2008–09 NBA season

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2008–09 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Duration October 28, 2008 – April 16, 2009
April 18 – May 30, 2009 (Playoffs)
June 4 – 14, 2009 (Finals)
Number of teams 30
TV partner(s) ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV
Draft
Top draft pick Derrick Rose
Picked by Chicago Bulls
Regular season
Top seed Cleveland Cavaliers
Season MVP LeBron James (Cleveland)
Top scorer Dwyane Wade (Miami)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Orlando Magic
  Eastern runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers
Western champions Los Angeles Lakers
  Western runners-up Denver Nuggets
Finals
Champions Los Angeles Lakers
  Runners-up Orlando Magic
Finals MVP Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)
NBA seasons

The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 1,230-game regular season (82 games for each of the 30 teams) began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009. The 2009 NBA Playoffs started on Saturday, April 18, 2009 and ran until Sunday, June 14 when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 99–86 to win the 2009 NBA Finals, four games to one.

The 2008 NBA Draft was held on June 28, 2008, and Derrick Rose was selected first overall by the Chicago Bulls and eventually awarded the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The 2009 NBA All-Star Game was hosted at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars 146–119. The All-Star Game co-MVPs were Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.[1]

This was the first NBA season since 1966–67 without a Seattle franchise, as the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in July 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Transactions[edit]

Coaching changes[edit]

Offseason
Team 2007–08 coach 2008–09 coach
Charlotte Bobcats Sam Vincent Larry Brown
Chicago Bulls Jim Boylan Vinny Del Negro
Milwaukee Bucks Larry Krystkowiak Scott Skiles
Miami Heat Pat Riley Erik Spoelstra
New York Knicks Isiah Thomas Mike D'Antoni
Dallas Mavericks Avery Johnson Rick Carlisle
Detroit Pistons Flip Saunders Michael Curry
Phoenix Suns Mike D'Antoni Terry Porter
In-season
Team Outgoing coach New coach
Oklahoma City Thunder P. J. Carlesimo Scott Brooks (interim)
Washington Wizards Eddie Jordan Ed Tapscott (interim)
Toronto Raptors Sam Mitchell Jay Triano (interim)
Minnesota Timberwolves Randy Wittman Kevin McHale (interim)
Philadelphia 76ers Maurice Cheeks Tony DiLeo (interim)
Sacramento Kings Reggie Theus Kenny Natt (interim)
Memphis Grizzlies Marc Iavaroni Lionel Hollins
Phoenix Suns Terry Porter Alvin Gentry (interim)

Notable occurrences[edit]

July

  • On July 2, 2008, the city of Seattle and the Seattle SuperSonics (owned by the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Professional Basketball Club LLC) reached a settlement where the defendants agreed to pay $45 million to relocate the team to Oklahoma City, retain the SuperSonics' players, coaches, and contracts, and "share" the SuperSonics' franchise history with a hypothetical future Seattle team. However, the SuperSonics name, colors, and logo will remain reserved for a future Seattle club.[8] The team was named the Oklahoma City Thunder on September 3, 2008.
  • On July 23, 2008, restricted free agent Josh Childress signed with Euroleague club Olympiacos for three years and $20 million net (the biggest signing in Euroleague history), marking the first departure of an American-born player to Europe in the prime of his career.[9]

October

  • On October 11, 2008, the NBA's first outdoor game in more than three decades was held on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. The game was played between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, who played the last outdoor game against the Milwaukee Bucks in 1972.[10][11]
  • On October 23, 2008, the NBA Board of Governors (owners) approved expanded use of instant replays for this season to determine if made baskets would be worth two or three points, and to award either two or three free throws on shooting fouls.[12]

December

  • On December 10, 2008, Carmelo Anthony scored 33 of his season-high 45 points in the third quarter in a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, breaking the franchise record and equaling the league record for most points in a quarter.[13]
  • On December 11, 2008, Cuttino Mobley retired from the NBA because of a severe case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease.[14]
  • On December 25, 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers broke the Boston Celtics' 19-game winning streak in a rematch of the previous season's NBA Finals.[15]

