HH Tournament: (2) Bob Cousy vs (15) Bailey Howell


Bob Cousy and Bailey Howell face off in the Hardwood Houdini Tournament

Sam Jones barely avoided the upset yesterday as he escaped with a win over Danny Ainge. We are now trying to figure out the final Side A second round matchup, starting with a two-fifteen matchup.

Don’t forget that this is based solely off their playing careers with the Boston Celtics. Any coaching or front office experience shouldn’t be taken into account, neither should their collegiate careers or any other NBA teams they may have played for.

Bob Cousy – 1971 Hall of Fame Inductee

18.4 PPG, 7.6 APG, 5.2 RPG

13 Seasons with Boston, 6x Champion, 13x All-Star, 1x MVP, #14 Retired by Celtics

When discussing the best pure point guards in NBA history there aren’t many names you can put ahead of Bob Cousy. He led the league in assists per game eight straight seasons and never missed an All-Star game with the Celtics. Sure, he didn’t take on the stiffest competition, although there’s no denying that the Celtics hit big on the third pick in the 1950 draft.

In an era where point guards weren’t expected to be explosive and scorers, Cousy fit the point guard script perfectly. He did average 20-plus points per game three times in his career, although he never shot over 40 percent. In fact, Cousy prided himself on making acrobatic passes.

He was one of the first players in NBA history that consistently did behind-the-back or no look passes. While some viewed it as flamboyant or that Cousy wasn’t taking the game seriously, he proved everyone wrong by making 12 All-NBA teams.

In fact, after failing to be named to one as a rookie, he was named to 10 straight All-NBA First Teams and two straight All-NBA Second Teams to finish off his Celtics career. Not to mention winning the 1956-57 League MVP over teammate Bill Russell.

When you pair his amazing passing, ability to score and his solid defense, there were few point guards who offered as well-versed of a game as Cousy did. Defensive statistics weren’t recorded when he played, therefore there’s no way to compare his ability to create turnovers to modern guards.

Cousy wasn’t able to win a championship by himself, although once the Celtics traded for Bill Russell, the Celtics won six championships in seven seasons. Bob Cousy ended up retiring in the midst of their historic run, leaving the door open for John Havlicek.

He is the franchise leader in assists and ranks sixth in games played, minutes played and points.

When ranking the best point guards in NBA history, it’s impossible to leave Bob Cousy off the list. He redefined the point guard position by his flashy moves that have become staples in the NBA today. One of the best passers in NBA history, he and Bill Russell formed one of the best duos in NBA history.

Bailey Howell – 1997 Hall of Fame Inductee

18 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.5 APG

4 Seasons with Boston, 2x Champion, 1x All-Star

Bailey Howell could have been an even bigger Celtic great if he spent more than four seasons with the team. After the Celtics traded for him from the Baltimore Bullets, the Buffalo Braves drafted Howell in the 1970 expansion draft. It was a big loss for Boston as he put together four of his best seasons with the Celtics, despite being over 30-years-old.

The forward was an exceptional scorer and rebounder during his NBA career. With Boston, Howell averaged 20, 19.8 and 19.7 points per game in his first three seasons with the team, respectively. He did only score 12.6 points per contest in his fourth season with Boston, although he still contributed 6.7 rebounds per game. However, to be fair, he only saw 25.3 minutes per game in his final season with Boston – only season he averaged fewer than 30 minutes.

Just like the rest of his career, Howell was an efficient scorer with Boston. He shot over 48 percent in three of his four seasons with the Celtics and at least 72 percent in each season with the team. The 6-7 forward was able to score in variety of ways, which helped him average 18.1 points per game during his first championship run with the Celtics.

Howell came to the Celtics during an era where they were trying to rebuild following the retirement of Bill Russell. He was a major part of the rebuild centered around John Havlicek, and was a consistent scoring option for them. He was still a solid contributor as he role decreased late in his career and could have won a couple more championships with the Celtics if he didn’t get selected in the expansion draft.

Howell didn’t play long enough with the Celtics to rank among the greats statistically, although he does rank eighth in rebounds per game in Celtics history.

Don’t forget to vote on Twitter @HoudiniCeltics! The poll is up for 20 hours. Comments on here don’t count as votes, only the poll on Twitter will be looked at to determine who goes on to round two.

Next: The Atlantic Division as NBA Jam Teams

Also, look at tomorrow’s match-up to see the results from today’s showdown.