|National Basketball Association|
|◄ previous||1953/54 season||next ►|
|Duration||October 30, 1953 - April 12, 1954|
|Season games per team||72|
|Number of teams||9|
|Best record||Minneapolis Lakers|
|Top scorer||Neil Johnston ( Philadelphia Warriors )|
|Eastern Division - Champion||Syracuse Nationals|
|Western Division - Champion||Minneapolis Lakers|
|NBA champions||Minneapolis Lakers|
The 1953/54 NBA season was the eighth season of the National Basketball Association and began on October 30, 1953 and ended regularly after 324 games on March 14, 1954. The postseason began on March 16 and ended on April 12 with 4 - 3 final wins by the Minneapolis Lakers over the Syracuse Nationals . For the first time a contract was signed with television.
- The Indianapolis Olympians broke up before the season.
- The New York Knickerbockers and Philadelphia Warriors made use of their territorial picks . The first regular election of the 1953 NBA draft fell by the Baltimore Bullets to Rookie of the Year Ray Felix from Long Island University in Brooklyn.
- A new rule should limit the fouls. From the 1953/54 season only two fouls per quarter were allowed. If you exceeded this number, you had to skip the rest of the quarter.
- The fourth NBA All-Star Game took place on Thursday, January 14, 1954 in front of 16,487 spectators in Madison Square Garden in New York. Joe Lapchick's Eastern All-Stars defeated John Kundla's Western All-Stars with 98-93 in overtime . Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game was Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics. Bobby Wanzer was fouled out with six fouls . It is therefore not wrong to say that foul play seemed to be part of the standard repertoire of the teams.
Pl. = Rank,= qualified for the playoffs, Sp = number of games, S — N = wins and losses,% = win rate (wins divided by number of games played), GB = deficit on the leader of the division in number of wins , Home = home balance, exp. = Away balance, neuter. = Balance on neutral ground, Div. = Balance against the division opponents
NBA 1953/54: Western Division in red, Eastern Division in blue. The Indianapolis Olympians broke up before the season.
|1.||New York Knicks||72||44-28||.611||-||18-8||15-13||11-7||24-16|
|3.||Fort Wayne Pistons||72||40-32||.536||6th||19-8||11-17||10-7||17-15|
Leading players in individual ratings
|Points||Neil Johnston||Philadelphia Warriors||1759|
|Throwing Rate †||Ed Macauley||Boston Celtics||48.6%|
|Free throw rate ‡||Bill Sharman||Boston Celtics||84.4%|
|Assists||Bob Cousy||Boston Celtics||518|
|Rebounds||Harry Gallatin||New York Knickerbockers||1098|
- † 210 baskets required. Macauley took 950 shots and hit 462 times.
- ‡ 180 free throws required. Sharman hit 331 out of 392.
- With 303 Earl Lloyd of the Syracuse Nationals committed the most fouls , who was also the most fouled out with twelve times .
- Neil Johnston was the longest on the floor with 3296 minutes. His 1759 points averaged 24.4 points per game. Up until the 1968/69 season , the statistics in the categories " points ", " assists " and " rebounds " were based on the overall performance and not the rate per game.
- Neil Johnston had the best score at the third best throw rate of 44.9% for 591 baskets from the field in 1317 attempts.
- Syracuse's Dolph Schayes was in second place behind Sharman with 82.7%, but scored 488 free-throws in contrast to Sharman's 392.
Division double round tournament
After the end of the regular season, the top three teams in a division played the two top seeds in a double round tournament to determine playoff participation and home rights. For this purpose, one of the three teams that came third in the double round tournament to be determined should be eliminated. In the run-up, the only rule was that in the event of a tie - including a three-fold tie with two wins each - the higher season position would decide. For this reason, the last game of the Western Division was no longer played, as both Rochester and Minneapolis had qualified for the division finals, Minneapolis would still have finished higher than the season best if Rochester had won the sixth game and the resulting tie.
In the Eastern Division, however, the sixth game had to be played, although New York was already beaten, because here it was still about the placement and thus a possible second home game, as the next round should be played in the "Best of Three" mode . Both Syracuse and Boston had finished the regular season behind New York with the same number of games and wins, but Boston had won a coin toss that would have come to fruition in a tie between the two. For both teams, the sixth game was about home rights against the other in the division finals. Boston had to tie the tie and Syracuse had to prevent it.
In the final, of course, the team that had the best record of the regular season had an additional home game possibly up to two further home games (i.e.: 1,1,2,2,2,1,1), as the best-of-seven mode was played.
All games in the double round tournament are considered playoff games and are included in the playoff statistics, as they are not a tie-breakers.
|Fort Wayne Pistons||0||4th|
|New York Knicks||0||4th|
Tuesday, March 16: Rochester 82-71 Fort Wayne
Tuesday, March 16: New York 71 - 93 Boston
|Division Finals||NBA finals|
The division finals were held according to the “Best of Three” mode and the NBA finals according to the “Best of Seven” mode.
Eastern Division Finals
- Syracuse Nationals 2, Boston Celtics 0
- Thursday March 25th: Syracuse 109-94 Boston
- Saturday March 27th: Boston 83-76 Syracuse
Western Division Finals
- Minneapolis Lakers 2, Rochester Royals 1
- Wednesday March 24th: Minneapolis 89-76 Rochester
- Saturday March 27th: Rochester 74-73 Minneapolis
- Sunday March 28th: Minneapolis 82-72 Rochester
Minneapolis Lakers vs. Syracuse Nationals
The Minneapolis Lakers repeated their coup of last year and became champions for the third time in a row and for the fifth time in the final pairing of 1950.
- The final results:
- Wednesday March 31: Minneapolis 79-68 Syracuse
- Saturday April 3: Minneapolis 60-62 Syracuse
- Sunday April 4: Syracuse 67-81 Minneapolis
- Thursday April 8th: Syracuse 80-69 Minneapolis
- Saturday April 10th: Syracuse 73-84 Minneapolis
- Sunday April 11th: Minneapolis 63-65 Syracuse
- Monday April 12th: Minneapolis 87-80 Syracuse
The Minneapolis Lakers become NBA champions with 4–3 wins .
The Minneapolis Lakers championship team
Jim Pollard , Frank Saul , George Mikan , Dick Schnittker , Vern Mikkelsen , Slater Martin , Jim Holstein , Whitey Skoog , Clyde Lovellette
Head Coach John Kundla
- NN: 1953 NBA Draft. On: Basketball Reference website; Philadelphia, PA, 2000-2018. Retrieved June 9, 2017 (in English).
- NN: Season review: 1953-54. The Lakers win their third straight title and fifth in six seasons. On: NBA website; New York, NY August 23, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2018 (in English).
- NN: 1954 NBA All-Star Game East 98, West 93 (OT). On: Basketball Reference website; Philadelphia, PA, 2000-2018. Retrieved June 9, 2017 (in English).
- Official NBA Guide 2016-2017. , published by Bradley Weinstein on the NBA website; New York, NY, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2017 (in English).