January

February

  • On February 5, 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers broke another Celtic winning streak, joining a short list of teams to break two 12+ game win streaks in a season.[17]
  • On February 7, 2009, LeBron James's 52-point triple-double against the New York Knicks on February 4 was negated by subtracting a rebound from his total. The negated rebound was given to Ben Wallace. James would have been the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to have a 50-point triple-double.[18]
  • On February 8, 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers broke the Cleveland Cavaliers' 23-game home-winning streak. In doing so, the Lakers became the first team in NBA history to win back-to-back games on the road (Boston and Cleveland) against teams with .800-plus win percentages at least 40 games into the season.[19]

NBA All-Star Break
The 2009 NBA All-Star Game was played at the US Airways Center, home of the Phoenix Suns, on February 15, 2009, with the West winning 146–119 and the Phoenix Suns' Shaquille O'Neal and Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant being named the Co-MVPs. During the NBA All-Star Weekend, Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks won the Sprite Slam Dunk competition; Kevin Durant, who won the Rookie Challenge MVP, also won the inaugural H.O.R.S.E Competition and Miami's Daequan Cook beat Rashard Lewis in a tiebreaker to win the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.


March

  • On March 3, 2009, in the NBA's third annual Noche Latina event, a program that recognizes the NBA's fans and players from across Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities, the Los Angeles Lakers wore celebratory jerseys (with the wording Los Lakers) in their 99–89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.[24] Noche Latina celebrations took place in eight of the top ten American Hispanic markets in the NBA this season (up from four in 2007–08): Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Houston and New York.
  • On March 10, 2009, the Utah Jazz won their 12th game in a row. That was the fourth-longest win streak in franchise history and the longest since 1999. It was later broken by a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.[25][26]
  • On March 13, 2009, Detroit Pistons owner William Davidson died at the age of 86.[27]
  • On March 13, 2009, the Philadelphia 76ers hosted the Chicago Bulls at their former home, the Wachovia Spectrum, instead of their regular home, the Wachovia Center. The Sixers left the Spectrum following the 1995–96 season to move to the former John F. Kennedy Stadium site.[28]
  • On March 15, 2009, the Phoenix Suns scored the third-highest number of points in a regulation game—without overtime—in a 154–130 win against the Golden State Warriors. They also scored 56 fast-break points, the highest recorded since the league began tracking the stat in 1997.[29] The win also included two 40+ point quarters, 42 in the first and 46 in the third.
  • On March 21, 2009, Shaquille O'Neal moved from sixth all-time leading scorer to fifth, surpassing Moses Malone.[30]

April

  • On April 2, 2009, the NBA teamed up with NRDC for the first-ever NBA Green Week 2009 in an effort to generate awareness and funds for protecting the environment. The week featured special on-court apparel, auctions to support environmental protection organizations, hands-on community service projects and the launch of a PSA featuring Hollywood icon and NRDC Trustee Robert Redford. The Denver Nuggets, the Charlotte Bobcats, and the Chicago Bulls wore green-colored uniforms and socks made from 45 percent organic cotton during select home games throughout the week to raise additional environmental awareness. NBA partner adidas outfitted all players with 100 percent organic cotton adidas shooting shirts featuring the NBA Green logo, which were worn during every game that week.[31]
  • On April 10, 2009, Kobe Bryant moved from the 18th all-time leading scorer to 17th, surpassing Charles Barkley.
  • On April 15, 2009, the Cleveland Cavaliers finished the season with a home record of 39–2, just one game shy of matching the all-time record.[32]
  • On April 15, 2009, Shaquille O'Neal led the league in field goal percentage for an NBA-record tenth time.
  • On April 23, 2009, Dikembe Mutombo retired after 18 seasons in the NBA, at age 42.[33]
  • On April 27, 2009, the Denver Nuggets matched the largest margin of victory in an NBA playoff game by beating the New Orleans Hornets 121–63, in Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Playoffs. The record is shared with the Minneapolis Lakers 133–75 victory over the St. Louis Hawks in 1956.[34]
  • On April 30, 2009, the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics played in a record fourth overtime game in a single playoff series.[35]

May

June

Records broken[edit]

