clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

CelticsBlog Trivia: Eastern rivals quiz

Beasts of the East

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

If one wishes to try the harder All-Star edition of the quiz, try to answer the questions without looking at the multiple choice offerings.

Layup-Which higher-seeded eastern Celtic rival did Boston rally from 1-3 behind to beat 4-3 in the 1968 Eastern Finals, and again in 1981 at the ECF?*name the star opponent who was out with a broken arm in the 1968 series
A) New York Knicks B) Philadelphia 76ers

Dunk-What up and coming rival squad did Boston knock off 106-105 in game 6 to win the 1969 East Finals, 4-2?*for a three-point play, name the rookie who was named NBA MVP in 1968-69
A) New York Knicks B) Baltimore Bullets

Lefty layup-What team tied Boston for the NBA's best record at 60-22 in 1974-75, then knocked off the defending champion Celtics in the East finals, 4-2?*name the team that upset them in the NBA Finals in a shocking sweep
A) Washington B) Houston

Free throw-What former Western Conference team did Boston knock off in the 1984 and 1986 Eastern Finals, as well as the epic 1987 Eastern semis?
A) Detroit B) Atlanta C) Milwaukee

Free throw-Who threw the ill-advised in-bounds pass Larry Bird intercepted at the end of game 5 in the epic 1987 East finals?
A) Bill Laimbeer B) Joe Dumars C) Isiah Thomas

Free throw-Which rival eliminated Boston in bitter playoff series in 1988, 1989 and 1991?
A) New Jersey B) Detroit C) New York

Jump shot-Which 76er did Larry Bird steal the ball from in the closing seconds of game 5 in the 1985 Eastern Finals with Boston clinging to a 102-100 lead to clinch the series, 4-1?
*for an extra point, what Celtic blocked Andrew Toney's driving shot at the end of game 6 in the 1981 eastern finals to preserve a must win with Boston down 3-2
A) Julius Erving B) Maurice Cheeks C) Bobby Jones
D) Andrew Toney

Hook shot-Who is the only team to beat the Celtics at the Boston Garden twice in decisive, final playoff games?
*for an extra point, name the years
A) New York Knicks B) Philadelphia 76ers
C) Philadelphia Warriors D) Washington

Jump shot-Which of the following members of the 1980 and 1982 76ers who upset Boston in both of those Eastern Finals were NOT teammates on the 1972 U.S. Olympic team that lost the gold medal game by a point to the USSR in controversial fashion?*name the 76er who retired in 1981 and made two free throws with 3 seconds left to give the U.S. an apparent 50-49 win over the USSR in 1972
A) Steve Mix B) Bobby Jones C) Mike Bantom D) Doug Collins

Jump shot-What eastern rival did Boston eliminate in the 1983, 1986 and 1988 playoffs?*how many points did Larry Bird score in the 4th quarter of his epic game 7 shootout in the 1988 playoffs vs. Dominique Wilkins
A) Indiana B) Atlanta C) Washington D) New York

3-pointer-Which Celtic teammate failed to call out the screen John Havlicek ran into in game 3 of the 1973 East Finals vs. the Knicks, which injured Hondo's shoulder and led to a 4-3 series loss?
A) Dave Cowens B) Paul Silas C) Steve Kuberski D) Don Chaney
E) Don Nelson

3-pointer-What Knick southpaw scored 27 points in the game 5 loss of the 1974 East finals at Boston as the Celtics eliminated New York 4-1?*name the lefty the 76ers picked up late in the 1980 season who became a starter on the squad that knocked Boston off in the Eastern Finals
A) Willis Reed B) Dick Barnett C) Don May D) Phil Jackson
E) Mike Riordan

3-pointer-Which of the following Knick standouts did NOT retire after Boston eliminated New York in the 1974 East Finals?
A) Willis Reed B) Dave DeBusschere C) Bill Bradley
D) Dick Barnett E) Jerry Lucas

35 points is the highest possible score; extra points only apply if the correct answer is given first.


Answers to the Bird - Magic Quiz

Layup-A) Arch-rivals Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson were teammates first on the 1978 U.S. squad that played in the World Games.
*Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall, who snubbed Bird as a recruit, coached the U. S. squad. But the team was half comprised of his UK players, so Bird and Johnson, amazingly, were on the second string.
Of course, 14 long years later they were teammates again on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.

Dunk-B) Larry Bird was a landslide winner of the 1979-80 NBA Rookie of the Year honor after sweeping all the natonal College Player of the Year awards as a fifth-year senior in 1978-79.
*MSU was the number two seed in its region behind Notre Dame, but the Spartans took down the talented Fighting Irish 80-68 to prevent ND from reaching its second consecutive Final 4. The Irish featured future pros Kelly Tripucka, Bill Laimbeer, Bill Hanzlik, Orlando Woolridge, Tracy Jackson.
It was the fuirst year the NCAA tournament seeded all teams, and the last year a maximum of two teams from one league could make the tourney.

