Celtics

Celtics Playoff Rewind: Scott Wedman destroys Lakers in Memorial Day Massacre

Celtics

Scott Wedman had what most would consider a solid NBA career. 

A first-round pick of the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1974, Wedman played 12 seasons in the NBA (he was traded to Seattle prior to 1987 season but chose to instead retire), the last four of which came in Boston primarily as a reserve behind one of the greatest players of all time, Larry Bird as well as another future Hall of Famer in Kevin McHale.

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Moments of greatness for Wedman were few and far between, but his overall play was a reminder of the mantra that seems applicable to most every generation of Celtics players.

Stay ready. 

Your time to shine will come. 

For Wedman, that moment came on Memorial Day 35 years ago when he delivered one of the most impressive NBA Finals performances ever.

The result was a 148-114 Game 1 win for the Celtics that’s better known as the Memorial Day Massacre.

Boston’s 34-point margin was one of the most lopsided playoff wins ever for the Celtics against their bitter rival in a playoff game.

It was the standard that all blowout wins between these two was measured against, until Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals when the Celtics delivered a series-clinching 131-92 win.

And while Danny Ainge set the tone on Memorial Day in 1985 with 15 points in the first quarter, it was Wedman’s flawless shooting off the bench that stood out above the litany of strong performances that day. 

 

Wedman, who averaged 6.4 points during the regular season and 8.7 during the playoffs that year, scored 26 points in just 23 minutes while making all 11 of his shots from the field — a performance that still stands as the NBA record for most consecutive makes without a miss in an NBA Finals game. 

While his breakout performance came as a surprise to some, it certainly didn’t catch the Celtics — or most who followed the NBA closely at that time — off-guard. 

Prior to arriving in Boston, Wedman was one of the NBA’s bright up-and-comers with the Kings, earning All-Star nods in 1976 and again in 1980. But because the Kings were a small-market team and the NBA wasn’t nearly as global or expansive then as it is now, Wedman played in relative obscurity for the bulk of his career. 

So coming to Boston via trade from Cleveland in 1982, was both a blessing and a burden for the 6-foot-7, 215-pound Wedman, who was going to be part of a bigger, higher profile organization in Boston that was always focused on winning an NBA title. 

But opportunities to showcase his talents wouldn’t be nearly as plentiful for a player with his skills. Playing with the Celtics back then, Wedman was indeed a talented player who flew below the radar.

And against the Lakers, the level of obscurity was even greater when you factor in that between the two teams for that Game 1 matchup in 1985, there were a combined nine future Hall of Famers who took to the floor. 

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Wedman was not one of them.

But don’t get it twisted. 

Wedman had an exceptional three-point shot, connecting on 50 percent of his 3’s in two of his last three NBA seasons while being a career 48.1 percent shooter from the field.

And because of his size, he had the positional versatility and defensive acumen (he was a member of the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 1980) that allowed him to play a number of different positions and roles.

But more than anything else, Wedman’s role was that of the sage veteran who would stay ready and perform at a high level when called upon. 

Memorial Day 1985 was indeed one of those moments. 

While his performance was one of many exceptional efforts in that particular game, what Wedman did on Memorial Day served as a reminder as to what has been a central theme through the annals of Celtics lore. 

Stay ready. 

Your time to shine will come.