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Celtics Legends Series: Paul Silas

Posted by shawn cassidy on June 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Paul Silas provided everything you needed.The  intangibles - rebounding, tenacious defense, diving for loose balls.Every championship team has a player like Silas,but Silas played it to perfection.

He joined the Celtics in 1972 and proved to be a crucial addition to a team trying to regain its championship form. He was drafted by the Hawks in 1964. Paul was a beast on the offensive glass. He averaged over 4 offensive boards as a Celtic.

The Celtics were dominant in 1972-73, running up a 68-14 record. The Celtics fell short in 7 games against the Knicks in the East Finals.  

Silas's hard work paid off the following season as the Celtics captured the 1973-74 NBA crown and he earned what would be the first of two championship rings in Boston.

Silas had another huge year in 1974-75, pulling down 12.5 rebounds per game and earning his second trip to the NBA All-Star Game and his first selection to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Boston won the Atlantic Division again, but the Celtics faltered in the playoffs, losing to the Washington Bullets in the conference finals.

The 1975-76 season proved to be Silas's last year with the Celtics. He led the league in offensive rebounds (365), ranked fourth in rebounding average (12.7 rpg), and repeated on the NBA All-Defensive First Team. The Celtics rewarded his efforts with another division title and the 1976 NBA Championship.

Silas is a leader. Silas finished his career in Seattle,and he won another title there in 79. Silas has been an NBA head coach a few times. His greatest coaching job was in Charlotte. He would lead them into the playoffs 4 out 5 years in town. He posted a 13-16 record in the playoffs. He was head coach in Cleveland for Lebron's first two seasons. He was let go in the middle of his second year. He posted solid records with a young Lebron,and a poor cast of players. I still have no clue as to why he was fired in Cleveland.

Silas is one of those role players you never forget.

Some career highlights for Silas:

  • 72,75 NBA ALL-STAR
  • 1970-71 NBA All-Defensive (2nd)
  • 1971-72 NBA All-Defensive (2nd)
  • 1972-73 NBA All-Defensive (2nd)
  • 1974-75 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
  • 1975-76 NBA All-Defensive (1st)

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1 Comment

Reply paul
04:52 PM on June 23, 2011 
Silas and Cowens, one of basketball's alltime great frontcourt duos, were reunited as coaches in Charlotte, where Cowens coached ahead of Silas for a couple of years, and had his only career coaching success. It's great to see someone giving Silas his due. Could we ever use him today.

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