HH Tournament: (2) Bob Cousy vs (3) Kevin McHale

May 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale speaks to the media after the game against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale speaks to the media after the game against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Bob Cousy and Kevin McHale face off for a spot in the Final Four

Top seed Bill Russell had no problem advancing to the Final Four yesterday as he cruised by Robert Parish. His opponent will be either his former teammate Bob Cousy or one of the best power forwards in NBA history, Kevin McHale.

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

Point guards didn’t put up gaudy numbers in the 1950s and 60s to begin with. Pair that with the fact that he played alongside Bill Russell and John Havlicek and there wasn’t much room for Bob Cousy to dominate the stat sheet every night. Even with the star power around him, he still managed to lead the league in assists per game eight consecutive seasons and scored 18.4 points per game over his 13-year career.

In 1959-60 he averaged a career-high 9.5 assists per game, which was unheard of back then. Although, just a season before was the best season of his career. It was the season that he turned 30-years-old, but age didn’t slow him down. In fact, it’s like his age helped him.

He averaged 20 points, 8.6 assists (league leading) and 5.5 rebounds per game. He made his ninth All-Star team in as many years, and he shot his normal 38.4 percent from the field. However, 1958-59 was the following season after a rare year the Celtics didn’t win a championship back then.

He helped the Celtics secure the best record in the NBA, and then put together the best playoff run of his career. Cousy only averaged a double-double during the playoffs or regular season once, in 1958-59. While playing 41.8 minutes per game over 11 playoff games, Cousy added 19.5 points, 10.8 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.

In an era where averaging double-digit assists never happened, Cousy dished out a playoff-high 119 assists in 11 games. Besides, the only playoff run he dished out more assists in was during the 1961-62 playoffs when he recorded 123 assists, however it took him 14 games to do so.

The Boston Celtics seemed to win every championship during the late 50s and 60s, but the rare couple of times they didn’t they always bounced back. Bill Russell was a huge reason why Boston was able to bounce back, but Cousy was mad that they failed to win a championship the prior season and dominated the postseason. It was the best stretch of basketball of his career, and the best part is it came after his 30th birthday.

Kevin McHale – 1999 Hall of Fame Inductee

17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG

13 Seasons with Boston, 3x Champion, 7x All-Star, 2x Sixth Man of the Year, #32 Retired by Celtics

Kevin McHale was part of arguably the best team in NBA history, the 1985-85 Boston Celtics. Despite that, the best season of his individual career came a year later. The Celtics didn’t win the title, but McHale started all 77 games he played in and was able to showcase what his career could have been if he wasn’t a sixth man for most of his career.

McHale is still regarded as one of the best post bigs the NBA has ever seen. His foot work is matched by few and when players went into the torture chamber, McHale always made them pay. He never did so more than in 1986-87, though.

In a career-high 39.7 minutes per game, McHale set a career-high in points (26.1) and rebounds (9.9) per game, while also adding 2.2 blocks per contest. It was the first of back-to-back seasons that McHale led the league in field-goal percentage, as well. McHale shot an incredible 60.4 percent from the field, and 83.6 percent from the line — one of his best free-throw shooting seasons.

Despite the Celtics not winning the championship, McHale’s dominance didn’t stop in the postseason. McHale started 19 of the Celtics 21 games, as Boston lost in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

He arguably had his best playoff performance the previous year, but McHale still put up big numbers in 1986-87. He shot 58.4 percent on his way to scoring 21.1 points per game. McHale also added 9.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

There was only one season that McHale started every game he appeared in during the regular season, and it’s not surprising that he put up the best numbers that season too. Sure, his role on the 1985-86 Celtics is irreplaceable, however, based on statistics alone, nothing matches the season after.

Part of Kevin McHale’s greatness is that he did accept a bench role, but the 1986-87 season gave us a glimpse of what could have been if he was a regular starter his whole career.

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 the Final Four.

Next: Danny Ainge's Target Year is 2017-18

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