John Havlicek: The Most Underrated Season of His Career
When it comes to the late and great, John Havlicek, he tends to get overshadowed by other Boston Celtics’ legends. After all, the plethora of stars that have come through the storied franchise is insane. It ranges from Bill Russell and Bob Cousy to Larry Bird and Kevin McHale to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. However, Havlicek was also revolutionary in his time. As a result, he deserves more respect and that makes him the ideal candidate for our next “Most Underrated Season,” article. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at Havlicek’s most overlooked season.
John Havlicek: His Most Underrated Season
John Havlicek: His 1970-71 Campaign
While the Celtics were still feeling the effects of Bill Russell’s absence, they were struggling to stay afloat. During the 1970-71 campaign, they finished with a relatively pedestrian win-loss record of 44-38 for their standards. However, it does not change the fact that Havlicek had a great year, especially when you take into account his supporting cast. On this particular squad, the second-best player was center, Dave Cowens. The team finished with a defensive rating of 95.3 which was good for third-best in the league. However, it was their offensive capabilities that were the main problem. Boston had an offensive rating of 97.0 which ranked 10th out 17 teams in the 1970-71 season. Despite not winning a title and finishing only third in the Atlantic division, John Havlicek had arguably the best season of his career during the 1970-71 campaign.
Hondo’s 1970-71 Numbers
Before we delve into Havlicek’s statistics, it is important to note that there is no advanced analytics available for Hondo’s era. However, the numbers that are available are very impressive. During the 1970-71 season, Havlicek averaged a career-high 28.9 points per game. On top of this, he also came close to averaging a triple-double with totals of 9.0 total rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Havlicek also posted decent shooting numbers. He tallied a free-throw percentage of 81.8 percent to couple with a field-goal percentage of 45.0 percent.
There was no three-point line when Havlicek played, but it makes one wonder how deadly of a deep-range threat he could have been if it was in existence. The 1970-71 season may be a forgettable season for the history of the Boston Celtics, however, it did bring one positive. That being it gave fans John Havlicek’s most overlooked and underrated season of his legendary career. John Havlicek may no longer be with us, but his legacy will last forever in the NBA.
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