The 1958 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series for the 1957–58 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. It pitted the Western Division champion St. Louis Hawks against the Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics. The Hawks won the series in six games to win the club's first and so far only NBA championship title.
|1958 NBA Finals|
1958 NBA champions banner at State Farm Arena
|Dates||March 29–April 12|
|Hall of Famers||Celtics:|
Tom Heinsohn (as a player and coach)
Sam Jones (basketball)
Bill Sharman (as a player and coach)
|Eastern Finals||Celtics defeat Warriors, 4–1|
|Western Finals||Hawks defeat Pistons, 4–1|
After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Celtics in Game 7 of the 1957 NBA Finals, St. Louis survived a sometimes difficult 1957-58 NBA season en route to winning the Western Division crown with a 41-31 record. The Celtics, meanwhile, had dominated the Eastern Division with a 49-23 record.
The Hawks upset the Celtics (with a healthy Russell) in Game 1 at the Boston Garden, 104-102. Boston struck back with a wipeout in Game 2, 136-112. In St. Louis, the Hawks prevailed 111-108 in Game 3 when Russell severely sprained his ankle. Without Russell, the Celtics evened the series with a 109-98 surprise victory in Game 4. St. Louis forced a 102-100 win in Game 5 in Boston to take the series lead.
Back home in Kiel Auditorium on April 12, the Hawks weren't about to miss their opportunity to defeat the defending champions. Pettit turned in a spectacular performance. He scored 31 points in the first three quarters, then zoomed off in the final period, nailing 19 of his team's last 21 points. His last two points, on a tip-in with 15 seconds remaining, put the Hawks ahead 110-107. The Celtics scored one final bucket but could do no more. The Hawks finally had a title, 110-109. Pettit had scored 50 points, including 18 of the Hawks' final 21 points in propelling the Hawks' to the championship.
Most observers figured that the Celtics probably would have won the 1958 title if Russell hadn't suffered his ankle injury in game 3. Auerbach, however, found no comfort in that opinion. "You can always look for excuses," he said. "We just got beat."
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Road Team|
|Game 1||March 29||Boston Celtics||102–104 (0–1)||St. Louis Hawks|
|Game 2||March 30||Boston Celtics||136–112 (1–1)||St. Louis Hawks|
|Game 3||April 2||St. Louis Hawks||111–108 (2–1)||Boston Celtics|
|Game 4||April 5||St. Louis Hawks||98–109 (2–2)||Boston Celtics|
|Game 5||April 9||Boston Celtics||100–102 (2–3)||St. Louis Hawks|
|Game 6||April 12||St. Louis Hawks||110–109 (4–2)||Boston Celtics|
Hawks win series 4–2
The 1959 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1958–59 National Basketball Association season, and was the conclusion of the 1959 NBA Playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Division champion Minneapolis Lakers and the Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics. It was Boston's third trip to the NBA Finals and Minneapolis's sixth. The Boston Celtics swept the Lakers 4–0. That was the start of the Celtics' 8 consecutive championships, from 1959–1966. To date, this is the most recent time that an NBA team from Minnesota appeared in an NBA Finals, as well as the first of two times in NBA history that a team with a losing record made the NBA Finals (the other was in 1981).1960 NBA playoffs
The 1960 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1959-60 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Division champion St. Louis Hawks 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.
This was the second straight and third overall NBA title for Boston, who got revenge for the Hawks' win over them in 1958. The 1960 Finals was the third Celtics–Hawks Finals in the past four years.1983 NBA playoffs
The 1983 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1982–83 season. This was the final postseason using the 12-team format, before the NBA expanded the postseason to 16 teams the next season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals. Moses Malone was named NBA Finals MVP.
Malone made a famous prediction about the Sixers' chances prior to the playoffs, saying "Fo', fo', fo'" – predicting the number of games the Sixers would need to win each of the three series they would play on the way to a championship. They nearly accomplished this prediction of a sweep of all three rounds, only losing one game (to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals) en route to the championship. The Sixers set a record for highest winning percentage in the playoffs that was not broken until the Lakers went 15–1 in 2001. The Lakers' mark, however, came after the expansion to the current 16-team, four-round playoff format, which was first implemented in the 1984 playoffs, while the Sixers avoided the first round by virtue of their top seeding.
It was the third time in four years that the Lakers and 76ers had met in the NBA Finals, with the Lakers winning the previous two series.
After missing the playoffs the previous year, the Blazers began a string of 21 straight playoff appearances in 1983 lasting until 2003. They made the playoffs 25 out of 26 years from their title-winning season of 1977–2003. The record was just one season shy of the 22-year playoff run set by the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers from 1950–1971.
