No more games. Enough is enough .
The words jump out in boldface type from posters all over town. A picture of Dave Cowens, his chin stuck out menacingly, is in the background.
The Boston Celtics, their image tarnished by terrible teams the last few seasons, are on the way back. The posters are only a teaser to whet the appetities of fans and the would-be fans. Once they get into Boston Garden, they are hooked.
The one word that best describes this Boston Celtic team is fun . The Celtics have it and they provide it for those who come to watch them.
There is very little to tie this team to the great Celtic teams of the past.Red Auerbach is still the boss and the Celtics still play in dusty Boston Garden, but only one player -- Dave Cowens -- is left from the team that won the NBA title in 1976.
So many players have come and gone since then that the most secure Celtic, after Cowens, is a white cat that roams the Celtic offices.
The Celtics had a problem with mice in their ancient building and exterminators couldn't solve it. As the story goes, Auerbach brought in the cat and the problems was cleared up in one day.
"Best deal I made since (Bill) Russell," Auerbach said.
The cat is named No Cut.
All the shuffling of players and coaches paid off in the offseason when five things happened.
The Celtics hired Bill Fitch as coach.
They signed Larry Bird.
They signed M.L. Carr as a free agent.
Tiny Archibald got well.
Bob McAdoo was sent to Detroit as compensation for Carr and the Celtics got two No. 1 draft choices in the deal.
All of a sudden the chemistry was right and the fire was kindled.
The season is only a week old but the Celtics have already captured Boston. Two of their first three home games were sellouts.
They have given this city the kind of team it wants.
The Celtics resemble a college team going for its first-ever NCAA title. The players dive for loose balls and hustle until their tongues are hanging out. They listen to Fitch as if his words were the source of their very existence.
Fitch runs crisp, teaching practices and everyone pays strict attention. He'll reprimand Cowens or Bird as quickly as he will Eric Fernsten and Gerald Henderson.
It is difficult to tell when practice has ended becuase to so many Celtics keep on playing.
The Celtics dumbfounded the Bullets Friday night, handing them their worst defeat in more than two years, 130-93, before another hysterical Boston Garden crowd.
"All they want in Boston is to see a team that is organized and one that hustles," said Auerbach. "We've given them that."
"So far this has been fun," said Fitch, who came to the Celtics this summer after nine years as coach and general manager of the Cleveland Calvaliers.
Fitch is the first "out of family coach the Celtics have had since Auerbach retired in 1966.
Hiring Fitch was the real break from Celtic tradition and he seemingly has made the decision look like the right one.
The Celtics demonstrated against the Bullets Friday why they probably are the best passing team in the NBA this season and why they could be one of the league's best passing teams ever.
Their best passer is rookie forward Bird.
Add Bird to such other outstanding passers as Archibald, Carr Cowen's and Cedric Maxwell and you have an unselfish team that rarely takes bad shots.
"If you don't work the ball you aren't going to win," said Bird. "It's that simple."
"Boston people are professional basketball fans," said Fitch, "and people here go crazy over good passes. The common denominator on all championship teams is good passing.
"We've done a lot of talking about a lot of things on this team and we all realize that we aren't going anywhere unless we are going together."
Bird and Carr are the two who added the last strokes to what Auerback feels will eventually be a masterpiece. But as great as Bird is and as steady and talented as Carr is, this team still belongs to Cowens. He is the center of everything and as he goes, so go the Celtics.
There is no harder worker than Cowens. He comes to practice early and leaves late and even though he is a 10-year man, he dives for lose balls and runs every minute he is on th floor.
"When your best player is like he is, it's just natural that everyone else follows him," Ficth said.
Cowens starts at center and basically plays a high post. Maxwell is the power forward and he works low while Bird, the small forward, plays on a wing. Archibald is the playmaker and Chris Ford is the shooting guard.
Carr, who led the NBA in steals last season, is the typical Celtic sixth man -- a prolific scorer, good defender and a team leader.
Boston is so balanced that seven men have scoring averages in double figures. The Celtics are shooting 54 percent on a team.
Cowens and Carr are averaging 18 points a game, Bird 17.5 Archilbald 14.5, Maxwell and Ford 14 and Jeff Judkins 10.3.
Another reserve, Rick Robey, is averaging 9.5 points and Henderson is developing into a reliable backup to Archibald.
While Fitch's teams in Cleveland were basically pattern types, his Celtics are runners. They fast break at every opportunity and when they have to set up on offense they use a passing, motion offense.
"We have an intelligent team, too." said Fitch . . . "And when I talk about intelligence on a young team I mean three things -- they are quick learner, they have good retention and they aren't reluctant to work hard."
The Celtics still have shortcomings and they know it.
"We're still small and a little slow," Fitch said," and we haven't played together that much. We're a ways away in depth, too, but that doesn't mean the depth isn't there. Power teams can hurt us."
"We're really enjoying ourselves right now," said Carr. "It's a pleasant surprise to be 4-0, but that doesn't mean we're a good ball club yet. We still have to go through some tests. We're still in the learning process."
"So far it has been fun," Fitch added. "But you can't tell the worth of people until you come on hard times and so far we haven't had many."