Season by Season
Minneapolis Wins Fifth Title in Six Years
1953 to 1954
A curious rule was put in place in another attempt to cut down on
the excessive fouls which was draining the excitement from the game.
Each player wase limited to two fouls per quarter; if he committed
a third, he would have to be removed for the remainder of that quarter.
The number of fouls decreased to 51 per game, but late-game free-throw
shooting contests remained the rule.
Indianapolis folded, leaving the Western Division with only four teams,
three of which would make the Playoffs. Neil Johnston averaged a league-leading
24.4 ppg, and Bob Cousy finished second at 19.2 ppg and led the league
in assists with 7.2 per game. George Mikan, now 30, was playing fewer
minutes as the Lakers tried to save him for the Playoffs. He still averaged
18.1 points and 14.3 rebounds per game.
The Playoffs began with an awkward round robin, with the top three
teams in each division playing each other to see which two would advance.
New York's string of NBA Finals appearances ended as Syracuse came out
of the East, while Minneapolis again won the West. In what would prove
to be the last championship for the Lakers in Minneapolis, the Lakers
took a hard-fought Game 7, 87-80.
KUNDLA THE QUIET FORCE BEHIND
THE LAKERS SUCCESS
John Kundla never received much credit for leading Minneapolis to five
NBA titles in six years. Many said that any coach with Mikan, Jim Pollard,
Vern Mikkelsen and the rest would win titles without much work. Red
Auerbach doesn't buy it.
"I've seen a lot of great teams, at least on paper, that won nothing,"
Auerbach said. "Sure Kundla had a great team, but he did great
things with them."
NBA History Season by Season
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