HH Tournament: (5) Dave Cowens vs (12) Nate Archibald

Feb 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Nate Archibald (left), Walt Frazier (center), and Julius Erving (right) during the 2015 NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest competition at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Nate Archibald (left), Walt Frazier (center), and Julius Erving (right) during the 2015 NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest competition at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Dave Cowens and Nate “Tiny” Archibald will face off in Round One

Kevin Garnett demolished Paul Silas in yesterday’s matchup. KG will move onto Round Two and take on the winner of Dave Cowens and Nate “Tiny” Archibald. With a major upset yet to happen, this could be the matchup. We have two former teammates and members of the 1991 Hall of Fame Class.

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.

Dave Cowens – 1991 Hall of Fame Inductee

18.2 PPG, 14 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 1.0 BPG

10 Seasons with Boston, 2x Champion, 8x All-Star, 1x MVP, Rookie of the Year, #18 Retired by Celtics

Due to the recommendation from Bill Russell, the Boston Celtics took a chance and drafted Dave Cowens with the fourth pick in the 1970 NBA Draft. Despite being just 6-9, Cowens played center and dominated for 10 seasons with the Celtics.

He failed to make the All-Star team as a rookie – only happened twice with the Celtics. Although, Cowens still averaged an incredible 17 points and 15 rebounds per game, being named Rookie of the Year. It only got better, though, as Cowens posted 20.5 points and 16.2 rebounds per contest in 1972-73 – both career-highs. Cowens played 41.8 minutes per game that season, with heavy minutes being a common occurrence for him.

Even though they didn’t keep track of defensive statistics until his fourth season, we were still able to keep track of most of Cowens’ defensive career with Boston. Because of his lack of height, Cowens was never a dominating shot blocker. He averaged more than one block per game three times, however his ability to create turnovers was his claim to fame on that end of the floor.

It led to him being named to three All-Defensive Teams in his career, as well as three All-NBA Teams.

During his two championship runs, Cowens dominated in the playoffs. He led the playoffs in rebounding two years in a row, including during the 1975-76 title run when he grabbed 16.4 rebounds per game. Cowens was a double-double machine and upped his scoring production to over 20 points per game during four of seven playoff runs.

In Celtics history, Cowens still ranks third in rebounds, sixth in blocks, eighth in minutes, ninth in points and tenth in assists.

There are few centers who had the motor that Dave Cowens held. It led to him being a force in every aspect of the game, especially on the glass. He was one of the greatest rebounders in Celtics’ history, and came up big in the postseason for Boston, leading the Celtics to two championships.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald – 1991 Hall of Fame Inductee

12.5 PPG, 7.1 APG, 0.9 SPG

5 Seasons with Boston, 1x Champion, 3x All-Star

Nate “Tiny” Archibald was one of the first great small point guards in NBA history. He wasn’t the shortest player in NBA history, although at 6-1 he earned the nickname by his dominating play and defying the odds that small point guards couldn’t make it in the NBA.

The San Diego Clippers traded Tiny to the Celtics in 1978, as he eventually spent five seasons in Boston. His best years came with the Kansas City Kings, though, but he still made three All-Star teams with the Celtics and averaged at least seven assists per game in three of five seasons. Tiny prided himself on setting up his teammates, but he was much more than an old-time point guard who only worried about distributing.

He added a solid 12.5 points per game with Boston, shooting 46.9 percent from the field. That’s a very good percentage for a guard in today’s game, and is even better during an era where outside shooting wasn’t as big of a part of the game.

Archibald is still the only player in NBA history to lead the league in assists and points per game in the same season. In 1972-73, he, impressively, averaged 34 points and 11.4 assists per game. He was the most dominating point guard for a little stretch in the early 1970s as he was also a very good defender, averaging just under two steals per game during his prime.

He came to Boston at the end of his career but won his lone championship with the Celtics. In 1980-81, he and Larry Bird teamed up and went 62-20 on the way to a championship. Archibald started 72 of 80 games in the regular season and added 15.6 points and 6.3 assists per game in the postseason.

In Celtics history, Tiny Archibald still ranks third all-time with 7.1 assists per game.

There was a point in time when Tiny Archibald was the most dominating point guard in the game. He joined the Celtics at the end of his career, although he was still a solid defender and set up his teammates well. Maybe not the same Hall of Fame player, but he was a solid starting point guard for the Celtics over five seasons.

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: Boston Celtics Sign Marcus Georges-Hunt

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