1974–75 ABA season

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1974–75 ABA season was the eighth in the league's history. The Kentucky Colonels won the 1975 ABA Championship after winning the Eastern Division; the Denver Nuggets won the Western Division. Julius Erving and George McGinnis shared the league's MVP award.

Preseason[edit]

Prior to the start of the season the Eastern Division changed as the Memphis Tams gave way to the Memphis Sounds and the Carolina Cougars relocated and became the Spirits of St. Louis. The Western Division remained unchanged save for the Denver Rockets renaming themselves the Denver Nuggets.

The ABA and NBA continued playing preseason exhibition games between their teams. The ABA won 16 of the 23 games, to 7 wins for the NBA.[1] Among those games was the Pacers' first game in Market Square Arena in which they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 118-115 before a standing room only crowd of 17,287; Bob Dandridge had 46 points and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 26 for the Bucks.[1]

Regular season[edit]

On February 14, 1975 Julius Erving of the New York Nets scored a team-record 63 points against the San Diego Conquistadors in a four overtime game.

The 8th ABA All-Star Game was played on January 28, 1975 in San Antonio, Texas. 10,449 attended. The East was coached by Kevin Loughery of the New York Nets and the West was coached by Larry Brown of the Denver Nuggets. The East won 151-124; Freddie Lewis of the Spirits of St. Louis was the game's MVP after scoring 26 points.[2]

The Denver Nuggets posted the ABA's best record of the season, winning the Western Division with a record of 65-19 (.774). That record was second best in ABA history, behind only the 1971-72 Kentucky Colonels' mark of 68-16 (.810).[3] The 1974-75 Nuggets also finished second in ABA history behind the 1971-72 Colonels for team scoring difference, outscoring their opponents by an average of 8.40 points per game to the 1971-72 Colonels' 8.98 points.[3]

In the Eastern Division the Kentucky Colonels won 22 of their last 25 regular season games to tie the New York Nets for first place in the Eastern Division at 58-26 (.690).

Final standings[edit]

Eastern Division[edit]

Team W L PCT. GB
Kentucky Colonels C 58 26 .690 -
New York Nets 58 26 .690 -
Spirits of St. Louis 32 52 .381 26
Memphis Sounds 27 57 .321 31
Virginia Squires 15 69 .179 43

Western Division[edit]

Team W L PCT. GB
Denver Nuggets 65 19 .774 -
San Antonio Spurs 51 33 .607 14
Indiana Pacers 45 39 .536 20
Utah Stars 38 46 .452 27
San Diego Conquistadors 31 53 .369 34

C - ABA Champions

Playoffs[edit]

The 1975 ABA Playoffs began with a one game series between the Kentucky Colonels and New York Nets for first place in the Eastern Division. The game was played on April 4, 1975 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonels won, 108 to 99.

The Colonels then defeated the Memphis Sounds 4 games to 1 in the Eastern Division semifinals, while the Nets lost to the Spirits of St. Louis in the other Eastern Division semifinal, 4 games to 1. The Colonels then defeated the Spirits in the Eastern Division finals 4 games to 1.

In the Western Division the first place Denver Nuggets won their semifinal round against the Utah Stars, 4 games to 2, and the third seeded Indiana Pacers upset the #2 seed San Antonio Spurs 4 games to 2 in the other Western Division semifinal. The Pacers pulled another upset in the Western Division finals, upending the Nuggets 4 games to 3.

In the 1975 ABA Finals the Colonels defeated the Pacers 4 games to 1 to claim the league championship.

  Division Semifinals Division Finals ABA Finals
                           
  1  Denver Nuggets 4  
4  Utah Stars 2  
  1  Denver Nuggets 3  
Western Division
    3  Indiana Pacers 4  
3  Indiana Pacers 4
  2  San Antonio Spurs 2  
    W3  Indiana Pacers 1
  E1  Kentucky Colonels 4
  1  Kentucky Colonels 4  
4  Memphis Sounds 1  
1  Kentucky Colonels 4
Eastern Division
    3  Spirits of St. Louis 1  
3  Spirits of St. Louis 4
  2  New York Nets 1  


Honors and awards[edit]

The league's MVP award for the 1974-75 season was awarded jointly to Julius Erving of the New York Nets and George McGinnis of the Indiana Pacers.[4]

McGinnis was also the league's leading scorer at 29.78 points per game (2,353 points in 79 games).[3] Erving was second at 27.89 points per game.[3]

Swen Nater of the San Antonio Spurs led the league in rebounding, averaging 16.40 per game. Artis Gilmore of the Kentucky Colonels was second with 16.20 per game, down from 18.31 the season before.[3]

Mack Calvin of the Denver Nuggets set an all time ABA record for free throw percentage, hitting 475 of 530 attempts for an 89.622% average.[3]

The ABA Rookie of the Year award went to Marvin Barnes of the Spirits of St. Louis.[4]

Artis Gilmore was named Most Valuable Player of the 1975 ABA Playoffs. Gilmore scored 28 points and grabbed 31 rebounds in the final game of the Finals and in Game 3 in Indianapolis Gilmore scored 41 points and nabbed 28 rebounds.[4]

The All-ABA First Team was Julius Erving of the New York Nets, George McGinnis of the Indiana Pacers, Artis Gilmore of the Kentucky Colonels, Mack Calvin of the Denver Nuggets and Ron Boone of the Utah Stars. The second team consisted of Marvin Barnes of the Spirits of St. Louis, George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs, Swen Nater of the San Antonio Spurs, Brian Taylor of the New York Nets and James Silas of the San Antonio Spurs.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]