Who would win if the 1986 Celtics could play the 2022 Celtics in the NBA Finals?

Who would win if the 1986 Celtics could play the 2022 Celtics in the NBA Finals?

  • 1986 Celtics in 4 games

    Votes: 9 42.9%
  • 1986 Celtics in 5 games

    Votes: 6 28.6%
  • 1986 Celtics in 6 games

    Votes: 3 14.3%
  • 1986 Celtics in 7 games

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2022 Celtics in 4 games

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2022 Celtics in 5 games

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2022 Celtics in 6 games

    Votes: 2 9.5%
  • 2022 Celtics in 7 games

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zombies

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • thomas144 wouldn't let them use his time machine

    Votes: 1 4.8%

  • Total voters
    21

Mark_Henderson

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This involves a time machine (I know that dead Dennis Johnson & 65 yo Larry Bird would lose). Based on comments made in another thread, I'm just looking for people's perceptions of how much better/worse the present era is.

So, my question is, if the 80's Celtics in their prime (peaked IMO in '86, but pick another year if you wish) could play this year's Celtics in the NBA finals, what would the result be?
 

TommyD420

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2022 Celtics in 6, and I think I'm just letting my heart think for me here, that I think the 86 team could get two games, just on sheer competitiveness.

Finals MVP: Jaylen Brown (Although Average Al would have a really good case, I think he wears Chief/Walton/McHale out, dragging them from the basket, letting the wings and Smart get easy drives)

Edit: Also tried to factor in Home/Away, even assuming the 86 Celtics get the old Garden, and the 22 Celtics get the new one, but even if they play in the same building hypothetically, the 86 Celtics lost all of one home game, but the 22 Celtics only lost 2 road games in the playoffs, and haven't lost back to back game since January, so it's kind of a wash.
 
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HAMMERMILL

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2022 Celtics in 6, and I think I'm just letting my heart think for me here, that I think the 86 team could get two games, just on sheer competitiveness.

Finals MVP: Jaylen Brown (Although Average Al would have a really good case, I think he wears Chief/Walton/McHale out, dragging them from the basket, letting the wings and Smart get easy drives)

Edit: Also tried to factor in Home/Away, even assuming the 86 Celtics get the old Garden, and the 22 Celtics get the new one, but even if they play in the same building hypothetically, the 86 Celtics lost all of one home game, but the 22 Celtics only lost 2 road games in the playoffs, and haven't lost back to back game since January, so it's kind of a wash.
Its a different game sure.
I dont think horford has any chance against chief/walton/mchale 86 team would own the boards.
league is 3 point driven to a degree, but bird and ainge were pretty good.
Smart =dennis rodman, but can score, Tatum and Brown great players , But if 86 team owns the boards....better not miss a shot...jmho
 

BostonTim

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2022 Celtics in 6, and I think I'm just letting my heart think for me here, that I think the 86 team could get two games, just on sheer competitiveness.

Finals MVP: Jaylen Brown (Although Average Al would have a really good case, I think he wears Chief/Walton/McHale out, dragging them from the basket, letting the wings and Smart get easy drives)

Edit: Also tried to factor in Home/Away, even assuming the 86 Celtics get the old Garden, and the 22 Celtics get the new one, but even if they play in the same building hypothetically, the 86 Celtics lost all of one home game, but the 22 Celtics only lost 2 road games in the playoffs, and haven't lost back to back game since January, so it's kind of a wash.
Love to here Danny wax openly on this. I vote or the bird era, loyalty you see.
 

TommyD420

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Its a different game sure.
I dont think horford has any chance against chief/walton/mchale 86 team would own the boards.
league is 3 point driven to a degree, but bird and ainge were pretty good.
Smart =dennis rodman, but can score, Tatum and Brown great players , But if 86 team owns the boards....better not miss a shot...jmho
I don't see a ton of missed shots, because I don't see who can defend Tatum and Brown. I'm assuming they double Tatum, but DJ can only guard one guy, and he's 6'1".

I don't see the 86 team getting out and running like they'd want to, because of the 22 Celtics transition defense, and while I think the 86 team would own the boards for sure, Parish/McHale/Walton never guarded anyone more than 10 feet from the basket. They've got to go get out on Horford and G Williams, or they'll be shooting wide-open corner 3s the whole game. And when they get out, that leaves driving lanes for Brown especially, and Tatum.

I do think it's a close series, but I think it boils down to having 5 decent shooters from long range vs. 2, and the 86 team's bigs having to defend waaaay differently than they ever had to. I can see McHale wearing guys out on the block too, and that might carry them for stretches, but eventually they'd have to abandon it. I think it would be a contested series, for sure, just because of how good Bird was, he's by far the best player on the floor, at least offensively. Like, there's a large gap between he and Tatum.
 

TommyD420

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Love to here Danny wax openly on this. I vote or the bird era, loyalty you see.
A better question would be the 08 Celtics vs the 22 Celtics. I think that goes 7.

I'd also love to hear Danny's honest opinion. No better source than he on this one.
 

HAMMERMILL

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I don't see a ton of missed shots, because I don't see who can defend Tatum and Brown. I'm assuming they double Tatum, but DJ can only guard one guy, and he's 6'1".

I don't see the 86 team getting out and running like they'd want to, because of the 22 Celtics transition defense, and while I think the 86 team would own the boards for sure, Parish/McHale/Walton never guarded anyone more than 10 feet from the basket. They've got to go get out on Horford and G Williams, or they'll be shooting wide-open corner 3s the whole game. And when they get out, that leaves driving lanes for Brown especially, and Tatum.

