Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
Syracuse coach Al Cervi (left) and George King.
Syracuse coach Al Cervi (left) and George King.
NBAP/ NBAE/ Getty Images

Season review: 1954-55


Posted Mar 2 2013 10:59PM

PREVIOUS SEASON || NEXT SEASON

Two momentous events in NBA history occurred prior to the 1954-55 season. George Mikan, who had been the standard-bearer as the league gained a foothold in the public consciousness, announced his retirement.

But if anything could overshadow the departure of the game's greatest player, it was the adoption of the 24-second clock and an accompanying limit on the number of fouls a team could commit in a quarter.

Syracuse owner Danny Biasone and his GM, Leo Ferris, came up with the shot clock idea, which along with the team foul limit, created the pro basketball game we know today.

Biasone will always have a place in NBA history as the man who invented the shot clock. His name has become synonymous with the clock, even to generations of basketball fans who never saw the 1950s. It was one of those rare ideas which worked immediately, completely and permanently. Scoring shot up immediately, from 79.5 ppg to 93.1.

"Danny Biasone saved the NBA with the 24-second rule, make no mistake about that," said former NBA coach and referee Charlie Eckman.

While team scoring soared, individual point totals did not, with the increased points seeming to come from across the team. Neil Johnston won another scoring title by averaging 22.7 points, while Bob Cousy averaged 21.2 points and Paul Arizin, back from military service, 21.0.

With Mikan gone, the opportunity was never better for Syracuse, and the Nationals won what would prove to be their only championship in that city, defeating Fort Wayne in seven games. In Game 7, Syracuse's George King made one of two foul shots with 12 seconds left, then stole the ball to seal a 92-91 victory.

54-55.jpg
Playoffs

Eastern Division semifinals

Boston defeated New York (2-1)

Western Division semifinals

Minneapolis defeated Syracuse (2-1)

Eastern Division finals

Syracuse defeated Boston (3-1)

Western Division finals

Fort Wayne defeated Minneapolis (3-1)

NBA Finals

Syracuse defeated Fort Wayne (4-3)

Season leaders

PPG -- Neil Johnston, Philadelphia Warriors (22.7)
FG% -- Larry Foust, Ft. Wayne Pistons (.487)
FT% -- Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics (.897)
Assists -- Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics (7.8)
Rebounds -- Neil Johnston, Philadelphia Warriors (15.1)

Award winners

Rookie of the Year -- Bob Pettit, Milwaukee Hawks
All-Star Game MVP -- Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoGameTime: Milt Newton
Timberwolves' former general manager Milt Newton joins GameTime to speak on the trade rumors swirling in Minnesota.
photoGameTime: Kevin Ding
Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding joins GameTime to speak on the Lakers' new President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson.
photoBeyond The Paint: Michele Roberts
After less than 3 years on the job, the woman who guided the players through the CBA process, Michele Roberts, sat down with David Aldridge and spoke about many things including her relationship with the players she leads.
photoBeyond The Paint: Brandon Roy
After a few years searching, Brandon Roy is back on the basketball scene in his hometown of Seattle and his coaching career is starting just as successfully as his NBA career once did.
photoBeyond The Paint: Robert Pack
Most of New Orleans is obviously back & in business after Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago as we're seeing this weekend. But in the hardest hit area, the Lower 9th Ward, progress has been painfully slow. Pelicans Asst Coach Robert Pack, a native of the Lower 9th is working hard to try to change that and he shared with Matt Winer a seminal moment in his young life that continues to shape him to this day.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com 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

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.