Boston's intention was to stop Philadelphia's brutal fast break, on the theory that an Erving standing still is better than an Erving in full flight. But when the Doctor shoots the way he did in Friday night's opener—12 for 22, 29 points—Erving on ice skates would be formidable. Boston slowed Philadelphia down, all right, but the Celtics' own spectacular fast break was shut down as well, and they lost 96--93.
Erving wound up averaging 23.0 points as the Sixers won the series in five games.
ON THE COVER
This Week In SI
SI.com/vault offers every SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover since the start-up in August 1954, searchable by date or subject. Here are some newsmakers from years past.
Who's That Girl?
Silver Spoon's handlers were aiming for the Kentucky Derby after two stakes wins over colts. Spoon became the only filly in the Derby between '45 and '80, finishing fifth.
At 22, the Mets' Darryl Strawberry had just won Rookie of the Year and had been called the "black Ted Williams." Now he wanted to prove "I can hit anybody."
Prize of the Draft
As NFL selection day neared, Ohio State defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson—at 6'3", 313 pounds with a 40 time of 4.79—was imposing; he'd go No. 1 to the Bengals.
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Who'll be this year's No. 1 NFL draft pick? Georgia quarterback and odds-on favorite Matt Stafford (above, left)? Or maybe Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith? Check out SI.com for all the latest news, notes and analysis leading up to this weekend's NFL draft from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Don Banks weighs in with his final Mock Draft of 2009, while SI's NFL gurus will be dispatched to cities across the country to cover some of the most important picks. And you can follow the first two rounds with our live Draft Tracker, which includes evaluations of each pick, and also check out the draft commentary from SI writers on SI.com's Twitter feed.