I do think it's a close series, but I think it boils down to having 5 decent shooters from long range vs. 2, and the 86 team's bigs having to defend waaaay differently than they ever had to. I can see McHale wearing guys out on the block too, and that might carry them for stretches, but eventually they'd have to abandon it. I think it would be a contested series, for sure, just because of how good Bird was, he's by far the best player on the floor, at least offensively. Like, there's a large gap between he and Tatum.

I don't see a ton of missed shots, because I don't see who can defend Tatum and Brown. I'm assuming they double Tatum, but DJ can only guard one guy, and he's 6'1".

I don't see the 86 team getting out and running like they'd want to, because of the 22 Celtics transition defense, and while I think the 86 team would own the boards for sure, Parish/McHale/Walton never guarded anyone more than 10 feet from the basket. They've got to go get out on Horford and G Williams, or they'll be shooting wide-open corner 3s the whole game. And when they get out, that leaves driving lanes for Brown especially, and Tatum.

I do think it's a close series, but I think it boils down to having 5 decent shooters from long range vs. 2, and the 86 team's bigs having to defend waaaay differently than they ever had to. I can see McHale wearing guys out on the block too, and that might carry them for stretches, but eventually they'd have to abandon it. I think it would be a contested series, for sure, just because of how good Bird was, he's by far the best player on the floor, at least offensively. Like, there's a large gap between he and Tatum.
Great analysis......I'm still going with 86
 

HAMMERMILL

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Great analysis......I'm still going with 86
I don't see a ton of missed shots, because I don't see who can defend Tatum and Brown. I'm assuming they double Tatum, but DJ can only guard one guy, and he's 6'1".

I don't see the 86 team getting out and running like they'd want to, because of the 22 Celtics transition defense, and while I think the 86 team would own the boards for sure, Parish/McHale/Walton never guarded anyone more than 10 feet from the basket. They've got to go get out on Horford and G Williams, or they'll be shooting wide-open corner 3s the whole game. And when they get out, that leaves driving lanes for Brown especially, and Tatum.

I do think it's a close series, but I think it boils down to having 5 decent shooters from long range vs. 2, and the 86 team's bigs having to defend waaaay differently than they ever had to. I can see McHale wearing guys out on the block too, and that might carry them for stretches, but eventually they'd have to abandon it. I think it would be a contested series, for sure, just because of how good Bird was, he's by far the best player on the floor, at least offensively. Like, there's a large gap between he and Tatum.
Thanks It was a good
 

Phil Elliott

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I don't see a ton of missed shots, because I don't see who can defend Tatum and Brown. I'm assuming they double Tatum, but DJ can only guard one guy, and he's 6'1".

I don't see the 86 team getting out and running like they'd want to, because of the 22 Celtics transition defense, and while I think the 86 team would own the boards for sure, Parish/McHale/Walton never guarded anyone more than 10 feet from the basket. They've got to go get out on Horford and G Williams, or they'll be shooting wide-open corner 3s the whole game. And when they get out, that leaves driving lanes for Brown especially, and Tatum.

I do think it's a close series, but I think it boils down to having 5 decent shooters from long range vs. 2, and the 86 team's bigs having to defend waaaay differently than they ever had to. I can see McHale wearing guys out on the block too, and that might carry them for stretches, but eventually they'd have to abandon it. I think it would be a contested series, for sure, just because of how good Bird was, he's by far the best player on the floor, at least offensively. Like, there's a large gap between he and Tatum.
Thoughtful analysis, but Dennis Johnson was 6'4".
 
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Mark_Henderson

Mark_Henderson

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For what it's worth, I had picked '86 Celtics in 5. Honestly, I haven't watched them nearly as much in recent years as I did in the Bird era, so in addition to having some bias, I know less about the current team's capabilities.

I stick by my opinion that the 80's teams would dominate, but a big factor would be who did the officiating. It would make a difference whether it was the 80s refs, who let them bang in the paint, or 2022 refs, who let people travel on every drive to the hoop. With today's refs, McHale might foul out in the 2nd quarter.
 
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Mark_Henderson

Mark_Henderson

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Thoughtful analysis, but Dennis Johnson was 6'4".

And he was 1st or 2nd defensive team in the league for years. One of the turning points in the '84 Finals was when the Celtics switched from having Ainge defend Magic Johnson to having DJ do it. If DJ was one of the better people in the league at covering Magic (who was 6' 9"), he can cover Brown.

One problem might be that when some people think of the 80's Celtics, they think of them during their last few years, when they were aging and kind of a shadow of what they'd been before. After Bird f'd up his back in '88, he still did some impressive things, but he was not the same player. They made a heroic stand to hold off the Pistons in '87 when they should have lost, but they declined a lot after that.
 

HAMMERMILL

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For what it's worth, I had picked '86 Celtics in 5. Honestly, I haven't watched them nearly as much in recent years as I did in the Bird era, so in addition to having some bias, I know in less about the current team's capabilities.

I stick by my opinion that the 80's teams would dominate, but a big factor would be who did the officiating. It would make a difference whether it was the 80s refs, who let them bang in the paint, or 2022 refs, who let people travel on every drive to the hoop. With today's refs, McHale might foul out in the 2nd quarter

86 Celtics in 4 games. Game one: 165 to 75, game two: 175 to 69, game 3: 219 to 45 game 4: 278 to 27. I maybe slightly biased though.
For those that never saw it bird and walton were a clinic of how to pass......It'll never be done again
 

aloyouis

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86 Celtics in 4 games. Game one: 165 to 75, game two: 175 to 69, game 3: 219 to 45 game 4: 278 to 27. I maybe slightly biased though.
You must be able to screen share my phone without me knowing it because I was about to type the same exact thing except I see game 2 being a little more lopsided than you.
 
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