1976–77 NBA season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the 31st season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Portland Trail Blazers winning their first NBA Championship in franchise history, beating the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the NBA Finals.

Prior to the season, the NBA merged with its primary rival league, the American Basketball Association (ABA). Four ABA teams joined the NBA, all four of which are still in the league today: the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, and New York Nets. The Nets became the New Jersey Nets the following season, and now play as the Brooklyn Nets. With these additions, the NBA expanded from eighteen teams to twenty-two.

1976–77 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
SportBasketball
DurationOctober 21, 1976 – April 10, 1977
April 12–May 17, 1977 (Playoffs)
May 22–June 5, 1977 (Finals)
Number of games82
Number of teams22
TV partner(s)CBS
Draft
Top draft pickJohn Lucas
Picked byHouston Rockets
Regular season
Top seedLos Angeles Lakers
Season MVPKareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers)
Top scorerPete Maravich (New Orleans)
Playoffs
Eastern championsPhiladelphia 76ers
  Eastern runners-upHouston Rockets
Western championsPortland Trail Blazers
  Western runners-upLos Angeles Lakers
Finals
ChampionsPortland Trail Blazers
  Runners-upPhiladelphia 76ers
Finals MVPBill Walton (Portland)

Notable occurrences

Coaching changes
Offseason
Team 1975–76 coach 1976–77 coach
Atlanta Hawks Bumper Tormohlen Hubie Brown
Buffalo Braves Jack Ramsay Tates Locke
Chicago Bulls Dick Motta Ed Badger
Houston Rockets Johnny Egan Tom Nissalke
Los Angeles Lakers Bill Sharman Jerry West
Portland Trail Blazers Lenny Wilkens Jack Ramsay
Washington Bullets K. C. Jones Dick Motta
In-season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Milwaukee Bucks Larry Costello Don Nelson
New Orleans Jazz Butch Van Breda Kolff Elgin Baylor

Final standings

By division

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Philadelphia 76ers 50 32 .610 32–9 18–23 11–5
x-Boston Celtics 44 38 .537 6 28–13 16–25 9–7
New York Knicks 40 42 .488 10 26–15 14–27 8–8
Buffalo Braves 30 52 .366 20 23–18 7–34 6–10
New York Nets 22 60 .268 28 10–31 12–29 6–10
Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Houston Rockets 49 33 .598 34–7 15–26 13–7
x-Washington Bullets 48 34 .585 1 32–9 16–25 11–9
x-San Antonio Spurs 44 38 .537 5 31–10 13–28 9–11
x-Cleveland Cavaliers 43 39 .524 6 29-12 14-27 8–12
New Orleans Jazz 35 47 .427 14 26–15 9–32 10–10
Atlanta Hawks 31 51 .378 18 19–22 12–29 9–11
Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Denver Nuggets 50 32 .610 36–5 14–27 15–5
x-Detroit Pistons 44 38 .537 6 30–11 14–27 12–8
x-Chicago Bulls 44 38 .537 6 31-10 13-28 10–10
Kansas City Kings 40 42 .488 10 28–13 12–29 7–13
Indiana Pacers 36 46 .439 14 25–16 11–30 9–11
Milwaukee Bucks 30 52 .366 20 24–17 6–35 7–13
Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Los Angeles Lakers 53 29 .646 37–4 16–25 11–5
x-Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 4 35–6 14–27 10–6
x-Golden State Warriors 46 36 .561 7 29–12 17–24 8–8
Seattle SuperSonics 40 42 .488 13 27–14 13–28 6–10
Phoenix Suns 34 48 .415 19 26–15 8–33 5–11

