1954–55 Syracuse Nationals season

During the 1954–55 Syracuse Nationals season (their 6th), the National Basketball Association (NBA) was struggling financially and down to just 8 teams. Nationals owner Danny Biasone suggested that the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot. Biasone was upset with the stalling tactics of opposing teams. During the summer of 1954, Biasone had gotten together some of his pros and a group of high school players and timed them with a stopwatch.[1] Most shots were taken within 12 seconds, Biasone discovered. Biasone calculated that a 24-second shot clock would allow at least 30 shots per quarter and assist in increasing scoring. The result would speed up a game that often ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball. Quickness and athletic ability became prized as they never had been before. Excessive fouling didn't disappear completely, but just about everyone concluded that the clock was good for the game. The shot clock was a success with the result that scoring was up 14 points per game league wide.[2] In the 1st season of the shot clock, the Nats would take 1st place in the Eastern Division with a 43–29 record.

1954–55 Syracuse Nationals season
NBA champions
Division champions
Head coachAl Cervi
ArenaOnondaga War Memorial
Results
Record43–29 (.597)
PlaceDivision: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finishNBA Champions

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
RadioWSYR
< 1953–54 1955–56 >

OffseasonEdit

NBA DraftEdit

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 6 Red Kerr C/F   United States Illinois

[3]

RosterEdit

Roster listing
1954-55 Syracuse Nationals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
SG 12 Farley, Dick 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1932-04-13 Indiana
SG 7 Gabor, Billy 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1922-05-13 Syracuse
SG 15 Kenville, Bill 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 187 lb (85 kg) 1930-12-01 St. Bonaventure
C 10 Kerr, Red 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1932-07-17 Illinois
PG 3 King, George 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1928-08-16 Charleston
SF 11 Lloyd, Earl 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1928-04-03 West Virginia State
SF 8 Osterkorn, Wally 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1928-07-06 Illinois
C 16 Rocha, Red 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1923-09-18 Oregon State
PF 4 Schayes, Dolph 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1928-05-19 NYU
SG 5 Seymour, Paul 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1928-01-30 Toledo
C 6 Simmons, Connie 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 222 lb (101 kg) 1925-03-15 Flushing HS (NY)
PF 14 Tucker, Jim 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1932-12-11 Duquesne
Head coach

Al Cervi


Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured

Roster

Regular seasonEdit

Season standingsEdit

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


Record vs. opponentsEdit

1954-55 NBA Records
Team BOS FWP MIL MIN NYK PHI ROC SYR
Boston 4–5 6–3 3–6 6–6 7–5 4–5 6–6
Fort Wayne 5–4 11–1 9–3 2–7 6–3 8–4 2–7
Milwaukee 3–6 1–11 5–7 3–6 4–5 6–6 4–5
Minneapolis 6–3 3–9 7–5 4–5 6–3 8–4 6–3
New York 6–6 7–2 6–3 5–4 5–7 5–4 4–8
Philadelphia 5–7 3–6 5–4 3–6 7–5 5–4 5–7
Rochester 5–4 4–8 6–6 4–8 4–5 4–5 2–7
Syracuse 6–6 7–2 5–4 3–6 8–4 7–5 7–2

