Season by Season
Dave Cowens helped bring the NBA Championship back to Boston in 1974.
The beneficiary proved to be Boston, which had come of age with a mix of veterans and young stars. John Havlicek was still good for 22.6 ppg, and Dave Cowens hauled in 15.7 rebounds per game and baffled opposing centers with his quickness and fiery determination. Tom Heinsohn had nurtured the group as head coach for five years, and Red Auerbach was still making the key acquisitions to build another contender. The Celtics won 56 games, 12 less than the previous year but still the best in the East, and romped past Buffalo and the aging Knicks to reach the Finals for the first time since 1969. In the West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won his third MVP award after averaging 27 points and 14.5 rebounds in leading Milwaukee to a league-high 59 victories. The Bucks toppled the aging Lakers in five games and swept overmatched Chicago to reach the Finals.
The matchup of Cowens and Abdul-Jabbar headlined the series, and each
man helped his team to wins as the teams split six games, including
a pair of overtime Milwaukee victories. But in Game 7, the Celtics altered
their strategy and double- and triple-teamed Abdul-Jabbar, and Cowens,
thus freed on defense, scored 28 points and helped Boston to a 102-87