Happy Christmas Eve! To celebrate, we’re dropping four articles today on the Daily McPlay, since we fell behind a little bit. To remind readers, for our second NBA Tuesday miniseries, we examine the Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards that didn’t exist at the time.
Remember to check out the first miniseries entry on this year for context, while you’re here. This is one stretch of professional basketball history which is a bit booooooring, thanks to the Boston Celtics. Not much we can do about that, so apologies in advance … enjoy, and happy holiday season to everyone!
1965 NBA FINALS MVP: Bill Russell, C, Boston Celtics
Boston beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games to claim another NBA championship: This was not very close, as the Celtics outscored the Lakers by about 13 points per game, overall. We’re giving this Finals MVP nod to Boston center Bill Russell, since he shot over 70 percent from the floor in this series while also doling out 5.8 apg in addition to his usual scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding prowess (25.0 rpg).
1965 NBA DPOY: Bill Russell, C, Boston Celtics
With 14.43 Defensive Win Shares, Russell also claims another DPOY trophy from us—his seventh, overall. His teammate, guard K.C. Jones, was the second-best defensive guy in the league with just 6.22 DWS. Russell led the NBA in rebounding (24.1 rpg) for the final time in his career, while also committing 2.6 fouls per game at age 30, as his mobility slowly began to evaporate. But he was still dominant, of course.