By conference

# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Philadelphia 76ers 50 32 .610
2 y-Houston Rockets 49 33 .598 1
3 x-Washington Bullets 48 34 .585 2
4 x-Boston Celtics 44 38 .537 6
5 x-San Antonio Spurs 44 38 .537 6
6 x-Cleveland Cavaliers 43 39 .524 7
7 New York Knicks 40 42 .488 10
8 New Orleans Jazz 35 47 .427 15
9 Atlanta Hawks 31 51 .378 19
10 Buffalo Braves 30 52 .366 20
11 New York Nets 22 60 .268 28
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Los Angeles Lakers 53 29 .646
2 y-Denver Nuggets 50 32 .610 3
3 x-Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 4
4 x-Golden State Warriors 46 36 .561 7
5 x-Detroit Pistons 44 38 .537 9
6 x-Chicago Bulls 44 38 .537 9
7 Kansas City Kings 40 42 .488 13
8 Seattle SuperSonics 40 42 .488 13
9 Indiana Pacers 36 46 .439 17
10 Phoenix Suns 34 48 .415 19
11 Milwaukee Bucks 30 52 .366 23

Notes

  • z, y – division champions
  • x – clinched playoff spot

Playoffs

  1st round Conference semifinals Conference finals NBA Finals
                                     
       
  1 Los Angeles 4  
    4 Golden State 3  
4 Golden State 2
5 Detroit 1  
  1 Los Angeles 0  
Western Conference
  3 Portland 4  
3 Portland 2  
6 Chicago 1  
  3 Portland 4
    2 Denver 2  
     
       
  W3 Portland 4
  E1 Philadelphia 2
       
       
  1 Philadelphia 4
    4 Boston 3  
4 Boston 2
5 San Antonio 0  
  1 Philadelphia 4
Eastern Conference
  2 Houston 2  
3 Washington 2  
6 Cleveland 1  
  3 Washington 2
    2 Houston 4  
     

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Pete Maravich New Orleans Jazz 31.6
Rebounds per game Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers 14.4
Assists per game Don Buse Indiana Pacers 8.5
Steals per game Don Buse Indiana Pacers 3.47
Blocks per game Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers 3.25
FG% Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Los Angeles Lakers .579
FT% Ernie DiGregorio Buffalo Braves .945

NBA awards

Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com

References

  1. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCJ/is_7_28/ai_74437533
1976–77 Atlanta Hawks season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Hawks' 28th season in the NBA and ninth season in Atlanta.

1976–77 Buffalo Braves season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Braves seventh season in the NBA. The Braves were purchased by John Y. Brown, Jr., the former owner of the Kentucky Colonels in the now defunct American Basketball Association for $6.2 million. As part of an agreement with the Braves' former owner, Paul Snyder, Brown would give Snyder money received in player deals to reduce the purchase price. The sell-off began shortly after the season, as the Braves sold newly acquired Moses Malone. Malone was acquired in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers after the ABA dispersal draft. Malone was now off to the Houston Rockets. The selling of players continued into the season as Bob McAdoo was sold to the New York Knicks. While the deals helped Brown pay virtually nothing for the franchise, it turned a promising franchise into a rebuilding one. Attendance fell off as the Braves finished in 4th place with a 30-52 record. The only spotlight was rookie Adrian Dantley, who captured Rookie of the Year honors with 20.3 points per game. However Dantley himself was traded following the season to the Indiana Pacers for Billy Knight.

1976–77 Chicago Bulls season

The 1976-77 NBA season was the Bulls' 11th season in the NBA.

1976–77 Detroit Pistons season

Following are the results of the 1976–77 season of the Detroit Pistons, the franchise of the National Basketball Association based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The 1976-77 NBA season was the Pistons' 29th season in the NBA and 20th season in the city of Detroit.

1976–77 Golden State Warriors season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Warriors' 31st season in the NBA and 14th in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1976–77 Houston Rockets season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Rockets' 10th season in the NBA and 6th season in the city of Houston.In the playoffs, the Rockets defeated the Washington Bullets in six games in the Semifinals before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the Conference Finals.

1976–77 Indiana Pacers season

The 1976–77 NBA season was Indiana's 1st season in the NBA and 10th season as a franchise.

1976–77 Kansas City Kings season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Kings 28th season in the NBA and their fifth season in the city of Kansas City.

1976–77 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Lakers' 29th season in the NBA and 17th season in Los Angeles.

1976–77 Milwaukee Bucks season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Bucks' ninth season in the NBA.

1976–77 New York Nets season

The 1976–77 New York Nets season was the tenth season for the franchise, and the first for the team in the NBA. It was also their last before moving back to New Jersey.