The Celtics were swept out of the playoffs for the first time in team history, losing 4–0 to the Bucks in the second round.
This was the Spurs' last appearance in the Conference Finals until 1995. However, for players such as George Gervin and Artis Gilmore, the 6-game loss to the Lakers was the last chance they got at reaching the NBA Finals, let alone an NBA Championship (Gilmore did return to the conference finals with the Celtics in 1988, but played sparingly).1986 NBA playoffs
The 1986 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1985–86 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Larry Bird was named NBA Finals MVP for the second time.
This was the second NBA Finals meeting between the Celtics and Rockets; they met in the 1981 NBA Finals with the same result. It was the third of four straight Eastern Conference championships for Boston, who won 67 games that year, and went 40–1 at home. The Rockets, meanwhile had won just their second conference title in franchise history.
Second-year player Michael Jordan put on a record-setting performance in Game 2 of the Bulls' first-round series against the Celtics, scoring 63 points in a 2-OT loss, which surpassed Elgin Baylor's 61-point performance from the 1962 NBA Finals and still stands as the NBA Playoff scoring record. Jordan averaged 44.7 points per game in the series, but was unable to prevent the Bulls from being swept by a more experienced, more talented Celtics team. The Bulls set a dubious mark by posting the second worst record for a playoff-qualifying team in history, going just 30–52 during the season. Game 2, where the record was set, was ranked by TV Guide as the 26th Most Memorable Moment in Television History, and is credited with boosting the NBA's popularity surge and eventual rise to near the top of the United States television sports market, trailing only football by the mid-90s.The 1986 playoffs marked the third time in four years that the Milwaukee Bucks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, but it would be their last appearance in the series until 2001. The Celtics avenged their 1983 sweep by sweeping the Bucks in four games.
As for the Philadelphia 76ers, this was the last time they would play in a Game 7 until 2001. After their first round loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons would advance past the first round in each of the next five seasons (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991), which include all appearances in the conference finals, three NBA Finals, and two championships.
After moving from Kansas City, where the franchise played its previous thirteen seasons, the Sacramento Kings made their first postseason appearance in their first season in its new city.1988 NBA playoffs
The 1988 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1987–88 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. James Worthy was named NBA Finals MVP.
The Lakers became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1969 to repeat as champions, a feat that coach Pat Riley guaranteed the previous offseason.
This marked the first time since 1983 that the Celtics did not represent the East in the NBA Finals, but they did win one of the most memorable games of the 1988 playoffs, beating the Hawks 118–116 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Boston Garden. Larry Bird scored 20 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter to help Boston overcome the 47 points scored by Dominique Wilkins.The Dallas Mavericks made their first trip to the Western Conference Finals, losing in 7 to the Lakers. They would not advance that far again until 2003, and would not face the Lakers again until 2011.
The New York Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 1984. They remained regulars until 2001, which included NBA Finals appearances in 1994 and 1999. On the other hand, the Washington Bullets did not return until 1997, and would not win a playoff game again until 2005 as the Wizards.
In the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Jordan scored 50 or more points twice—50 points in Game 1, and 55 points in Game 2—becoming the first player to do so in the same series. Allen Iverson would later equal that feat in the 2001 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors.This was the first time in NBA history that a game other than a Finals game was played during the month of June.
Game 4 of the Hawks-Bucks series was the last game ever played at the MECCA, later known as the US Cellular Arena. The Bucks moved to the Bradley Center the next season; BMO Harris Bank purchased its naming rights in 2012. The Bucks played there for 30 seasons, moving into the Fiserv Forum for the 2018-19 season.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals was the last NBA game ever played at the Pontiac Silverdome.2008 NBA playoffs
The 2008 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2007–08 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Paul Pierce was named NBA Finals MVP.
The playoffs were noted for the Atlanta Hawks' return after 9 years, taking the #1 seed Celtics to 7 games before bowing out. Also notable was the debut of the Chris Paul-led Hornets in the playoffs after Hurricane Katrina and their 7-game series against defending champions San Antonio Spurs, and the Lakers and Celtics' revitalization of their franchises, most especially after key trades during the preseason and regular season. The Celtics ended up playing 26 playoff games (2 games short of a full length postseason of 28), breaking the 25 game record of the 1994 Knicks and 2005 Pistons by 1 game for the most playoff games in a single season played by 1 NBA team. The Knicks, however, only played a Best-of-5 First Round, and so had 2 fewer games to accomplish that feat. Also, the top seeds from each Conference met in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2000. The 2008 Finals was also the first since 1998 to feature neither Shaquille O'Neal nor Tim Duncan.
