1977–78 NBA season

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1977–78 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Number of teams 22
TV partner(s) CBS
Regular season
Top seed Portland Trail Blazers
Season MVP Bill Walton (Portland)
Top scorer George Gervin (San Antonio)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Washington Bullets
  Eastern runners-up Philadelphia 76ers
Western champions Seattle SuperSonics
  Western runners-up Denver Nuggets
Finals
Champions Washington Bullets
  Runners-up Seattle SuperSonics
Finals MVP Wes Unseld (Washington)
NBA seasons

The 1977–78 NBA season was the 32nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Washington Bullets winning the NBA Championship, beating the Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

Notable occurrences[edit]

  • The New York Nets move from Uniondale, New York to Piscataway, New Jersey, and are renamed the New Jersey Nets. The New York Knicks, who forced the Nets to pay $4.8 million for invading the New York area prior to the previous season, remained the only NBA team in New York for 35 years, until the Nets moved to Brooklyn in the 2012–13 season.
  • The 1978 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia, with the East beating the West 133-125. Randy Smith of the Buffalo Braves wins the game's MVP award.
  • The defending champion Portland Trail Blazers went off to a 50-10 start and looked poised to repeat, but Bill Walton broke his foot (the first of the numerous major injuries that radically shortened his career) and was out for the remainder of the season. The Blazers, hurt by Walton's absence and by other key injuries, faded to an 8-14 finish and lost to the Sonics in the Western Conference semifinals.
  • On December 9, 1977, Kermit Washington punched Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich in the face during an NBA game. Tomjanovich was seriously injured and missed the rest of the season. Washington was subsequently fined $10,000 and suspended 26 games by the NBA.
  • Throughout the 1977–78 season, CBS broadcast NBA games during the regular season and the playoffs. During halftime of those games, they showed a pre-taped H–O–R–S–E tournament pitting players from the NBA against each other. It featured, among others, Pete Maravich, Bob McAdoo, Kevin Grevey, and George Gervin. Maravich won the contest, but H–O–R–S–E featuring NBA players would not be re-instituted for 31 more years (until the 2009 All-Star Weekend).
  • This was the first season since the 1949-50 season that no Boston Celtics player was named to either the First or Second All-NBA Team.

Final standings[edit]

By division[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Philadelphia 76ers 55 27 .671 37–4 18–23 14–2
x-New York Knicks 43 39 .524 12 29–12 14–27 7–9
Boston Celtics 32 50 .390 23 24–17 8–33 8–8
Buffalo Braves 27 55 .329 28 20–21 7–34 7–9
New Jersey Nets 24 58 .293 31 18–23 6–35 4–12


Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-San Antonio Spurs 52 30 .634 32–9 20–21 15–5
x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 8 29–12 15–26 14–6
x-Cleveland Cavaliers 43 39 .524 9 27–14 16–25 9–11
x-Atlanta Hawks 41 41 .500 11 29–12 12–29 8–12
New Orleans Jazz 39 43 .476 13 27–14 12–29 8–12
Houston Rockets 28 54 .341 24 21-20 7-34 6–14


Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Denver Nuggets 48 34 .585 33–8 15–26 11–9
x-Milwaukee Bucks 44 38 .537 4 28–13 16–25 14–6
Chicago Bulls 40 42 .488 8 29–12 11–30 8–12
Detroit Pistons 38 44 .463 10 24–17 14–27 8–12
Indiana Pacers 31 51 .378 17 21–20 10–31 8–12
Kansas City Kings 31 51 .378 17 22–19 9–32 11–9


Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Portland Trail Blazers 58 24 .707 36–5 22–19 13–3
x-Phoenix Suns 49 33 .598 9 34–7 15–26 8–8
x-Seattle SuperSonics 47 35 .573 11 31–10 16–25 8–8
x-Los Angeles Lakers 45 37 .549 13 29–12 16–25 6–10
Golden State Warriors 43 39 .524 15 30–11 13–28 5–11


By conference[edit]

# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Philadelphia 76ers 55 27 .671
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 52 30 .634 3
3 x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 11
4 x-Cleveland Cavaliers 43 39 .524 12
5 x-New York Knicks 43 39 .524 12
6 x-Atlanta Hawks 41 41 .500 14
7 New Orleans Jazz 39 43 .476 16
8 Boston Celtics 32 50 .390 23
9 Houston Rockets 28 54 .341 27
10 Buffalo Braves 27 55 .329 28
11 New Jersey Nets 24 58 .293 31


# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Portland Trail Blazers 58 24 .707
2 y-Denver Nuggets 48 34 .585 10
3 x-Phoenix Suns 49 33 .598 9
4 x-Seattle SuperSonics 47 35 .573 11
5 x-Los Angeles Lakers 45 37 .549 13
6 x-Milwaukee Bucks 44 38 .537 14
7 Golden State Warriors 43 39 .524 15
8 Chicago Bulls 40 42 .488 18
9 Detroit Pistons 38 44 .463 20
10 Indiana Pacers 31 51 .378 27
10 Kansas City Kings 31 51 .378 27



Notes

  • z, y – division champions
  • x – clinched playoff spot

Statistics leaders[edit]

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game George Gervin San Antonio Spurs 27.2
Rebounds per game Truck Robinson New Orleans Jazz 15.7
Assists per game Kevin Porter Detroit-New Jersey 10.2
Steals per game Ron Lee Phoenix Suns 2.74
Blocks per game George Johnson New Jersey Nets 3.38
FG% Bobby Jones Denver Nuggets 57.8
FT% Rick Barry Golden State Warriors 92.4

NBA awards[edit]

Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com

References[edit]