  • On December 17, 2008, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets broke the 22-year-old record for consecutive games with a steal (105), previously held by Alvin Robertson, in a game against Robertson's former team, the San Antonio Spurs. The streak reached 108 games before ending on the December 25 against the Orlando Magic.
  • On December 23, 2008, the Boston Celtics recorded the best two-loss start in NBA history (27–2), in a 110–91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. They also broke a franchise record for the longest winning streak (18) with their 19th consecutive win. Their winning streak came to an end after a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • On January 13, 2009, the Orlando Magic made an NBA record 23 three-pointers against the Sacramento Kings. Nine of the twelve Magic players who played in the game made at least one three-pointer.
  • On February 2, 2009, Kobe Bryant set a record for most points scored in a game at the modern Madison Square Garden (61), besting the 60 points set by Bernard King. That was until Carmelo Anthony broke the record (62) in January 2014 against the Charlotte Bobcats.
  • On March 15, 2009, the Phoenix Suns scored 56 fast-break points against the Golden State Warriors, the highest recorded since the league began tracking the stat in 1997.[29]
  • On April 15, 2009, the Raptors' José Calderón topped the 1980–81 Rockets' Calvin Murphy for the NBA record for free-throw percentage. Calderón made 98.1% of his free throws in the season, missing only 3 of the 154 he took, taking the record from Murphy's mark of 95.8%.
  • On April 15, 2009, Rudy Fernández of the Portland Trail Blazers set the rookie record for three-point field goals made in a season with 159.

Standings[edit]

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.

Main article: 2009 NBA Playoffs
First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                       
1 Cleveland* 4
8 Detroit 0
1 Cleveland 4
4 Atlanta 0
4 Atlanta 4
5 Miami 3
1 Cleveland 2
Eastern Conference
3 Orlando 4
3 Orlando* 4
6 Philadelphia 2
3 Orlando 4
2 Boston 3
2 Boston* 4
7 Chicago 3
E3 Orlando 1
W1 L.A. Lakers 4
1 L.A. Lakers* 4
8 Utah 1
1 L.A. Lakers 4
5 Houston 3
4 Portland 2
5 Houston 4
1 L.A. Lakers 4
Western Conference
2 Denver 2
3 San Antonio* 1
6 Dallas 4
6 Dallas 1
2 Denver 4
2 Denver* 4
7 New Orleans 1

Statistics leaders[edit]

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Dwyane Wade Miami Heat 30.2
Rebounds per game Dwight Howard Orlando Magic 13.8
Assists per game Chris Paul New Orleans Hornets 11.0
Steals per game Chris Paul New Orleans Hornets 2.77
Blocks per game Dwight Howard Orlando Magic 2.92
Field goal percentage Shaquille O'Neal Phoenix Suns .609
Three-point field goal percentage Anthony Morrow Golden State Warriors .467
Free throw percentage José Calderón Toronto Raptors .981

Awards[edit]

Yearly awards[edit]

Players of the week[edit]

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.

Week Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref.
01Oct. 28 – Nov. 2 Bosh, ChrisChris Bosh (Toronto Raptors) (1/1) Paul, ChrisChris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) (1/4)
02Nov. 3 – Nov. 9 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (1/7) Stoudemire, Amar'eAmar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns) (1/1)
03Nov. 10 – Nov. 16 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (2/7) Billups, ChaunceyChauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets) (1/1)
04Nov. 17 – Nov. 23 Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade (Miami Heat) (1/3) Nowitzki, DirkDirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) (1/2)
05Nov. 24 – Nov. 30 Harris, DevinDevin Harris (New Jersey Nets) (1/2) Roy, BrandonBrandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers) (1/2)
06Dec. 1 – Dec. 7 Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade (Miami Heat) (2/3) Nowitzki, DirkDirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) (2/2)
07Dec. 8 – Dec. 14 Harrington, AlAl Harrington (New York Knicks) (1/1) Duncan, TimTim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs) (1/1)
08Dec. 15 – Dec. 21 Nelson, JameerJameer Nelson (Orlando Magic) (1/2) Paul, ChrisChris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) (2/4)
09Dec. 22 – Dec. 28 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (3/7) Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/3)
10Dec. 29 – Jan. 4 Stuckey, RodneyRodney Stuckey (Detroit Pistons) (1/1) Jefferson, AlAl Jefferson (Minnesota Timberwolves) (1/1)
11Jan. 5 – Jan. 11 Howard, DwightDwight Howard (Orlando Magic) (1/4) Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) (2/3)
12Jan. 12 – Jan. 18 Nelson, JameerJameer Nelson (Orlando Magic) (2/2) Paul, ChrisChris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) (3/4)
13Jan. 19 – Jan. 25 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (4/7) Bynum, AndrewAndrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
14Jan. 26 – Feb. 1 Lee, DavidDavid Lee (New York Knicks) (1/1) Parker, TonyTony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) (1/2)
15Feb. 2 – Feb. 8 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (5/7) Gasol, PauPau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/2)
16Feb. 18 – Feb. 23 Howard, DwightDwight Howard (Orlando Magic) (2/4) Gasol, PauPau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) (2/2)
17Feb. 24 – Mar. 1 Harris, DevinDevin Harris (New Jersey Nets) (2/2) West, DavidDavid West (New Orleans Hornets) (1/1)
18Mar. 2 – Mar. 8 Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade (Miami Heat) (3/3) Williams, DeronDeron Williams (Utah Jazz) (1/1)
19Mar. 9 – Mar. 15 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (6/7) Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) (3/3)
20Mar. 16 – Mar. 22 James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (7/7) Paul, ChrisChris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) (4/4)
21Mar. 23 – Mar. 29 Howard, DwightDwight Howard (Orlando Magic) (3/4) Parker, TonyTony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) (2/2)
22Mar. 30 – Apr. 5 Howard, DwightDwight Howard (Orlando Magic) (4/4) Kidd, JasonJason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks) (1/1)
23Apr. 6 – Apr. 12 Gordon, BenBen Gordon (Chicago Bulls) (1/1) Roy, BrandonBrandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers) (2/2)

