The Lost Finals MVP: 1966
Mr. Russell's Final Magnum Opus
We’ve had our share of fun with Bill Russell, who has appeared countless times in this series. (Actual count: 10 times now). Well, 1966 marked the end of the Celtics dynasty as Boston would win their eighth NBA title a row before being dethroned in 1967. (Boston would win two more titles before Russell was through).
Naturally, Boston’s 1966 title came against the Los Angeles Lakers, who had ably taken on the role of whipping post for the Celts from the St. Louis Hawks. Unlike the year before, the Lakers were at full strength. It took Boston all seven games to dispatch LA, unlike the easy five-game series of 1965.
Lucky for Red Auerbach and company, they had Bill Russell’s final Finals magnum opus to lean on.
Russell averaged 23.6 points, 24.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, .538 FG%, and .740 FT% per game in this showdown. The points, rebounds, and FG% led the Celtics. The rebounds and FG% led both teams.
Russell’s road to another Finals MVP wasn’t easy; obviously, since the series went seven game…