The Golden State Warriors won 48 games, more than 5 of the 8 playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. However, all eight qualifiers in the Western Conference finished with at least 50 wins, thus leaving the Warriors out of the postseason.2012 NBA playoffs
The 2012 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2011–12 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeating the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. LeBron James was named NBA Finals MVP.
Except for the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz, the playoffs featured the same teams from 2011; all 8 from the East were the same as last year. They also all had records over .500, the first time since 2005. The Clippers made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, while Utah made it for the 5th time in the last 6 years, it was their first without Jerry Sloan as head coach since 1988.
The Indiana Pacers opened the playoffs at home for the first time since 2004, while the Memphis Grizzlies earned home-court advantage for the first time in franchise history. For the fourth time since 2006, a division winner (in this case the Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics) opened the playoffs on the road.
The defending champions Dallas Mavericks were swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder 4–0, becoming the third defending champion to be swept in the First Round after the Philadelphia Warriors in 1957 and Miami Heat in 2007, and second after Miami to be done so in a 7-game series. It was the first time the Mavericks were swept in a 7-game series, and only their second sweep since 1990.
The New York Knicks lost their 13th straight playoff game in Game 3 against the Heat, breaking Memphis' record from 2004–06 for the longest playoff losing streak.
The 8th-seeded Philadelphia 76ers defeated the 1st-seeded Bulls 4–2, becoming only the 5th team in NBA history to do so. Following the Grizzlies' 2011 upset of the 1st-seeded Spurs, this marked the first time in straight seasons an 8th-seed upset a #1 seed. The 76ers suffered the same fate as the Grizzlies, forcing the next series to a Game 7 but losing on the road.
Game 7 of the Lakers–Nuggets series ensured a 13th straight postseason with at least one Game 7 played. The last without one was the 1999 NBA Playoffs.
The Spurs became the fourth team and first from the West to go 8–0 through the playoffs' first two rounds following the 2003 change in the first round format to 7 games. The Heat in 2005, Cavs in 2009 and Magic in 2010, also went 8–0 through the first two rounds. In addition, all 3 lost Game 1 of their Conference Finals. The Spurs broke this trend by defeating the Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. By winning 20 straight games, they set an NBA record for the longest winning streak carried over from the regular season to the playoffs, which was broken with the Game 3 loss, and finished a win short of tying the longest unbeaten playoff run in a single postseason. They ended up losing the series 4–2 after leading 2–0.
The Chicago Bulls were eliminated after losing Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to injuries, and the New York Knicks lost to the Miami Heat while losing Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert to knee injuries. The Heat were not immune, losing Chris Bosh for most of the playoffs en route to their championship. Commissioner David Stern initially said there was no connection between the injuries and the lockout that compressed the regular season to 66-game in 124 days; however, he backed off those comments a week later, saying more research was needed.2016 NBA playoffs
The 2016 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2015–16 season. The tournament ended with the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers defeating the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors 4 games to 3 after the Warriors led the series 3 games to 1. In the NBA Finals, LeBron James was named NBA Finals MVP.
The Cavaliers swept their first two series and won the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Raptors to become the fourth team in NBA history to open a post-season with 10 straight victories. They matched the 2012 San Antonio Spurs, though the 1989 and 2001 Los Angeles Lakers had won their first eleven games en route to sweeping the first three rounds of the playoffs. Cleveland wound up repeating this feat the next year, when they swept the conference opening round, semifinal round, and winning the first 2 conference final games. However, this feat would be surpassed by the 2017 Golden State Warriors, who won 15 straight games.Ben Kerner
Ben Kerner (November 18, 1913 – November 22, 2000) was an American professional basketball owner. He was the co-founder and owner of the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association, the present-day Atlanta Hawks.
In 1946 along with business partner Leo Ferris, Kerner founded a professional team in Buffalo, New York, which became the Moline, Illinois-based Tri-Cities Blackhawks after a few games. Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee in 1951 and to St. Louis in 1955. His 1958 St. Louis Hawks won the NBA Championship.Bill Russell
William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey League are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics.Bill Russell is regarded by many as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall, with a 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan. His shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' domination of the NBA during his career. Russell was equally notable for his rebounding abilities. He led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds, and remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game. He is one of just two NBA players (the other being prominent rival Wilt Chamberlain) to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing.
