1954–55 NBA season

The 1954–55 NBA season was the ninth season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Syracuse Nationals winning the NBA Championship, beating the Fort Wayne Pistons 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

1954–55 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
DurationOctober 30, 1954 – March 14, 1955
March 15–27, 1955 (Playoffs)
March 31–April 10, 1955 (Finals)
Number of games72
Number of teams8 (9)note
TV partner(s)NBC
Top draft pickFrank Selvy
Picked byBaltimore Bullets
Regular season
Top scorerNeil Johnston (Philadelphia)
Eastern championsSyracuse Nationals
  Eastern runners-upBoston Celtics
Western championsFort Wayne Pistons
  Western runners-upMinneapolis Lakers
ChampionsSyracuse Nationals
  Runners-upFort Wayne Pistons
NBA seasons

Notable occurrencesEdit

  • In response to the relatively slow pace of games, the NBA introduced a 24-second shot clock. The shot clock revitalized the game and scoring skyrocketed league-wide.
  • The Baltimore Bullets dropped out of the NBA and folded on November 27, 1954 after playing 14 games (record 3 wins 11 loses), the last time (as of 2021) that an NBA franchise has folded; these games and all statistics were deleted from the NBA's records. The NBA would return to Baltimore when the Chicago Zephyrs relocated there as the "new" Bullets for the 1963–64 season, though the franchise would relocate to Washington in 1973, where they remain today as the Washington Wizards.
  • As a result of Baltimore having folded, the NBA schedule was redrafted so each team now played 12 games against divisional opponents, and 9 games against the four teams in the other division, for a total of 72 games.
  • The 1955 NBA All-Star Game was played in New York City, with the East beating the West 100–91. Bill Sharman of the Boston Celtics won the game's MVP award.
  • NBC began televising NBA games. This continued until the 1962–63 season, when ABC took over. NBC would begin televising NBA games again in 1990.
  • The Milwaukee Hawks played their final season in the Wisconsin city before moving to St. Louis, Missouri the following season. The NBA would return to Milwaukee with the expansion Bucks in 1968.
Coaching changes
Team 1953–54 coach 1954–55 coach
Fort Wayne Pistons Paul Birch Charles Eckman
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach

Final standingsEdit

Eastern DivisionEdit

Eastern Division W L PCT GB Home Road Neutral Div
x-Syracuse Nationals 43 29 .597 25–7 10–17 8–5 21–15
x-New York Knicks 38 34 .528 5 17–9 8–17 13–8 15–21
x-Boston Celtics 36 36 .500 7 21–5 4–22 11–9 19–17
Philadelphia Warriors 33 39 .458 10 14–5 6–20 13–14 17–19

Western DivisionEdit

Western Division W L PCT GB Home Road Neutral Div
x-Fort Wayne Pistons 43 29 .597 21–6 9–14 13–9 28–8
x-Minneapolis Lakers 40 32 .556 3 18–6 10–14 12–12 18–18
x-Rochester Royals 29 43 .403 14 17–11 4–19 8–13 14–22
Milwaukee Hawks 26 46 .361 17 6–11 9–16 11–19 14–22

x – clinched playoff spot


  Division Semifinals Division Finals NBA Finals
E3 Boston 2     E1 Syracuse* 3
E2 New York 1     E3 Boston 2  
Eastern Division
  E1 Syracuse* 4
  W1 Fort Wayne* 3
W3 Rochester 1     W1 Fort Wayne* 3
W2 Minneapolis 2     W2 Minneapolis 1
Western Division

* Division winner
Bold Series winner
Italic Team with home-court advantage in NBA Finals

Statistics leadersEdit

Category Player Team Stat
Points Neil Johnston Philadelphia Warriors 1,631
Rebounds Neil Johnston Philadelphia Warriors 1,085
Assists Bob Cousy Boston Celtics 557
FG% Larry Foust Fort Wayne Pistons .487
FT% Bill Sharman Boston Celtics .897

Note: Prior to the 1969–70 season, league leaders in points, rebounds, and assists were determined by totals rather than averages.

NBA awardsEdit