1949–50 Syracuse Nationals season

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1949–50 Syracuse Nationals season
Division Champions
Head coach Al Cervi
Arena State Fair Coliseum
Results
Record 51–13 (.797)
Place Division: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finish NBA Finals
(eliminated 2–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Radio WNDR
< 1948–49 1950–51 >

The 1949–50 Syracuse Nationals season was the first season for the Nationals in the National Basketball Association. The Nationals had played their three previous seasons in the National Basketball League, which merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA. Al Cervi, nicknamed "Digger" for his superior defensive skills, guided the team with his competitive nature while serving as a player-coach. As the Syracuse Post-Standard describes, "The Nationals shot poorly but succeeded because they played Cervi-style basketball: nasty, with an emphasis on defense."[1] The Nationals went to the NBA Finals after beating the Philadelphia Warriors and New York Knicks, but lost to the Minneapolis Lakers in six games.

Draft picks[edit]

Main article: 1949 NBA draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College

Roster[edit]

Syracuse Nationals 1949–50 roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
G/F 15 United States Cervi, Al 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 170 lb (77 kg) East High School
(Buffalo)
F 9/11 United States Chollet, Leroy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Canisius College
G 4/9 United States Corley, Ray 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Georgetown
G/F 7/35 United States Gabor, Bill 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Syracuse
F/C 10 United States Hannum, Alex 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Southern California
G/F 14 United States Levane, Andrew 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) St. John's
G/F 5 United States Macknowski, Johnny 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Seton Hall
C 13/50 United States Peterson, Ed 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Cornell University
F/C 6/65 United States Ratkovicz, George 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Lindblom High School
(Chicago)
F/C 4/55 United States Schayes, Dolph 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 195 lb (88 kg) New York University
G/F 8/25 United States Seymour, Paul 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Toledo
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Regular season[edit]

Standings[edit]

Eastern Division W L PCT GB Home Road Neutral Div
x-Syracuse Nationals 51 13 .797 31–1 15–12 5–0 9–1
x-New York Knicks 40 28 .588 13 19–10 18–16 3–2 20–6
x-Washington Capitols 32 36 .471 21 21–13 10–20 1–3 13–13
x-Philadelphia Warriors 26 42 .382 25 15–15 8–23 3–4 9–17
Baltimore Bullets 25 43 .368 26 16–15 8–25 1–3 8–18
Boston Celtics 22 46 .324 29 12–14 5–28 5–4 11–15

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1949–50 NBA records
Team AND BAL BOS CHI DEN FWP IND MIN NYK PHI ROC SHE STL SYR TCB WAS WAT
Anderson 1–1 0–2 1–1 4–3 1–1 2–5 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 5–2 2–0 3–4 7–2 1–1 7–0
Baltimore 1–1 2–4 1–5 1–1 3–3 1–1 1–5 1–5 3–3 3–3 2–0 3–3 0–2 0–2 2–4 1–1
Boston 2–0 4–2 0–6 1–1 2–4 1–1 1–5 1–5 3–3 0–6 1–1 2–4 0–2 0–2 3–3 1–1
Chicago 1–1 5–1 6–0 2–0 2–4 1–1 2–4 2–4 4–2 2–4 2–0 5–1 0–2 1–1 3–3 2–0
Denver 3–4 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–7 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 3–4 0–2 1–6 0–7 0–2 2–5
Fort Wayne 1–1 3–3 4–2 4–2 2–0 1–1 2–4 4–2 4–2 3–3 2–0 5–1 0–2 2–0 2–4 1–1
Indianapolis 5–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 7–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 5–2 1–1 2–7 4–3 1–1 5–2
Minneapolis 1–1 5–1 5–1 4–2 2–0 4–2 1–1 5–1 4–2 3–3 1–1 5–1 1–1 2–0 6–0 2–0
New York 1–1 5–1 5–1 4–2 2–0 2–4 1–1 1–5 1–5 1–5 1–1 4–2 0–2 1–1 5–1 2–0
Philadelphia 1–1 3–3 3–3 2–4 2–0 2–4 0–2 2–4 1–5 1–5 2–0 2–4 0–2 1–1 2–4 2–0
Rochester 2–0 3–3 6–0 4–2 2–0 3–3 1–1 3–3 5–1 5–1 1–1 5–1 1–1 2–0 6–0 2–0
Sheboygan 2–5 0–2 1–1 0–2 4–3 0–2 2–5 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–6 3–4 2–0 4–3
St. Louis 0–2 3–3 4–2 1–5 2–0 1–5 1–1 1–5 2–4 4–2 1–5 2–0 1–1 2–0 0–6 1–1
Syracuse 4–3 2–0 2–0 2–0 6–1 2–0 7–2 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 6–1 1–1 6–1 1–1 6–1
Tri-Cities 2–7 2–0 2–0 1–1 7–0 0–2 3–4 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 4–3 0–2 1–6 1–1 4–3
Washington 1–1 4–2 3–3 3–3 2–0 4–2 1–1 0–6 1–5 4–2 0–6 0–2 6–0 1–1 1–1 1–1
Waterloo 0–7 1–1 1–1 0–2 5–2 1–1 2–5 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 3–4 1–1 1–6 3–4 1–1

Game log[edit]

1949–50 Game Log

Total: 51–13 (Home: 31–1 ; Road: 15–12 ; Neutral: 5–0)

1949–50 Schedule

Playoffs[edit]

East Division Semifinals[edit]

East Division Finals[edit]

  • Eastern Division: (1) Syracuse Nationals vs. (2) New York Knicks: Nationals win series 2–1
  • Game 1 @ Syracuse: Syracuse 91, New York 83 (OT)
  • Game 2 @ New York: New York 80, Syracuse 76
  • Game 3 @ Syracuse: Syracuse 91, New York 80

NBA Semifinals[edit]

The Nationals had an NBA Semifinal bye.

NBA Finals[edit]

  • (E1) Syracuse Nationals vs. (C1) Minneapolis Lakers: Lakers win series 4–2
  • Game 1 @ Syracuse: Minneapolis 68, Syracuse 66
  • Game 2 @ Syracuse: Syracuse 91, Minneapolis 85
  • Game 3 @ Minneapolis: Minneapolis 91, Syracuse 77
  • Game 4 @ Minneapolis: Minneapolis 77, Syracuse 69
  • Game 5 @ Syracuse: Syracuse 83, Minneapolis 76
  • Game 6 @ Minneapolis: Minneapolis 110, Syracuse 95

Awards and records[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Al Cervi, Hall of Fame N.B.A. Player-Coach, Dies at 92, New York Times, November 10, 2009.