1985–86 NBA season
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Duration||Oct 25, 1985 – Apr 13, 1986
Apr 17 – May 21, 1986 (Playoffs)
May 26 – Jun 8, 1986 (Finals)
|Number of teams||23|
|TV partner(s)||CBS, TBS|
|Top draft pick||Patrick Ewing|
|Picked by||New York Knicks|
|Top seed||Boston Celtics|
|Season MVP||Larry Bird (Boston)|
|Top scorer||Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta)|
|Eastern champions||Boston Celtics|
|Eastern runners-up||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Western champions||Houston Rockets|
|Western runners-up||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Finals champions||Boston Celtics|
|Finals MVP||Larry Bird (Boston)|
The 1985–86 NBA season was the 40th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning their third championship of the decade, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.
|Team||1984-85 coach||1985-86 coach|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Billy Cunningham||Matt Guokas|
|Chicago Bulls||Kevin Loughery||Stan Albeck|
|New Jersey Nets||Stan Albeck||Dave Wohl|
|Seattle SuperSonics||Lenny Wilkens||Bernie Bickerstaff|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Washington Bullets||Gene Shue||Kevin Loughery|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||George Karl||Gene Littles|
- The 1986 NBA All-Star Game was played at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, with the East defeating the West 139–132. Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons wins the game's MVP award. To add to the All-Star Weekend festivities, 5-foot-7-inch Spud Webb of the Atlanta Hawks wins the slam-dunk competition. The first three-point shootout was also held, won by Larry Bird (his first of three consecutive).
- The Kings relocate from Kansas City, Missouri to Sacramento, California. They played their home games at ARCO Arena I for three seasons while Arco Arena II was under construction.
- The Chicago Bulls are the last Eastern Conference team in NBA history to lose 50 or more games in a season and still make the playoffs.
- The Boston Celtics post an impressive 40–1 (.976) record at home, the closest any NBA team has ever come to playing a perfect home season. Their only regular-season home loss occurred on December 6, 1985, to the Portland Trail Blazers, by the score of 121–103. The Celtics would also win all 10 of their home games in the postseason.
- This season marks the first time the NBA hands out a Most Improved Player award at the end of a season. Alvin Robertson of the San Antonio Spurs is the first to win the award. Robertson would also set the record for consecutive games with a steal (105), which stood for 22 years.
- In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series, Michael Jordan scores 63 points against Boston, but his Chicago Bulls would lose in double overtime.
- All Midwest Division teams make the playoffs, the first time an entire division had done this since the 1983-84 season when all Atlantic Division teams made the playoffs.
- The first NBA Draft of the Lottery Era was conducted at the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in New York City. Patrick Ewing was unanimously selected as the first overall pick by the New York Knicks. Ewing, the winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award that season, set the record for most games missed (31) for a Rookie of the Year winner.
- Ralph Sampson's off-balanced buzzer-beating shot in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals sent the Houston Rockets to their second NBA Finals, defeating the erstwhile defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 4-1. This marked the second and last time in the 1980s a team other than the Lakers represented the West in the NBA Finals (1981, also by the Rockets). The Rockets fell in six games to the Boston Celtics, a similar result to their previous meeting five years earlier.
- Detlef Schrempf became the first German player to enter the NBA. He would later become the first European-born player to be named an All-Star in 1993 and had the most number of seasons played for a European player.
- New Jersey Nets guard Micheal Ray Richardson was banned for life by the NBA for his third violation of the league's anti-drug policy. Houston Rockets guard John Lucas was also suspended by the team for a similar violation; had he not been suspended, he would've played in the NBA Finals for the first time.
|x-New Jersey Nets||39||43||.476||28||26–15||13–28||11–13|
|New York Knicks||23||59||.280||44||15–26||8–33||5–19|
|x-San Antonio Spurs||35||47||.427||16||21–20||14–27||9–21|
|y-Los Angeles Lakers||62||20||.756||–||35–6||27–14||23–7|
|x-Portland Trail Blazers||40||42||.488||22||27–14||13–28||18–12|
|Los Angeles Clippers||32||50||.390||30||22–19||10–31||10–20|
|Golden State Warriors||30||52||.366||32||24–17||6–35||12–18|
|7||x-New Jersey Nets||39||43||.476||28|
|11||New York Knicks||23||59||.280||44|
|1||c-Los Angeles Lakers||62||20||.756||–|
|6||x-Portland Trail Blazers||40||42||.488||22|
|8||x-San Antonio Spurs||35||47||.427||27|
|9||Los Angeles Clippers||32||50||.390||30|
|12||Golden State Warriors||30||52||.366||32|
- z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
- c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
- y – Clinched division title
- x – Clinched playoff spot
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.
|First Round||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
|Points per game||Dominique Wilkins||Atlanta Hawks||30.3|
|Rebounds per game||Bill Laimbeer||Detroit Pistons||13.1|
|Assists per game||Magic Johnson||Los Angeles Lakers||12.6|
|Steals per game||Alvin Robertson||San Antonio Spurs||3.7|
|Blocks per game||Manute Bol||Washington Bullets||5.0|
|FG%||Steve Johnson||San Antonio Spurs||63.2|
|FT%||Larry Bird||Boston Celtics||89.6|
|3FG%||Craig Hodges||Milwaukee Bucks||45.1|
- Most Valuable Player: Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
- Rookie of the Year: Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
- Defensive Player of the Year: Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs
- Sixth Man of the Year: Bill Walton, Boston Celtics
- Most Improved Player: Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs
- Coach of the Year: Mike Fratello, Atlanta Hawks
- All-NBA First Team:
- All-NBA Second Team:
- All-NBA Rookie Team:
- NBA All-Defensive Team:
- First Team:
- Second Team:
Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com
Player of the week
The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.
Player of the month
The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.
|November||Akeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets)|
|December||Alvin Robertson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|January||Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta Hawks)|
|February||Larry Bird (Boston Celtics)|
|March||Larry Bird (Boston Celtics)|
Rookie of the month
The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.
|November||Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks)|
|December||Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)|
|January||Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks)|
|February||Charles Oakley (Chicago Bulls)|
|March||Benoit Benjamin (Los Angeles Clippers)|
Coach of the month
The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.
|November||Pat Riley (Los Angeles Lakers)|
|December||Cotton Fitzsimmons (San Antonio Spurs)|
|January||Mike Fratello (Atlanta Hawks)|
|February||Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons)|
|March||K.C. Jones (Boston Celtics)|