1954 NBA playoffs

The 1954 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1953–54 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Minneapolis Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Syracuse Nationals 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

1954 NBA playoffs
DatesMarch 16–April 12, 1954
Season1953–54
Teams6
ChampionsMinneapolis Lakers (5th title)
Runners-upSyracuse Nationals (2nd finals appearance)
Semifinalists

For the Lakers, it was their third straight NBA title, and fifth in the last six years.

With the folding of the Indianapolis Olympians after the previous year's playoffs, leaving the NBA with nine teams, they resorted to a round-robin playoff format in 1954 for the only time in league history.

Although the Minneapolis Lakers, Fort Wayne Pistons, Rochester Royals and Syracuse Nationals all play in different cities now (Los Angeles, Detroit, Sacramento and Philadelphia respectively), this is the earliest NBA playoff in which every team that participated still exists today.

BracketEdit

  Division Round Robin Semifinals Division Finals NBA Finals
                           
E1 New York 0–4     E1 Syracuse 2
E2 Boston 2–2     E2 Boston 0  
E3 Syracuse 4–0 Eastern Division
  E1 Syracuse 3
(Teams were re-seeded in Division Finals based on Round Robin win-loss record)
  W1 Minneapolis 4
W1 Minneapolis 3–0 W1 Minneapolis 2
W2 Rochester 2–1 W2 Rochester 1
W3 Fort Wayne 0–4 Western Division

Bold Series winner (Division Round Robin Semifinals: top 2 advanced)
Italic Team with home-court advantage in NBA Finals


Division Round Robin SemifinalsEdit

Within each division, the top three teams in the season standings played a double round robin, comprising one home game in each city for each pair of teams, in order to eliminate one of the three participants. A three-way tie with two wins each would have secured home-court advantage in the Division Finals for New York or Minneapolis, who finished first in the season standings, against an opponent to be determined by one further game played with the season runner-up as host.[1] In the event, neither round-robin generated even a two-way tie, so no seventh game was required in either Division. Two of three teams (shaded green) advanced to the Division Finals. The second game between Minneapolis and Rochester—the sixth and final Western Division game scheduled—was not played because both teams had qualified for the Division Final and Minneapolis had secured home-court advantage in that series. The sixth and final Eastern Division game scheduled, Boston at Syracuse, was played because home-court advantage in their subsequent Division Final hadn't been determined. Both teams had won 42 season games and Boston had won by coin flip the edge in case of a tie in the round-robin stage.[1]

Eastern Division Round Robin SemifinalsEdit

(1) New York Knicks, (2) Boston Celtics, (3) Syracuse NationalsEdit

This was the fourth playoff meeting between the Celtics and Knicks, with the Knicks winning two of the first three meetings.

This was the second playoff meeting between the Celtics and Nationals, with the Celtics winning the first meeting.

This was the fourth playoff meeting between the Knicks and Nationals, with the Knicks winning two of the first three meetings.

Western Division Round Robin SemifinalsEdit

(1) Minneapolis Lakers, (2) Rochester Royals, (3) Fort Wayne PistonsEdit

This was the fourth playoff meeting between the Lakers and Royals, with the Lakers winning two of the first three meetings.

This was the fifth playoff meeting between the Royals and Pistons, with both teams splitting the first four meetings.

This was the third playoff meeting between the Pistons and Lakers, with the Lakers winning the first two meetings.

Western Division FinalsEdit

(1) Minneapolis Lakers vs. (2) Rochester RoyalsEdit

  • Game 1 @ Minneapolis (March 24): Minneapolis 89, Rochester 76
  • Game 2 @ Rochester (March 27): Rochester 74, Minneapolis 73
  • Game 3 @ Minneapolis (March 28): Minneapolis 82, Rochester 72

Lakers win series 2–1


This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams following the round-robin, with the Lakers winning three of the first four meetings.

NBA Finals: (W1) Minneapolis Lakers vs. (E1) Syracuse NationalsEdit

  • Game 1 @ Minneapolis (March 31): Minneapolis 79, Syracuse 68
  • Game 2 @ Minneapolis (April 3): Syracuse 62, Minneapolis 60 (Paul Seymour hits the game-winner from 43 feet with 7 seconds left)
  • Game 3 @ Syracuse (April 4): Minneapolis 81, Syracuse 67
  • Game 4 @ Syracuse (April 8): Syracuse 80, Minneapolis 69
  • Game 5 @ Syracuse (April 10): Minneapolis 84, Syracuse 73
  • Game 6 @ Minneapolis (April 11): Syracuse 65, Minneapolis 63
  • Game 7 @ Minneapolis (April 12): Minneapolis 87, Syracuse 80

Lakers win series 4–3


This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first meeting.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "NBA Division Playoffs Open Tonight". The Washington Post. March 16, 1954.
  2. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus New York Knicks (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  3. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Boston Celtics versus Philadelphia 76ers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  4. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — New York Knicks versus Philadelphia 76ers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Sacramento Kings (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Detroit Pistons versus Sacramento Kings (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Detroit Pistons versus Los Angeles Lakers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  8. ^ "Team Rivalry Finder — Los Angeles Lakers versus Philadelphia 76ers (Playoffs)". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved February 19, 2021.

External linksEdit