Season by Season
1978 to 1979
Sonics Top Bullets in Finals
An offseason development would have major ramifications on the entire
decade of the 1980s. Larry Bird, a junior eligible from Indiana State,
was chosen as the sixth pick of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
Although Bird elected to remain in school, Red Auerbach, who had for
years found players by extraordinary means, had done it again.
Washington won a league-high 54 games and took the Atlantic Division,
while San Antonio, behind repeat NBA scoring champion George Gervin,
won the Central. Kansas City, in its first year under feisty Cotton
Fitzsimmons, qualified for the Playoffs for only the second time since
moving from Cincinnati by winning the Midwest, and Seattle, brimming
with confidence after reaching the Finals, took the Pacific. Only Kansas
City, victimized by a high-scoring Phoenix club led by Paul Westphal
and Walter Davis, failed to advance to the Conference Finals. Washington
fell behind San Antonio 3-1, but won three straight games by a total
of 14 points to keep their hopes of two straight titles alive. Seattle
won the first two against Phoenix, dropped three straight, then came
back to take the last two games by a total of five points to set up
a rematch with the Bullets.
Washington took Game 1 by two points when Larry Wright made two free
throws with no time remaining. But the SuperSonics, behind NBA Finals
MVP Dennis Johnson, won four straight to bring Seattle a title and
some overdue respect.
SILAS KEY PIECE IN SONICS CHAMPIONSHIP
Dennis Johnson won the Most Valuable Player award in the 1979 NBA Finals,
Gus Williams led the SuperSonics in scoring, Jack Sikma in rebounding
and "Downtown" Fred Brown in improbable perimeter bombs. But
the man Coach Lenny Wilkens pointed to as a key member of the squad
was 35-year-old ex-Celtic forward Paul Silas, who averaged just 5.6
points and 7.0 rebounds that season.
"Look anywhere on our team, and you'll see Paul's influence,"
Wilkens said. Silas was in his 15th season as a player, and he would
retire to coaching after one more season. But he had spread a little
Celtic magic to the Northwest corner of the NBA map.
NBA History Season by Season
Sharp Labs Inc.™
Try A search In Google Now!
Try A search
In Yahoo Now!
Copyright Sharp Labs Inc.,