Season by Season
New Team in Baltimore Grabs Crown
1947 to 1948
When the second season began, several prominent changes had taken
place. The league schedule was reduced from 60 to 48 games in an attempt
to cut travel expenses. Four teams from the original 11--Detroit,
Cleveland, Toronto and Pittsburgh--had folded, leaving the remaining
seven with an unbalanced schedule. To correct this problem, the Baltimore
Bullets were brought in from a regional circuit called the American
To the surprise of many, Baltimore more than proved it belonged by winning
the title in six games over Philadelphia. Baltimore featured 5-11 player-coach
Buddy Jeannette, 6-8 center Clarence "Kleggie" Hermsen, guard
Chick Reiser, and forwards Paul Hoffman and Connie Simmons. Chicago's
Max Zaslofsky was the only player who broke the 1,000-point barrier,
and won the scoring title over Joe Fulks when the Philadelphia star
missed five games. The league, which struggled through adversity as
the reduction in games also cut into revenues, got a boost when Joe
Lapchick, who had played for the original Celtics and coached at St.
John's, brought his experience to the league as coach of the Knicks.
PHYSICAL PLAY A TRADEMARK IN
THE EARLY YEARS
The BAA was a rough and tumble league, many of its players veterans
of the barnstorming era. One of them was the 30-year-old Buddy Jeannette,
who guided Baltimore to the title in six games over Philadelphia.
"I remember in the last game with Philly, George Senesky hit me
in the mouth and split my lip open," Jeannette said. "Right
after the game I had to go get my mouth sewed up. Then we went out and
had a few beers."
NBA History Season by Season
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