Season scheduleEdit

Date Opponent Score Result Record
Oct 31 Minneapolis Lakers 94–97 Loss 0–1
Nov 6 @ Boston Celtics 84–107 Loss 0–2
Nov 7 Milwaukee Hawks 97–80 Win 1–2
Nov 11 @ Fort Wayne Pistons 88–86 Win 2–2
Nov 13 @ Milwaukee Hawks 72–85 Loss 2–3
Nov 14 @ Minneapolis Lakers 92–99 Loss 2–4
Nov 16 Philadelphia Warriors (at New York, NY) 86–85 Win 3–4
Nov 18 Fort Wayne PIstons 91–82 Win 4–4
Nov 20 @ Rochester Royals 80–79 Win 5–4
Nov 21 Boston Celtics 110–104 Win 6–4
Nov 25 Milwaukee Hawks 91–85 Win 7–4
Nov 27 @ New York Knicks 80–74 Win 8–4
Nov 28 New York Knicks 79–77 Win 9–4
Dec 1 New York Knicks (at Philadelphia) 86–88 Loss 9–5
Dec 2 Rochester Royals 82–78 Win 10–5
Dec 4 @ Philadelphia Warriors 73–79 Loss 10–6
Dec 5 Philadelphia Warriors 89–72 Win 11–6
Dec 7 Philadelphia Warriors (at New Haven, CT) 88–81 Win 12–6
Dec 8 @ Rochester Royals 78–105 Loss 12–7
Dec 9 Boston Celtics 120–107 Win 13–7
Dec 11 @ Boston Celtics 90-94 Loss 13–8
Dec 12 Philadelphia Warriors 87-96 Loss 13–9
Dec 14 @ New York Knicks 91-82 Win 14–9
Dec 15 New York Knicks (at Boston, MA) 81-88 Loss 14–10
Dec 18 @ Minneapolis Lakers 83-86 Loss 14–11
Dec 19 Minneapolis Lakers 108-93 Win 15–11
Dec 25 @ New York Knicks 101-109 Loss 15–12
Dec 26 New York Knicks 97-92 (OT) Win 16–12
Dec 28 Rochester Royals (at New York, NY) 84-82 Win 17–12
Dec 29 @ Philadelphia Warriors 70-72 Loss 17–13
Jan 1 Boston Celtics 108-102 Win 18–13
Jan 2 Milwaukee Hawks 79-91 Loss 18–14
Jan 6 Minneapolis Lakers 106-117 Loss 18–15
Jan 8 @ Minneapolis Lakers 100-97 Win 19–15
Jan 9 @ Milwaukee Hawks 72-77 Loss 19–16
Jan 11 @ Minneapolis Lakers 82-93 Loss 19–17
Jan 13 Fort Wayne Pistons 100-83 Win 20–17
Jan 16 Rochester Royals 90-85 Win 21–17
Jan 19 Philadelphia Warriors (at Hershey, PA) 98-97 (OT) Win 22–17
Jan 20 Boston Celtics 92-87 Win 23–17
Jan 23 New York Knicks 89-98 Loss 23–18
Jan 25 Fort Wayne Pistons (at Buffalo, NY) 66-69 Loss 23–19
Jan 26 Philadelphia Warriors (at Boston, MA) 107-99 Win 24–19
Jan 27 Fort Wayne Pistons 94-79 Win 25–19
Jan 28 @ Boston Celtics 90-101 Loss 25–20
Jan 30 Philadelphia Warriors 83-93 Loss 25–21
Feb 3 @ Fort Wayne Pistons 85-104 Loss 25–22
Feb 4 @ Boston Celtics 88-114 Loss 25–23
Feb 5 @ Rochester Royals 94-88 Win 26–23
Feb 6 New York Knicks 77-75 Win 27–23
Feb 8 Boston Celtics (at New York, NY) 115-88 Win 28–23
Feb 9 @ Boston Celtics 94-104 Loss 28–24
Feb 10 Minneapolis Lakers 85-81 Win 29–24
Feb 12 Milwaukee Hawks 92-66 Win 30–24
Feb 13 Rochester Royals 88-87 Win 31–24
Feb 14 Milwaukee Hawks (at Toledo, OH) 82-81 Win 32–24
Feb 17 Boston Celtics 107-93 Win 33–24
Feb 18 @ Philadelphia Warriors 86-110 Loss 33–25
Feb 19 @ New York Knicks 80-78 Win 34–25
Feb 20 New York Knicks 104-84 Win 35–25
Feb 22 Boston Celtics (at New York, NY) 95-97 Loss 35–26
Feb 24 Rochester Royals 97-83 Win 36–26
Feb 27 Philadelphia Warriors 105-77 Win 37–26
Mar 1 @ New York Knicks 105-102 Win 38–26
Mar 2 Fort Wayne Pistons (at Elkhart, IN) 103-90 Win 39–26
Mar 3 @ Fort Wayne Pistons 83-81 Win 40–26
Mar 4 @ Milwaukee Hawks 99-96 Win 41–26
Mar 6 Philadelphia Warriors 107-101 Win 42–26
Mar 9 @ Rochester Royals 97-100 Loss 42–27
Mar 10 Minneapolis Lakers (at New York, NY) 93-96 Loss 42–28
Mar 12 Fort Wayne Pistons 112-92 Win 43–28
Mar 13 Milwaukee Hawks 76-77 Loss 43–29

[4]

PlayoffsEdit

East Division SemifinalsEdit

The Nationals had a division semifinal bye.

East Division FinalsEdit

(1) Syracuse Nationals vs. (3) Boston Celtics: Nationals win series 3–1

  • Game 1 @ Syracuse: Syracuse 110, Boston 100
  • Game 2 @ Syracuse: Syracuse 116, Boston 110
  • Game 3 @ Boston: Boston 100, Syracuse 97 (OT)
  • Game 4 @ Boston: Syracuse 110, Boston 94

NBA finalsEdit

In the finals, the Nats would get off to a fast start; taking the first 2 games at home against the Fort Wayne Pistons. However, as home court shifted, the Pistons would spark back to life; taking all 3 games to take a 3–2 series lead. Heading back to Syracuse for Game 6 the Nats kept their Championship hopes alive by defeating the Pistons 109–104 to force a decisive game 7 at home. Game 7 would prove to be as tight as the entire series had played out to that point. As time started running out on the Pistons title hopes late in the 4th quarter of game 7 point guard George King sank a clutch free throw to give the Nats a 92–91 lead. King would then steal the inbound pass as time ticked away to clinch the NBA title for the Nationals.[2]

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 March 31 Syracuse 86–82 Fort Wayne
Game 2 April 2 Syracuse 87–84 Fort Wayne
Game 3 April 3 Fort Wayne 96–89 Syracuse
Game 4 April 5 Fort Wayne 109–82 Syracuse
Game 5 April 7 Fort Wayne 74–71 Syracuse
Game 6 April 9 Syracuse 109–104 Fort Wayne
Game 7 April 10 Syracuse 92–91 Fort Wayne

Nationals win series 4–3

Awards and honorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "NBA.com: Nats Win First Title of Shot-Clock Era". Archived from the original on 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  2. ^ a b Syracuse Nationals (1946–1963)
  3. ^ 1954 NBA Draft – Basketball-Reference.com
  4. ^ 1954–55 Syracuse Nationals Games – Basketball-Reference.com