Settle the Argument

1966-67 Sixers take on '82-83 squad in Strat-O-Matic simulation Finals 

The Finals series of our mini-tournament simulation.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Either way, Billy Cunningham’s a winner. 

In the Finals of Strat-O-Matic’s all-time great Sixers teams tournament simulation for NBC Sports Philadelphia, we’ve got the 1966-67 Sixers vs. the 1982-83 squad. 

That means legendary ’82-83 head coach Cunningham has an impeccable scouting report on a springy lefty forward (himself 16 years earlier) known as “The Kangaroo Kid.” And Cunningham obviously also has fantastic knowledge of all the other members on the ’66-67 champs. 

It’s not surprising whatsoever that these two teams reached the Finals. Both squads feature four Hall of Fame players and overpowering MVP centers in Wilt Chamberlain and Moses Malone. 

To conclude the tournament, we’ll run down each game of the simulated Finals and look at the standout numbers from the Strat-O-Matic box scores: 

Game 1: ’66-67 team wins, 137-112 (1-0 series lead) 

A scorching start for the ’66-67 team, which shot 60.6 percent from the field and had six players post at least 14 points.

Hal Greer was the team’s top scorer with 29 points. Chamberlain recorded a series-opening triple-double in his usual full 48 minutes — 25 points on 11-for-16 shooting, 13 rebounds, 13 assists. 

The ’66-67 Sixers were very much capable of these sorts of offensive performances. They had one of the highest-scoring NBA seasons ever, eclipsing the 10,000-point mark over 81 games and averaging 125.2 per contest.

Game 2: ’82-83 team wins, 99-90 (1-1 series) 

With the ’82-83 team trailing by five points and about four minutes remaining, Mo Cheeks (22 points) and Andrew Toney (17 points) produced in the clutch. 

Malone delivered 18 points and 21 rebounds, Julius Erving had a 21-point, nine-rebound outing, and the ’82-83 squad got the late stops required to knot up the series. 

Game 3: ’82-83 team wins, 105-98 (2-1 series lead)

Malone fouled out after just 22 minutes of action and Bobby Jones did the same after 23. 

Still, the ’82-83 club was again superior down the stretch. Often under the radar during his actual playing career, Cheeks went off for 30 points in Game 3 and dished out eight assists.

Though Cheeks was a great all-around point guard, 30-point games were not his norm at all. He averaged 12.5 points during the ’82-83 regular season and 16.3 points during that postseason. Over Cheeks’ entire career, the most points he ever scored in a game was 33 — as a rookie vs. the Spurs in the 1979 playoffs.

Game 4: ’82-83 team wins, 122-74 (3-1 series lead)

Malone (23 points, 21 rebounds) and Chamberlain (21 points, 19 boards) had similar stat lines. 

Besides that, all ’82-83 Sixers in Game 4. Jones scored 23 points on 7-for-9 shooting and swiped six steals. The ’66-67 team committed 29 turnovers in the 48-point loss. 

Through both the regular season and playoffs, the real ’66-67 team’s biggest loss was an 18-point defeat to the Celtics on Nov. 5, 1966. That 105-87 loss at Boston Garden was the only occasion the ’66-67 Sixers scored under 100 points. 

Game 5: ’66-67 team wins, 123-107 (3-2 series deficit) 

Chet “The Jet” Walker notched 34 points and nine rebounds in a strong ’66-67 bounce-back win. 

Chamberlain, who did not sit for one second all series, posted a quadruple-double with 18 points, 15 assists, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks. 

Game 6: ’82-83 team wins, 111-84 (4-2 series victory) 

Cheeks was again the brightest star, helping the ’82-83 team clinch the series by scoring 30 points on 10-for-13 shooting. He also had nine assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Chamberlain scored 13 points, his lowest for a game in the Finals. Malone finished the series with a 16-point, 19-rebound performance. 

The ’82-83 Sixers lost more games in this simulated series (two) than they did over the whole ’82-83 playoffs (one). Clearly, both the ’66-67 and ’82-83 Sixers have good cases for being among the best teams in NBA history. 

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