Kevin McHale: His Most Underrated Season
Kevin McHale is one of the best players in Boston Celtics’ history. Scratch that, he is one of the best players in NBA history. His post moves are legendary and served him well in his prime. As a result, many big men try to model their post game after the Hall of Famer. McHale was the perfect sidekick alongside the great Larry Bird and it provided them a ton of success and titles. He, Bird, and Robert Parish formed arguably the best frontcourt in NBA history.
Sometimes, Parrish and McHale would get overlooked due to the sheer dominance Bird would show on the court. However, Bird will be the first to admit how vital Parish and McHale were to their team’s success. As the years have gone on, many have realized the value McHale brought to the Celtics in the 1980s. With all of this in mind, it is worth making McHale our next player in this ongoing “Most Underrated Season,” series. Without further adieu, let’s delve into the terrific power forward’s most overlooked campaign.
Kevin McHale’s Most Overlooked Season
Kevin McHale: His 1983-84 Season
During the 1983-84 season, McHale would finally solidify his presence as one of the best players in the league. He was an up and coming sensation and proved so by winning the first of his two Sixth Man of the Year awards. On top of this, he would also make his first All-Star Game during this particular season. McHale would prove to be a missing piece to the puzzle as the team would win the NBA Finals in seven games against the Los Angeles Lakers.
This would be one of the many Finals that would pit these two legendary franchises against each other in the 1980s. The Los Angeles Lakers had their own cast of stars to help them, but McHale was turning into the sidekick that Larry Bird needed. Not to mention, the team also finished with a win-loss record of 62-20 to couple with an offensive rating of 110.9 (sixth in the league) and a defensive rating of 104.4 (fourth in the league). The Celtics had on one of their best seasons ever and McHale played a big role in it.
Black Hole’s 1983-84 Numbers
During McHale’s first Sixth Man of the Year season, he would average 18.4 points, 1.5 blocks, and 7.4 assists per game. On top of this, he also tallied an effective field goal percentage of 55.7 percent. Not to mention, he also came away with an offensive rating of 120 to couple with a defensive rating of 105. However, McHale also impressed in the advanced analytics department.
McHale averaged a true shooting percentage of 60.5 percent. He would also come away with a defensive rebounding percentage of 17.1 percent. Not to mention, McHale would tally a respectable player efficiency rating of 20.0 during this particular campaign. He would finish the season with a win share of 10.5. The 1983-84 campaign would prove to be Kevin McHale’s rise to star status and would translate into another championship for the already storied Boston Celtics’ franchise. It is time to start giving the big man more credit for the 1983-84 season.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images