at least one dribble, negating the awarding of an assist.

• Only one player on either team took as many shots as the number of minutes he played. You guessed it: Heinsohn (18 shots in 18 minutes). It's kind of suspicious that he played only 18 minutes and Conley played all but one of the other 30 minutes at power forward. I have to believe that Heinsohn might have suffered an injury, since he wasn't in foul trouble (only 1 foul committed all night).

• Note who was second in Celtics assists behind the master—Cousy (12). Russell with 5. What a line: 23 / 51 / 5 and who knows how many blocks?

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Post by international on Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Gene Conley was a very good MLB pitcher too.

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Post by Outside on Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:06 am

I consider the NBA rebounding records among the most unbreakable in sports. I can't foresee the game ever again being played in a way that results in that many rebounds.

Russell had 51 rebounds in that game, and the box score lists 96 total rebounds for Boston.

Atlanta and Golden State played tonight at relatively fast pace that resulted in a high scoring game -- 124 to 116. The Warriors as a team had 51 rebounds. The Hawks had 38.

DeAndre Jordan led the league last year with 1,114 rebounds. Russell averaged 1,663 rebounds per season.

Wilt had 23,924 rebounds in 14 seasons, and Russell had 21,620 rebounds in 13 seasons. The current leaders among active players are more than 9,000 behind Wilt -- KG (14,471 in his 20th season) and Tim Duncan (14,381 in his 18th season).
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Post by beat on Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:43 am

Outside

Imagine if they kept blocked shots stats back then...those might me unbreakable too.

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Post by Sloopjohnb on Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:53 am

The late Jack Ramsey said that in the early 60's Russell easily averaged double figures in blocks; he was at least a decade ahead of the rest of the league.

It's interesting that during the early 60's the best players put up numbers that would be surreal today.  Russell and Chamberlain averaged over 20 rebounds every year, Wilt had a 50 ppg season, Oscar Robertson had four straight seasons of triple doubles, Elgin Baylor had a year where he averaged 38 ppg and 19 rpg while playing part-time because he had been called up to the army reserves.

Yes, the run and gun style of play was conducive to stellar ppg and rebound numbers but it seems that basketball was in the midst of a transition in which far more athletic players were coming into the league.

You think these guys feasted on many of the journeymen players from the older era?  

If these guys were playing today there's no way they'd put up such numbers not because they couldn't play today--I think they'd still be elite players-- and not because the game has become far less run and gun--though that would play a part-- but primarily because the average level of play is higher today than in the early 60's.

In the words of the late Stephan Jay Gould, an evolutionary biologist, complex systems improve when the best performers play by the same rules over extended periods of time and as systems improve,  they equilibrate and variation decreases.

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Post by beat on Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:48 am

Sloop

Here we go again... the BEST players of years ago would still be pretty damn good today given all of the advantages they would be privy to now that they were not then.. and perhaps some might excell due to their smarter play than that of the typical NBA player today. As far as journeymen..... there are a LOT more of those today then there were then.

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Post by swish on Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:13 pm

Those extremely high rebound averages of the 60's were the result of a far greater average missed shots per game back then. The more misses - the more rebounds. Below are the rebounds per 36 minutes for Russ and Wilt in 1959-60 after they were adjusted to the much lower rebounds available in the 2014-15 season.

1959-60 , Wilt - 14.4
1959-60 , Russ - 14.0
               
  20014-15 ,  rebounds per 36 minutes for
          Drummond - 15.8
          Jordan       - 14.5

 Average rebounds per game in 1959-60 = 124.4
 Average rebounds per game in 2014-15 ( as of 2/7/2015 ) = 86.0

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Post by Sloopjohnb on Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:25 pm

"As far as journeymen..... there are a LOT more of those today then there were then."


Yes, there are a lot more teams so a lot more journeymen players.   But the talent pool the league draws on is far larger than it was in the past.  I'd bet that if we even discount players  from overseas there'd still be more people playing basketball with dreams of a pro career than there was 40 years ago.

If we look at the Celtic journeymen players from the early 70's we see guys like Hank Finkel, Jim Ard, Steve Kurburski, Art Williams, Kevin Stacom, Jim McDonald.  These guys were part of the regular rotation on CONTENDING teams.

