Season by Season
1949 to 1950
Powerful Lakers Repeat
The summer of 1949 solidified the professional basketball picture, with
the six surviving NBL teams being absorbed into the BAA and the league
being renamed the National Basketball Association.
| The league
was split into Eastern, Central and Western Divisions. Syracuse,
the only NBL team in the East, won that division behind the play
of 6-8 Dolph Schayes, who averaged 16.8 ppg. Alex Groza averaged
23.4 for a new Indianapolis team that won the West, while George
Mikan led the league again with 27.4 ppg and helped the Lakers win
the Central Division.
With three divisions the Playoffs were a jumbled mess, with Minneapolis
having to beat Chicago, Fort Wayne and Anderson to reach the Finals,
while Syracuse had to defeat only Boston and New York to qualify for
the title round. Syracuse had talented players like Schayes, Al Cervi
and Paul Seymour, but couldn't handle the dominance of Mikan. Mikan,
surrounded by other stars like Jim Pollard, Slater Martin, Bob Harrison
and powerful Vern Mikkelsen, led the Lakers to another title in six
LAKERS HOLD DISTINCT HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Lakers had talent, and they also had the friendly confines of Minneapolis
Auditorium, whose odd dimensions forced the game to be played on a court
was narrower than the standard court by a few feet. That made Mikan
and his teammates even more dominant defensively.
"They used to say that when Mikan, Mikkelsen and Pollard stretched
their arms across that narrow court, nobody could get through,"
said Syracuse's Cervi. Teammate Seymour added, "Those three big
guys made every court look narrow."
NBA History Season by Season
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