Lefty layup-A) True. Bird's 1978-79 Indiana State team is the last one to reach the NCAA championship game with an unblemished record. *The Cinderella Sycamores finished 33-1 after losing to Johnson's Michigan State club in the finals, 75-64.
UNLV in 1991 and 2015 Kentucky each got to the semifinals unbeaten, but each lost close games to Duke and Wisconsin, respectively.
Ironically, the Indiana club Bird was briefly a member of in 1974 is the last team to go all the way undefeated. IU was 31-1 in 1974-75 and 32-0 in 1975-76.

Short jump hook-B) Celtic forward Cedric Maxwell nicknamed Johnson "Cheesy" for what he perceived as his fake smile. M.L. Carr and Maxwell mimicked Johnson's finger-pointing and smiles during the 1984 Finals, where several Johnson gaffes helped Boston win a seven-game epic.

Free throw-B) Arch-rival Philadelphia prevented the dream LA/Boston, Johnson vs. Bird NBA title matchup twice by knocking off the Celtics in the 1980 (4-1) and 1982 (4-3) Eastern Finals.
But the center-challenged 76ers had little left in the Finals each time for the Lakers, who won 4-2 both times.

Free throw-C) Johnson 3 (1979 NCAA, 1985/87 NBA), Bird 1 (1984 NBA).

Free throw-B) Houston lost to Bird and Boston in the 1981 and 1986 Finals after upsetting the Lakers each time in six games.
Led by Moses Malone in 1981, Houston upset defending champion LA 2-1 in the first round. In 1986, the Twin Towers of Olajuwon and Sampson knocked off the Lakers 4-1 in the west Finals.

Jump shot-B) McHale and Parish combined to stuff Johnson on his fall-down/try to draw a foul drive in the final minute of game 7 in the epic 1984 NBA Finals to help preserve a small Boston lead and clinch the title.
*Larry Bird drained four straight free throws in the final minute of that seventh game to seal the crown, 111-102, and finish with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Hook shot-C) On fire in the 97-degree Garden, Bird nailed 15 of 20 shots, scored 34 points and yanked down 17 rebounds in the infamous game 5 sauna contest vs. LA in the 1984 Finals.
While Jabbar and the Lakers sucked on oxygen masks in the humid Garden, Bird looked "frsh as a daisy" according to Pat Riley. "The difference tonight's game was Mr. Bird," the Laker coach admitted.
"Ah hell, I play in hotter weather back home in Indiana," said Bird after the greatest game inhis 31 NBA championship series contests gave Boston a 3-2 series lead.
*The Lakers held an 11-8 edge over Bird's Celtics in their epic trilogy of title showdowns in the mid-1980's.

Jump shot-D) Johnson's Michigan State squad crushed Ivy League Cinderella Penn 101-67 in the 1979 Final 4 semis. Meanwhile Indiana State narrowly beat DePaul and freshman Mark Aguirre 76-74 in its semifinal. Bid shot 16-19 from the field, grabbed 19 rebounds and dished out nine assists in one of the greatest Final 4 showings ever.
*High-altitude Provo, Utah was the host city for the much-hyped 1979 Final 4.

Jump shot-A) Indiana did NOT win a share of the brutally rugged 1979 Big 10 men's basketball title, although it did capture the still-prestigious NIT crown over tri-champ Purdue that spring. Back then, only two teams could go to the NCAA from one league. MSU and Iowa luckily won the tiebreaker over Purdue after all three clubs finished tied at 13-5, so the hard-luck Boilermakers had to settle for the NIT. Thus the Spartans, who started out 4-4 in the Big 10, were one loss from not even making the historic NCAA tourney.
*Including All-Star Games, Bird's squads beat Johnson in 22 of their 47 college and pro meetings.

3-pointer-D) Bob McAdoo was picked second overall in the 1972 draft by Buffalo. Jabbar (1969 Milwaukee), Thompson (1978 Portland), Johnson (1979 Lakers) and Worthy (1982 Lakers) were all overall number one NBA draft pick.
The highest Celtic pick in the 1980's Celtics was Len Bias, who went number two overall in 1986 but never played due to a cocaine overdose.
Kevin McHale (1980) was picked third, as was Rick Robey in 1978 by the Pacers. Bird was chosen sixth overall as a junior eligible in 1978, or he would certainly have been the top pick in 1979 by the Lakers.
His home-state Indiana Pacers wanted to select Bird overall number one, but Larry decided to stay in school so Slick Leonard traded down to number three and took Robey, Bird's close future Celtic beer-drinking buddy.

3-pointer-C) After Michael Cooper fell down trying to deny a furiously moving Bird, Johnson picked Larry up on a switch. Bird quickly posted Earvin up on the left side of the lane, turned and swished a 13-foot fallaway over him to give Boston a 125-123 lead in the final minute.
*Johnson had just missed two clutch foul shots the play before to blow a chance to give LA the lead. M.L. Carr's steal and breakaway dunk in the final seconds clinched a 129-125 win that evened the epic series 2-2.

To contact the quizmaster directly, contact Cort Reynolds at

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Celtics Blog Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Boston Celtics news from Celtics Blog