History

Season Review: 1947-48

Take a look back at the 1947-48 season in which the Baltimore Bullets emerged as NBA champions.

From NBA.com Staff

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When the second season began, several prominent changes had taken place. The league schedule was reduced from 60 to 48 games in an attempt to cut travel expenses. Four teams from the original 11 — Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto and Pittsburgh — had folded, leaving the remaining seven with an unbalanced schedule. To correct this problem, the Baltimore Bullets were brought in from a regional circuit called the American Basketball League.

To the surprise of many, Baltimore more than proved it belonged by winning the title in six games over Philadelphia. Baltimore featured 5-foot-11 player-coach Buddy Jeannette, 6-foot-8 center Clarence “Kleggie” Hermsen, guard Chick Reiser, and forwards Paul Hoffman and Connie Simmons. Chicago’s Max Zaslofsky was the only player who broke the 1,000-point barrier, and won the scoring title over Joe Fulks when the Philadelphia star missed five games. The league, which struggled through adversity as the reduction in games also cut into revenues, got a boost when Joe Lapchick, who had played for the original Celtics and coached at St. John’s, brought his experience to the league as coach of the Knicks.

One significant rule was added to the mix this season: players were allowed six fouls before disqualification, and increase from five the previous season

The BAA was a rough and tumble league, many of its players veterans of the barnstorming era. One of them was the 30-year-old Buddy Jeannette, who guided Baltimore to the title in six games over Philadelphia.

“I remember in the last game with Philly, George Senesky hit me in the mouth and split my lip open,” Jeannette said. “Right after the game I had to go get my mouth sewed up. Then we went out and had a few beers.”


PLAYOFFS

Tiebreakers, Western Division

Chicago defeated Washington

Baltimore defeated Chicago

Quarterfinals

Chicago defeated Boston (2-1)

Baltimore defeated New York (2-1)

Semifinals

Philadelphia defeated St. Louis (4-3)

Baltimore defeated Chicago (2-0)

NBA Finals

Baltimore defeated Philadelphia (4-2)


SEASON LEADERS

Points — Joe Fulks, Philadelphia Warriors (22.1)

Assists — Howie Dallmar, Philadelphia Warriors (2.5)

FG% — Bob Feerick, Washington Capitols (34.0)

FT% — Bob Feerick, Washington Capitols (78.8)

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