You think that they're better than Phil Pressey or Tyler Zeller or Thornton?

When comparing eras, the skillset of journeymen players is a relative concept.

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Post by cowens/oldschool on Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:58 pm

swish wrote:Those extremely high rebound averages of the 60's were the result of a far greater average missed shots per game back then. The more misses - the more rebounds. Below are the rebounds per 36 minutes for Russ and Wilt in 1959-60 after they were adjusted to the much lower rebounds available in the 2014-15 season.

1959-60 , Wilt - 14.4
1959-60 , Russ - 14.0
               
  20014-15 ,  rebounds per 36 minutes for
          Drummond - 15.8
          Jordan       - 14.5

 Average rebounds per game in 1959-60 = 124.4
 Average rebounds per game in 2014-15 ( as of 2/7/2015 ) = 86.0

swish


our friend Steve used a similar analogy with Red Auerbach in an interview comparing Moses Malone to Russell, when Steve said this stat comparison proved Moses was in same class or better as rebounder with Russell, Auerbach fumed 'No fockin way, stats are for losers' PM me swish if you want a copy of the interview.
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Post by swish on Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:19 pm

cowens

 Just pointing out how inflated the rebound averages were back in the 60's. Interpret them in any way you wish.

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Post by Sloopjohnb on Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:38 pm

Red was definitely not into stats. I wonder what he would think of all the new metrics.

When I was a small kid Red had a show on a station out of Worcester on which he often thundered against trhe dangers of overcoaching. He once took out a clip board and said that there are coaches who tell a player that he's shooting 60% from this area, 45% from that area but only 30% from another area so if he gets the ball from that area don't shoot.

Red proclaimed this as "just dumb."

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Post by Sloopjohnb on Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:45 pm

Swish, I don't think that the rebounding stats were "inflated."  More shots and more misses obviously presented more rebounding opportunities--which were available to all players-- but Russell and Chamberlain and later on Nate Thurmond got many more rebounds than the next best rebounders.

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Post by swish on Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:01 pm

SLoopjohnb

Should have made it clear that my " inflated remark " was only in regards to other generations. Certainly Wilt, Russ, and Nate dominated their peers and it had nothing to do with the number of missed shots in a game.

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Post by Sloopjohnb on Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:27 pm

Swish, your point is well taken. I think it was Mark Twain who said something like there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Could DeAndre Jordan rebound with the likes of Russell, Chamberlain and Thurmond? I don't think we can definitely say but I don't think he would embarrass himself if we put him in a time machine and shot him back to the early 60's. The same could be said of Russ, Wilt and Thurmond if the time machine was a two way job.

Of course rebounding is not all that is required to be a great center.

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Post by Sam on Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:49 pm

Every era has its unique elements. It could be reasoned that today's shooting percentages are "inflated" because the game is so slowed down. Volume basketball basically ignored shooting percentages in favor of (1) working to beat an out-of-position defender to the spot a.s.a.p. and, (2) if the shot missed, beating another out-of-position defender to the rebound too. Keeping the other team's defense from getting set was a major objective back then. That, and the sheer number of possessions in a game, are primary reasons why the Celtics could be a great defensive team while still allowing 100 ppg.

Confronted with today's game ( can see his eyes lighting up now), Russell would have time to get a manicure between possessions. He'd be aching for overtimes (and so would Havlicek) in hopes of actually breaking a sweat. And that's at their current ages. Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration.

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Post by Outside on Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:30 pm

beat wrote:Outside

Imagine if they kept blocked shots stats back then...those might me unbreakable too.
Yep, that's another one. Russell, Wilt, and Thurmond regularly had games of double-digit blocks.

The so-called NBA record for blocks is 17 by Elmore Smith. In Wilt's first NBA game, reporters kept track of his blocks, and he had 17.

Thurmond had the first recorded quadruple-double in the 1974-75 season, but that's just because that was the first season the league recorded blocks. There had been many, many quadruple-doubles prior to that, but they just weren't official because blocks and steals weren't recorded in those days.
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