Click here to Skip to main content
Harry Gallatin
New York's Harry Gallatin had a career-high 15.3 rebounds a game in 1953-54.
NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

Season review: 1953-54

Posted Mar 2 2013 10:59PM


A curious rule was put in place in another attempt to cut down on the excessive fouls which was draining the excitement from the game. Each player wase limited to two fouls per quarter; if he committed a third, he would have to be removed for the remainder of that quarter. The number of fouls decreased to 51 per game, but late-game free-throw shooting contests remained the rule.

Indianapolis folded, leaving the Western Division with only four teams, three of which would make the playoffs. Neil Johnston averaged a league-leading 24.4 points, and Bob Cousy finished second at 19.2 points and led the league in assists with 7.2 per game. George Mikan, now 30, was playing fewer minutes as the Lakers tried to save him for the playoffs. He still averaged 18.1 points and 14.3 rebounds per game.

The playoffs began with an awkward round-robin format, with the top three teams in each division playing each other to see which two would advance. New York's string of Finals appearances ended as Syracuse came out of the East, while Minneapolis again won the West.

John Kundla never received much credit for leading Minneapolis to five NBA titles in six years. Many said that any coach with Mikan, Jim Pollard, Vern Mikkelsen and the rest would win titles without much work. Red Auerbach doesn't buy it.

"I've seen a lot of great teams, at least on paper, that won nothing," Auerbach said. "Sure Kundla had a great team, but he did great things with them."

In what would prove to be the last championship for the Lakers in Minneapolis, the Lakers took a hard-fought Game 7, 87-80. The Lakers' title victory marked the first championship three-peat in NBA history.


Eastern Division round-robin standings

Syracuse (4-0)
Boston (2-2)
New York (0-4)

Western Division round-robin standings

Minneapolis (3-0)
Rochester (2-1)
Fort Wayne (0-4)

Eastern Division finals

Syracuse defeated Boston (2-0)

Western Division finals

Minneapolis defeated Rochester (2-1)

NBA Finals

Minneapolis defeated Syracuse (4-3)

Season leaders

PPG -- Neil Johnston, Philadelphia Warriors (24.4)
FG% -- Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics (.486)
FT% -- Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics (.844)
Assists -- Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics (7.2)
Rebounds -- Harry Gallatin, New York Knicks (15.2)

Award winners

Rookie of the Year -- Ray Felix, Baltimore Bullets
All-Star Game MVP -- Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics

photoNBA Game Spotlight: Cavaliers at Pacers Game 3
In advance of today's Cavaliers-Pacers game at 1:00pm ET on ABC, take a look back to Game 3 where LeBron James led the Cavs by erasing a 25-point halftime deficit to comeback and beat the Pacers 119-114 and take a 3-0 series lead.
photoThe Warriors Speak With The Media Following Game 3 Victory
Klay Thompson says shooters go through droughts but you keep shooting.
photoThe Trail Blazers Speak With The Media Following Loss
Damian Lillard says the Trail Blazers weren't "disciplined" in Game 3 against the Warriors.
photoDunks Of The Day: Apr. 22
Check out all the high-flying, rim-rocking action from Saturday's NBA playoffs with the Dunks of the Day.
photoGameTime: Warriors-Blazers Game 4 preview
NBA TV previews Game 4 of the first round match-up between the Warriors and the Blazers.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.