1980–81 NBA season

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1980–81 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Duration Oct 10, 1980 – Mar 29, 1981
Mar 31 – May 3, 1981 (Playoffs)
May 5–14, 1981 (Finals)
Number of teams 23
TV partner(s) CBS, USA
Draft
Top draft pick Joe Barry Carroll
Picked by Golden State Warriors
Regular season
Top seed Boston Celtics
Season MVP Julius Erving (Philadelphia)
Top scorer Adrian Dantley (Utah)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Boston Celtics
  Eastern runners-up Philadelphia 76ers
Western champions Houston Rockets
  Western runners-up Kansas City Kings
Finals
Champions Boston Celtics
  Runners-up Houston Rockets
Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell (Boston)
NBA seasons

The 1980–81 NBA season was the 35th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Notable occurrences[edit]

Coaching changes
Offseason
Team 1979-80 coach 1980-81 coach
Cleveland Cavaliers Stan Albeck Bill Musselman
Dallas Mavericks Expansion Dick Motta
Detroit Pistons Richie Adubato Scotty Robertson
Golden State Warriors Johnny Bach Al Attles
Indiana Pacers Bobby Leonard Jack McKinney
San Antonio Spurs Bob Bass Stan Albeck
San Diego Clippers Gene Shue Paul Silas
Washington Bullets Dick Motta Gene Shue
In-season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Atlanta Hawks Hubie Brown Mike Fratello
Cleveland Cavaliers Bill Musselman Don Delaney
Denver Nuggets Donnie Walsh Doug Moe
New Jersey Nets Kevin Loughery Bob MacKinnon

Final standings[edit]

A ticket for a March 1981 game between the Dallas Mavericks and the season's eventual champions Boston Celtics.

By division[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Boston Celtics 62 20 .756 35–6 27–14 19–5
x-Philadelphia 76ers 62 20 .756 37–4 25–16 15–9
x-New York Knicks 50 32 .610 12.0 28–13 22–19 14–10
Washington Bullets 39 43 .476 23.0 26–15 13–28 8–16
New Jersey Nets 24 58 .293 38.0 16–25 8–33 8–16


Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Milwaukee Bucks 60 22 .732 34–7 26–15 23–7
x-Chicago Bulls 45 37 .549 15.0 26–15 19–22 20–9
x-Indiana Pacers 44 38 .537 16.0 27–14 17–24 17–12
Atlanta Hawks 31 51 .378 29.0 20–21 11–30 9–21
Cleveland Cavaliers 28 54 .341 32.0 20–21 8–33 9–21
Detroit Pistons 21 61 .256 39.0 14–27 7–34 9–21


Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-San Antonio Spurs 52 30 .634 34–7 18–23 21–9
x-Kansas City Kings 40 42 .488 12.0 24–17 16–25 19–11
x-Houston Rockets 40 42 .488 12.0 25–16 15–26 19–11
Denver Nuggets 37 45 .451 15.0 23–18 14–27 13–17
Utah Jazz 28 54 .341 24.0 20–21 8–33 13–17
Dallas Mavericks 15 67 .183 37.0 11–30 4–37 5–25


Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Phoenix Suns 57 25 .695 36–5 21–20 22–8
x-Los Angeles Lakers 54 28 .659 3.0 30–11 24–17 19–11
x-Portland Trail Blazers 45 37 .549 12.0 30–11 15–26 18–12
Golden State Warriors 39 43 .476 18.0 26–15 13–28 10–20
San Diego Clippers 36 46 .439 21.0 22–19 14–27 14–16
Seattle SuperSonics 34 48 .415 23.0 22–19 12–29 7–23

By conference[edit]

# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Boston Celtics 62 20 .756  –
2 y-Milwaukee Bucks 60 22 .732 2
3 x-Philadelphia 76ers 62 20 .756
4 x-New York Knicks 50 32 .610 12
5 x-Chicago Bulls 45 37 .549 17
6 x-Indiana Pacers 44 38 .537 18
7 Washington Bullets 39 43 .476 23
8 Atlanta Hawks 31 51 .378 31
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 28 54 .341 34
10 New Jersey Nets 24 58 .293 38
11 Detroit Pistons 21 61 .256 41


# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Phoenix Suns 57 25 .695
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 52 30 .634 5
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 54 28 .659 3
4 x-Portland Trail Blazers 45 37 .549 12
5 x-Kansas City Kings 40 42 .488 17
6 x-Houston Rockets 40 42 .488 17
7 Golden State Warriors 39 43 .476 18
8 Denver Nuggets 37 45 .451 20
9 San Diego Clippers 36 46 .439 21
10 Seattle SuperSonics 34 48 .415 23
11 Utah Jazz 28 54 .341 29
12 Dallas Mavericks 15 67 .183 42



Notes

  • z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs and first round bye
  • c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs and first round bye
  • y – Clinched division title and first round bye
  • x – Clinched playoff spot

Playoffs[edit]

Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics. Note that in the Western Conference, the lower seeded team won every series.