1976–77 Philadelphia 76ers season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the 28th season for the franchise in the NBA. Just months earlier, the American Basketball Association had ended its ninth and last campaign and the two leagues combined. In a special $6 million deal, the Nets sold Julius Erving, the ABA's leading scorer, to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million. The other $3 million went to Erving, by way of a new contract. In Philadelphia, Erving joined another scoring machine, George McGinnis, who had come over earlier from the Indiana Pacers. This accumulation of talent brought talk of an immediate championship to Philadelphia.

The talented 76ers had posted the best record in the Eastern Conference with a record of 50–32. Gene Shue was the coach and his key players were Erving (the esteemed Dr. J), McGinnis and 6-foot-6 shooting guard Doug Collins. Other key contributors included point guard Henry Bibby and World B. Free. Caldwell Jones started at center with 20-year-old Darryl Dawkins, also known as "Chocolate Thunder," in a backup role. The reserve forwards were Steve Mix, Harvey Catchings and Joe Bryant. The Sixers beat the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 4–2, after winning the first 2 games.

1976–77 Seattle SuperSonics season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the SuperSonics' 10th season in the NBA.

1976–77 Washington Bullets season

The 1976–77 NBA season was the Bullets 16th season in the NBA and their 4th season in the city of Washington, D.C..

1977 NBA All-Star Game

The 27th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 13, 1977, at MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 125–124. The Most Valuable Player was Julius Erving. Gene Shue coached the Eastern Conference team. Larry Brown coached the Western Conference team.

1977 NBA Finals

The 1977 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1976–77 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers played against the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers, with the 76ers holding home-court advantage. Their four regular season meetings had been split evenly, 2–2, with neither side winning away from home. The series was played under a best-of-seven format, so the first team to win four games would win the series and become the league champions.

The 1976–77 NBA season started with the ABA–NBA merger. Portland had benefited from the resulting ABA dispersal draft as they acquired Spirits of St. Louis power forward Maurice Lucas to partner with Bill Walton, and Philadelphia had signed ABA All-Star and 3-time ABA MVP Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who had taken the New York Nets to the ABA title the previous year. In the 1977 NBA Finals, five of the ten starting players were former ABA players (Julius Erving, Caldwell Jones, George McGinnis, Dave Twardzik, and Maurice Lucas.).While it was no surprise that Philadelphia had made it to the championship series, having posted the best record in the east (50-32, #1), Portland's appearance in the finals was a mild surprise. Portland, a team that was founded only seven years earlier, was not only making its playoff debut with its first winning season (49-33, #3), but it was also making its finals debut as well after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in four close games in the Western Conference Finals.

The series quickly went 2-0 in favor of Philadelphia, but over the next four games, Portland mounted a comeback that has rarely been seen in professional sports.

1977 NBA playoffs

The 1977 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1976–77 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. It was Portland's first (and so far, only) NBA title. Bill Walton was named NBA Finals MVP.

Portland won the NBA title in its first playoff appearance, something that had not taken place since the early days of the BAA (and has not since, as of 2018). The Trail Blazers went 10-0 at home in the playoffs.

This was the first NBA playoffs after the ABA-NBA merger; two of the former ABA teams (the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets) made their playoff debuts in their first NBA season. The New Jersey Nets made their playoff debut in 1979, and the Indiana Pacers in 1981.

The NBA Playoffs added 1 more team from each conference, for a total of 12 contestants, up from 10 the previous year.

This was the Detroit Pistons last playoff appearance of the decade and their last as a Western Conference team as they would move to the East in 1978. They would not make the postseason again until 1984.

For the first time since 1956, the Eastern Conference Finals had neither the Celtics nor Knicks participating.

The referees went on strike during these playoffs.

Dallas Chaparrals

The Dallas Chaparrals were a charter member of the American Basketball Association (ABA). The team moved to San Antonio, Texas for the 1973–74 season and were renamed the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the 1976–77 NBA season as a result of the ABA–NBA merger.

List of 1976–77 NBA season transactions

These are the list of personnel changes in the NBA from the 1976–77 NBA season.

1940s
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1976–77 NBA season
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