This Date in Celtic Lore: March 28, 1948
It had been one full week since the Basketball Association of America had completed its second season of play, Coach John “Honey” Russell’s Boston Celtics comfortably settled into the No. 3 position in the Eastern Division earning them their very first spot in the Association’s post-season championship chase.
The playoff format utilized by the league at the time had been adopted from professional ice hockey – and bears little resemblance to post-season processes of American pro sports for over half a century.

The East and West first place finishers faced off in the FIRST Round in a best-of-seven series, the winner advancing to what we now call The Finals.

The East runner-up would go two-out-of-three with the West second-place team; likewise the third-place finishers face off in a mini-series … those winners then play another best-of-three to advance to the seven-game championship series.

The standings reveal that all four West squads posted better records than any Eastern team that season, with a three-way deadlock for second place – a pair of play-in games seeded the champion-to-be Baltimore Bullets No. 2 and the Chicago Stags No. 3 while eliminating the Washington Capitols (coached by a 30-year-old Arnold Jacob Auerbach).

By the time that tie had been broken and the Celtics had been paired with the Stags (whom they’d defeated in their final regular-season game), Boston had been idle for ten days.

Lewiston (ME) Daily Sun, 3/29/48

The Celts re-grouped enough to even the series three nights later, that game also staged in Beantown for some reason (likely arena availability, given the time frame).

But two nights later – and again in Boston ??? – Max Zavlosky’s 31-point outburst put an end to the initial playoff run of Walter Brown’s dynasty-to-be -- also to the tenure of Coach Russell.

Abacus Revelation for the Road

The Boston roster that season included two Ivy League guys, one a 5’11’’ rookie named Saul Mariaschin (No. 4) from nearby Harvard – the same school to which that Auerbach fellow would soon be attempting (unsuccessfully, alas) to steer a certain Delaware Valley high schooler just a few years down the road.

It would take 65 years for another player from those hallowed halls in nearby Cambridge to participate in the BAA/NBA playoffs.

Can you guess who? Here’s a “cheat sheet”.