Back in the day, guarding Kevin McHale in the low post was correctly referred to as being in The Torture Chamber. This was primarly due to McHale's towering height (6'11"), precise footwork, and pinpoint shooting ability. It also helped that McHale was assembled at the Freaky Body Parts Depot. He had the arms of a 15-foot man, and they either didn't have any joints, or the joints swiveled in every conceivable direction. Seriously, watch this video and take note of how his arms twist and bend in ways that no human limb ever should. It's a little creepy. Okay, a lot
is how I want to remember McHale. Not as the lousy GM who couldn't build a team around Kevin Garnett and then traded K.G. to his old team for pennies on the dollar, but as a fierce, talented competitor who was the absolute and undisputed master of inside scoring. The dude has forgotten more low post moves than most guys in today's NBA will ever know. He was also a fantastic defender -- three times All-Defensive First Team, three times All-Defensive Second Team -- who perfected the art of the "soft blocked shot" (where you lightly tap it to yourself or a nearby teammate).
One last note on McHale. Everybody talks about that mythical 50/40/90 benchmark, where a player shoots 50 percent from the field, 40 from three, and 90 from the line. There are only five or six guys who have ever done that. Well, there's only one person in NBA history who has ever shot 60 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line. It was McHale, and he did it twice (in '87 and '88).
Labels: Boston Celtics, Kevin McHale, Minnesota Timberwolves