April 22, 1984

The Celtics were hoping to finish off a best-of-five first-round playoff series against Washington, but the Bullets refused to cooperate.

(For those who may not remember, the NBA hadn’t yet ruled that a team named Bullets would encourage violent crime.)

Washington avoided the indignity of being swept with a 111-108 overtime win.

Considering the canyon separating the teams in pure talent – the Celtics finished the regular season 62-20, the Bullets 35-47) few could argue with the public statements by Kevin McHale and Cedric Maxwell that Washington had an ultra-slim chance of beating them.

The Bullets were the only folks who disputed that notion.

“Go over and tell Maxwell and McHale that we can beat them,” said Washington center Jeff Ruland. One of the more physical (some would say dirty) players in the NBA, Ruland scored 33 points and had 15 rebounds.

Ultimately, Maxwell and McHale were right. The Celtics finished them off in Game 4.