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Free Throws Shouldn't Decide NBA Playoffs

May 28, 1988

Being an avid basketball fan, I was very interested in watching Game 7 of the Boston-Atlanta series on Sunday. After reading that Larry Bird had even "guaranteed" a win before the game, I decided to watch to see why he was so confident.

After watching the game, I realized why Bird knew the Celtics would win. In crucial playoff games at Boston Garden, the Celtics are virtually "guaranteed" of shooting a much greater number of free throws than their opposition. In a close game decided by only a few points, the Celtics shot free throws at a greater than 3-to-1 margin compared to Atlanta. This margin clearly decided the game.

Boston (or any other team) should have to win crucial games from the floor, not by ridiculous numbers of charity tosses. The NBA needs to take a stand on this issue, or the integrity of the game is at risk.

BRAD JAY

San Diego

(Editor's note: In Game 7 of the series, the Celtics shot 28 free throws , the Hawks 12.)

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