Main article: 1981 NBA Playoffs
  First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                                     
        
  1  Phoenix 3  
    5  Kansas City 4  
4  Portland 1
5  Kansas City 2  
  5  Kansas City 1  
Western Conference
  6  Houston 4  
3  Los Angeles 1  
6  Houston 2  
  6  Houston 4
    2  San Antonio 3  
      
        
  W6  Houston 2
  E1  Boston 4
        
        
  1  Boston 4
    5  Chicago 0  
4  New York 0
5  Chicago 2  
  1  Boston 4
Eastern Conference
  3  Philadelphia 3  
3  Philadelphia 2  
6  Indiana 0  
  3  Philadelphia 4
    2  Milwaukee 3  
      

Statistics leaders[edit]

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Adrian Dantley Utah Jazz 30.7
Rebounds per game Moses Malone Houston Rockets 14.8
Assists per game Kevin Porter Washington Bullets 9.1
Steals per game Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 3.43
Blocks per game George Johnson San Antonio Spurs 3.39
FG% Artis Gilmore Chicago Bulls .670
FT% Calvin Murphy Houston Rockets .958
3FG% Brian Taylor San Diego Clippers .383

NBA awards[edit]

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

Players of the week[edit]

Week Player
Oct. 10 – Oct. 19 Adrian Dantley (Utah Jazz) (1/1)
Oct. 20 – Oct. 26 Otis Birdsong (Kansas City Kings) (1/1)
Oct. 27 – Nov. 02 David Thompson (Denver Nuggets) (1/1)
Nov. 03 – Nov. 09 Elvin Hayes (Washington Bullets) (1/1)
Nov. 10 – Nov. 16 Billy Knight (Indiana Pacers) (1/1)
Nov. 17 – Nov. 23 Artis Gilmore (Chicago Bulls) (1/1)
Nov. 24 – Nov. 30 Robert Parish (Boston Celtics) (1/1)
Dec. 01 – Dec. 07 Mike Dunleavy (Houston Rockets) (1/1)
Dec. 08 – Dec. 14 Dan Roundfield (Atlanta Hawks) (1/1)
Dec. 15 – Dec. 21 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
Dec. 22 – Dec. 28 Dennis Johnson (Phoenix Suns) (1/1)
Dec. 29 – Jan. 04 Bernard King (Golden State Warriors) (1/1)
Jan. 05 – Jan. 11 Nate Archibald (Boston Celtics) (1/1)
Jan. 12 – Jan. 18 Julius Erving (Philadelphia 76ers) (1/1)
Jan. 19 – Jan. 25 Phil Ford (Kansas City Kings) (1/1)
Jan. 26 – Feb. 01 Kenny Carr (Cleveland Cavaliers) (1/1)
Feb. 02 – Feb. 08 Caldwell Jones (Philadelphia 76ers) (1/1)
Feb. 09 – Feb. 15 Mike Newlin (New Jersey Nets) (1/1)
Feb. 16 – Feb. 22 Mike Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers) (1/1)
Mar. 02 – Mar. 08 Larry Smith (Golden State Warriors) (1/1)
Mar. 09 – Mar. 15 Moses Malone (Houston Rockets) (1/1)
Mar. 16 – Mar. 22 Michael Ray Richardson (New York Knicks) (1/1)
Mar. 23 – Mar. 29 Robert Reid (Houston Rockets) (1/1)

Players of the month[edit]

Month Player
October Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
November Julius Erving (Philadelphia 76ers) (1/1)
December Freeman Williams (San Diego Clippers) (1/1)
January Bernard King (Golden State Warriors) (1/1)
February Calvin Murphy (Houston Rockets) (1/1)
March Kelvin Ransey (Portland Trail Blazers) (1/1)

References[edit]