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Old 09-19-2010, 02:25 PM   #31
ThaRegul8r
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Default Re: All-Defensiev teams 1955-1968

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.O.A.T
I have him for 9-12

I would guess you have him coming up short in '57, '67 & '68

I disagree with this. Even despite the fact he only played 48 games due to participating in the Olympics, it was clear he was the best defensive player in the league (ever) from Year One:

Quote:
NEW YORK (AP)—The vanishing athlete—the defensive basketball player—has returned in the person of big Bill Russell.

Although he has yet to play a full season in professional ranks, his coach, the Boston Celtics’ Red Auerbach, already hails him as the greatest defensive basketball player who ever lived.

Several rival NBA coaches are ready to agree with him, too. After Boston had ruined Detroit’s home opener with a victory last week, Piston coach Charley Eckman said: “Russell beat us all by himself—with his brilliant defensive play.”

Last Saturday night, after the Celtics had overcome a 14-point deficit to defeat the Knickerbockers 131-121 and spoil their home debut before some 13,000. New York coach Vince Boryla groaned: “Sure they had to score a zillion points to win, but it was Russell who beat us, nobody else. If he hadn’t batted down all those shots in the first half, we’d have taken such a commanding lead, they’d have given up.

Actually, the former Olympic and University of San Francisco All-American, who carries 230 pounds on his spidery 6-10 frame, grabbed 23 rebounds, made three interceptions and nine spectacular blocks of seemingly certain goals which would have added 18 points to the losers’ total. He also added 25 points of his own.
(Joe Reichler. “Russell Top Defense Man.” Ludington Daily News. Oct 30, 1957. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...59 25,2698888)

Russell was 1956-57 Defensive Player of the Year.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:35 PM   #32
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Default Re: All-Defensiev teams 1955-1968

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRegul8r
I disagree with this. Even despite the fact he only played 48 games due to participating in the Olympics, it was clear he was the best defensive player in the league (ever) from Year One:



Russell was 1956-57 Defensive Player of the Year.

I'm with you. But I was quoting him saying he had Russell with 8 defensive MVP's. That would mean he didn't win it five times and I was trying to figure out which years he'd be most likely overlooked.

I think Russell probably deserved the award in every year except '67 and '68. In those seasons Wilt was playing the best defense of his career (at least to that point) and Russell was a little more selective with his efforts because of age and the added burden of coaching the team.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:37 PM   #33
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Default Re: All-Defensiev teams 1955-1968

I am not disputing that Russell was the greatest defensive center, (and probably the greatest defensive PLAYER), of all-time, but I do believe that Wilt's defense was very under-rated, even early on.

Why?

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wilt_Chamberlain

Quote:
When challenged, Wilt could do almost anything he wanted. In 1961 a new star named Walt Bellamy came into the league. Bellamy was 6-foot-10, and was scoring 30 points a game. First time they played against each other, they met at half court. Bellamy said, 'Hello, Mr. Chamberlain. I'm Walter Bellamy.' Chamberlain reached for Bellamy's hand and said, 'Hello, Walter. You won't get a shot off in the first half.' Wilt then blocked Bellamy's first nine shots. At the start of the second half Wilt said to Bellamy, 'Okay, Walter. Now you can play.'" [1]

I am not sure just accurate that quote was, but Bellamy did say that he did not score a point in the first half.

And, by the 66-67 season, Chamberlain was DOMINATING both ends of the court. He absolutely crushed all the centers in the league that season. And in the post-season, he held Russell to .358 shooting, and Thurmond to .343 shooting.

In the 67-68 season, according to DWS, Chamberlain was also #1 in the league. In the first round of the playoffs, against the Knicks, with Reed and Bellamy, Wilt led all players in scoring, rebounding, AND assists (the Knicks had Frazier by then.) And he held Bellamy, who had shot .541 over the course of the regular season, to .421 in that series. I couldn't tell you what Russell shot against him in the ECF's that season, but in his 19 post-season games, Russell only shot .409...and seven of those games were against Wilt.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:12 AM   #34
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Default Re: All-Defensiev teams 1955-1968

OP has been updated
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:25 AM   #35
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Default Re: All-Defensiev teams 1955-1968

Great thread. I want to hear more about Wilt's year in 1967. I heard many say that Wilt hit his defensive peak with the Lakers in the early 70's, was Wilt in 1967 just as good defensively?
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