Players of the month[edit]

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref.
01October – November James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (1/4) Paul, ChrisChris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) (1/2)
02December Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade (Miami Heat) (1/2) Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/2)
03January James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (2/4) Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) (2/2)
04February Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade (Miami Heat) (2/2) Gasol, PauPau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
05March James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (3/4) Paul, ChrisChris Paul (New Orleans Hornets) (2/2)
06April James, LeBronLeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) (4/4) Nowitzki, DirkDirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) (1/1)

Rookies of the month[edit]

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref.
01October – November Rose, DerrickDerrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) (1/3) Mayo, O. J.O. J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) (1/2) [54]
02December Rose, DerrickDerrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) (2/3) Westbrook, RussellRussell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) (1/2) [55]
03January Lopez, BrookBrook Lopez (New Jersey Nets) (1/2) Gordon, EricEric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) (1/1) [56]
04February Lopez, BrookBrook Lopez (New Jersey Nets) (2/2) Westbrook, RussellRussell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) (2/2) [57]
05March Rose, DerrickDerrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) (3/3) Love, KevinKevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) (1/1) [58]
06April Beasley, MichaelMichael Beasley (Miami Heat) (1/1) Mayo, O. J.O. J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) (2/2) [59][60]

Coaches of the month[edit]

The following coaches were named the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month.

Month Eastern Conference Western Conference Ref.
01October – November Rivers, DocDoc Rivers (Boston Celtics) (1/2) Jackson, PhilPhil Jackson (Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
02December Brown, MikeMike Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers) (1/3) Scott, ByronByron Scott (New Orleans Hornets) (1/1)
03January Van Gundy, StanStan Van Gundy (Orlando Magic) (1/1) McHale, KevinKevin McHale (Minnesota Timberwolves) (1/1)
04February Brown, MikeMike Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers) (2/3) Sloan, JerryJerry Sloan (Utah Jazz) (1/1)
05March Brown, MikeMike Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers) (3/3) Adelman, RickRick Adelman (Houston Rockets) (1/1)
06April Rivers, DocDoc Rivers (Boston Celtics) (2/2) McMillan, NateNate McMillan (Portland Trail Blazers) (1/1)

Salary cap[edit]

The NBA announced that the salary cap for the season would be $58.680 million, immediately going into effect on July 9 as the league's "moratorium period" had ended and teams could begin signing free agents and making trades.[61]

The tax level for the season was set at $71.150 million, with each team paying a $1 tax for each $1 by which it exceeds $71.150 million. The mid-level exception was $5.585 million for the season and the minimum team salary, which was set at 75% of the salary cap, was $44.010 million.[61]

For the 2007–08 season, the salary cap was set at $55.630 million (Increase$3.05 million), the tax level was $67.865 million (Increase$3.285 million) and the mid-level exception was $5.356 million (Increase$229,000).[61]

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