Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were an unstoppable tandem in 1970-71.
NBA Photos

Season review: 1970-71


Posted Mar 2 2013 10:38PM

PREVIOUS SEASON || NEXT SEASON

By the time he landed in Milwaukee before the 1970-71 season, Oscar Robertson had an MVP, a triple-double season and countless other accolades in tow. But what he didn't have was an NBA title, something he'd finally earn thanks to a young, dominating center.

In one of the league's great single-season, big man/point guard combos, Robertson teamed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to power the Bucks to new heights. Thanks to that duo -- as well as solid play from recently acquired veterans Bob Boozer and Lucius Allen -- Milwaukee racked up 66 wins and breezed past San Francisco and the L.A. Lakers in the playoffs to clinch a Finals berth in just its third year of existence.

Baltimore surprised many by defeating New York in a seven-game slugfest in the East finals. But, the Bullets entered The Finals hobbled by injuries to Earl Monroe, Gus Johnson and Wes Unseld and became the second Finals sweep victim in NBA history.

The season also brought about three expansion teams -- the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves -- and the league went to a Eastern and Western Conference format after being the Eastern and Western Division since the NBA's inception. Also new were the divisions within each conference: the Atlantic and Central Divisions in the East and the Midwest and Pacific Divisions in the West.

In 1965, nine teams had played 360 games in a league with 108 players. Just five years later, the NBA season opened with 17 teams playing 697 games in a 204-player league.

Abdul-Jabbar led the league in scoring, averaging 31.7 points and 16 rebounds per game. Robertson was among the assist leaders, averaging 8.3 per game. Abdul-Jabbar, the Finals MVP, racked up his first of six career regular-season MVPs in this season, too.

70-71.jpg
Playoffs

Eastern Conference semifinals

New York defeated Atlanta (4-1)
Baltimore defeated Philadelphia (4-3)

Western Conference semifinals

Milwaukee defeated San Francisco (4-1)
Los Angeles defeated Chicago (4-3)

Eastern Conference finals

Baltimore defeated New York (4-3)

Western Conference finals

Milwaukee defeated Los Angeles (4-1)

NBA Finals

Milwaukee defeated Baltimore (4-0)

Season leaders

PPG -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks (31.7)
FG% -- Johnny Green, Cincinnati Royals (.587)
FT% -- Chester Walker, Chicago Bulls (.859)
Assists -- Norm Van Lier, Cincinnati Royals (10.2)
Rebounds -- Wilt Chamberlain, Los Angeles Lakers (18.2)

Award winners

Most Valuable Player -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks
Rookie of the Year -- Dave Cowens, Boston Celtics and Geoff Petrie, Portland Trail Blazers
Coach of the Year -- Dick Motta, Chicago Bulls
All-Star Game MVP -- Lenny Wilkens, Seattle Supersonics
Finals MVP -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoGameTime: Undrafted Undeterred
Steve Smith takes a look back at some of the promising players that rose to the top during Summer League.
photoInternational Competition
Matt Winer and Steve Smith discuss if NBA players should be allowed to play in international competition during the off season.
photoNBA Rooks: Kristaps Porzingis Solid Summer Start
After being selected 4th overall by the Knicks in the 2015 Draft, Kristaps Porzingis got off to a solid start in the Las Vegas Summer League.
photoMike Conley Visits the Great Wall of China
Take a look as Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies takes a tour of the Great Wall of China.
photoNBA Africa Game 2015 Recap
A look at the NBA's first ever game in Africa as Team World defeated Team Africa 101-97 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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.