Russell played in the wake of black pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Sweetwater Clifton, and he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement.Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, and named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors. In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In Russell's honor the NBA renamed the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in 2009: it is now the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.Bob Cousy
Robert Joseph Cousy (, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball player. Cousy played point guard with the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1963, and briefly with the Cincinnati Royals in the 1969–70 season. Making his high school varsity squad as a junior, he went on to earn a scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross, where he led the Crusaders to berths in the 1948 NCAA Tournament and 1950 NCAA Tournament, and won NCAA All-American honors for three seasons.
Cousy was initially drafted by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks as the third overall pick in the first round of the 1950 NBA draft, but after he refused to report, he was picked up by Boston. He had an exceptionally successful career with the Celtics, leading the league an unprecedented 8 straight years in assists, playing on six NBA championship teams, and being voted into 13 NBA All-Star Games in his 13 full NBA seasons. He was also named to 12 All-NBA First and Second Teams and won the 1957 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.En route to his assist streak that was unmatched either in number of crowns or consecutive years, Cousy introduced a new blend of ball-handling and passing skills to the NBA that earned him the nickname "The Houdini of the Hardwood". Also known as "Cooz", he was regularly introduced at Boston Garden as "Mr. Basketball". After his playing career, he coached the Royals for several years, capped by a seven-game cameo comeback for them at age 41.
Cousy then became a broadcaster for Celtics games. Upon his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971 the Celtics retired his #14 jersey and hung it in the rafters of the Garden. Cousy was named to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971, the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1981, and the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, making him one of only four players that were selected to each of those teams. He was also the first president of National Basketball Players Association.Bob Pettit
Robert Lee Pettit Jr. (born December 12, 1932) is an American retired professional basketball player. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks (1954–1965). He was the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award. He also won the NBA All-Star Game MVP award four times, a feat matched only by Kobe Bryant. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970.Chuck Share
Charles Edward Share (March 14, 1927 – June 7, 2012) was an American basketball player. Share has the distinction of being the first NBA draft pick ever: Share was the No. 1 draft pick in the first organized National Basketball Association draft on April 25, 1950. Share was selected by the Boston Celtics as the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural 1950 NBA draft.List of Atlanta Hawks head coaches
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team began playing in 1946 as a member of the National Basketball League (NBL), and joined the NBA in 1949. The team has had five names since its inception; the Buffalo Bisons (1946), the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1946–1951), the Milwaukee Hawks (1951–1955), the St. Louis Hawks (1955–1968), and the Atlanta Hawks (1968–present). The Hawks won their only NBA championship in 1958, and have not returned to the NBA Finals since 1960. The team has played its home games at the Philips Arena since 1999. The Hawks are owned by Atlanta Spirit, LLC, and Danny Ferry is their general manager.There have been 28 head coaches for the Hawks franchise since joining the NBA. The team's first head coach while in the NBA was Roger Potter, who coached for seven games. Richie Guerin, who coached the Hawks for eight seasons, is the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season games coached (618), regular-season games won (327), playoff games coached (60), and playoff games won (26). Alex Hannum is the only head coach to have won an NBA championship with the Hawks, doing so in the 1958 NBA Finals. Five Hawks coaches have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award, four have been elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches, and three were listed among the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History in 1996. Mike Budenholzer was the latest head coach of the Hawks; he was appointed on May 28, 2013. Budenholzer quit after the Hawks worst season in 2018. Lloyd Pierce was hired as new head coach on May 11, 2018.List of National Basketball Association single-game playoff scoring leaders
This is a complete listing of National Basketball Association players who have scored 50 or more points in a playoff game.
This feat been accomplished 37 times in NBA playoff history by 25 different players. Only four players have scored 50 or more points on more than one occasion: Michael Jordan (eight times), Wilt Chamberlain (four times), Allen Iverson (three times) and Jerry West (twice).NBA 60 Greatest Playoff Moments
The NBA 60 Greatest Playoff Moments were chosen in 2006 to honor the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the National Basketball Association (NBA). These 60 moments (in total, there were sixty-two moments; the last three were deemed tied) were selected through a vote by a 25-member panel of experts made up by media members and former players. The last 50 moments (from the eleventh to the sixtieth) were ranked by the panel. The top 10 moments were instead ranked by fans who voted online. The voting ended on June 5, 2006 and the results were announced in a television special aired on NBA TV the following day.
As the name suggested, all of these moments happened during the NBA playoffs. Forty moments selected happened in the Finals round, with 19 of them happening during the 1980s and 18 of them happening during the 1990s.
St. Louis Hawks 1957–58 NBA champions
Boston Celtics 1957–58 Eastern Division Champions
St. Louis Hawks 1957–58 NBA champions
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|Culture and lore|
|G League affiliate|
|Culture and lore|