1968–69 New York Knicks season

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1968–69 New York Knicks season
Head coach Red Holzman
General manager Eddie Donovan
Arena Madison Square Garden
Results
Record 54–28 (.659)
Place Division: 3rd (Eastern)
Playoff finish East Division Finals
(Eliminated 2–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television WOR
Radio WHN
< 1967–68 1969–70 >

The 1968–69 New York Knicks season was the 23rd season for the team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Knicks finished third in the Eastern Division with a 54–28 regular season record, and qualified for the NBA Playoffs for the third straight year.[1] In the first round of the playoffs, New York defeated the Baltimore Bullets in a four-game sweep to earn a berth in the Eastern Division Finals. The Knicks lost the division finals to the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics in six games.[2] Willis Reed scored a team-best 21.1 points per game for the Knicks; Walt Frazier led the team with 7.9 assists per game and Reed averaged 14.5 rebounds per game.[3]

The Knicks selected Bill Hosket, Jr. in the opening round of the 1968 NBA draft,[4] and made a significant trade early in the season, acquiring Dave DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Walt Bellamy and Butch Komives. Author Harvey Araton called him "the player who would complete the championship puzzle in New York."[5] After a 5–11 start to the season, New York went on a long winning streak, winning all but 2 of 19 games in one stretch that included 13 straight home wins.[6] After a two-game losing streak, the Knicks won 11 consecutive games from January 25 to February 15 to bring their record to 44–21. The Knicks had two four-game winning streaks during the rest of the season, and ended with a 54–28 record.[7] This mark placed them third in the Eastern Conference; only the Bullets and Philadelphia 76ers had superior records. New York saw an increase in attendance during the regular season; after having six sellouts in their entire history, the Knicks played to capacity crowds in 14 games at Madison Square Garden.[8]

New York faced the Bullets, who had won 57 games in the regular season and held the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, in their first playoff round.[9] The Knicks won the first two games by over 10 points each, and a pair of closer victories in games three and four eliminated Baltimore.[7] They held home court advantage for their series with the Celtics, but lost it with a 108–100 loss in the first game. After losing two of the next three games, New York won game five to force a sixth game. However, Boston's Sam Jones posted 29 points to help the Celtics to a 106–105 win that ended the Knicks' season.[10]

NBA Draft[edit]

Main article: 1968 NBA draft

Note: This is not an extensive list; it only covers the first and second rounds, and any other players picked by the franchise that played at least one game in the league.[11]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 10 Bill Hosket F/C  United States Ohio State
3 30 Don May F/C  United States Dayton
17 202 Milt Williams G  United States Lincoln (MO)

Roster[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Eastern Division W L PCT GB Home Road Neutral Div
x-Baltimore Bullets 57 25 .695 29–9 24–15 4–1 26–14
x-Philadelphia 76ers 55 27 .671 2 26–8 24–16 5–3 23–17
x-New York Knicks 54 28 .659 3 30–7 19–20 5–1 26–14
x-Boston Celtics 48 34 .585 9 24–12 21–19 3–3 23–17
Cincinnati Royals 41 41 .500 16 15-13 16–21 10–7 20–20
Detroit Pistons 32 50 .390 25 21–17 7–30 4–3 13–27
Milwaukee Bucks 27 55 .329 30 15–19 8–27 4–9 7–29
x – clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1968–69 NBA records
Team ATL BAL BOS CHI CIN DET LAL MIL NYK PHI PHO SDR SFW SEA
Atlanta 2–4 3–3 6–1 4–2 6–0 3–4 4–2 2–4 1–5 6–0 3–4 4–3 4–2
Baltimore 4–2 5–2 6–0 4–3 7–0 3–3 5–1 3–4 2–4 6–0 5–1 3–3 4–2
Boston 3–3 2–5 4–2 5–2 5–1 2–4 5–1 1–6 5–2 6–0 4–2 3–3 3–3
Chicago 1–6 0–6 2–4 1–5 3–3 3–4 5–1 2–4 1–5 4–2 3–3 4–3 4–3
Cincinnati 2–4 3–4 2–5 5–1 3–4 2–4 5–1 4–2 3–4 4–2 2–4 3–3 3–3
Detroit 0–6 0–7 1–5 3–3 4–3 3–3 2–4 3–4 3–4 4–2 3–3 2–4 4–2
Los Angeles 4–3 3–3 4–2 4–3 4–2 3–3 5–1 5–1 1–5 6–0 7–0 4–3 5–1
Milwaukee 2–4 1–5 1–5 1–5 1–5 4–2 1–5 0–6 0–6 6–2 4–2 3–3 3–5
New York 4–2 4–3 6–1 4–2 2–4 4–3 1–5 6–0 4–3 5–1 3–3 5–1 6–0
Philadelphia 5–1 4–2 2–5 5–1 4–3 4–3 5–1 6–0 3–4 5–1 4–2 2–4 6–0
Phoenix 0–6 0–6 0–6 2–4 2–4 2–4 0–6 2–6 1–5 1–5 1–7 2–4 3–3
San Diego 4–3 1–5 2–4 3–3 4–2 3–3 0–7 2–4 3–3 2–4 7–1 3–3 3–3
San Francisco 3–4 3–3 3–3 3–4 3–3 4–2 3–4 3–3 1–5 4–2 4–2 3–3 4–3
Seattle 2–4 2–4 3–3 3–4 3–3 2–4 1–5 5–3 0–6 0–6 3–3 3–3 3–4

Playoffs[edit]

East Division Semifinals[edit]

(1) Baltimore Bullets vs. (3) New York Knicks: Knicks win series 4–0

  • Game 1 @ Baltimore: New York 113, Baltimore 101
  • Game 2 @ New York: New York 107, Baltimore 91
  • Game 3 @ Baltimore: New York 119, Baltimore 116
  • Game 4 @ New York: New York 115, Baltimore 108

East Division Finals[edit]

(3) New York Knicks vs. (4) Boston Celtics: Celtics win series 4–2

  • Game 1 @ New York: Boston 108, New York 100
  • Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 112, New York 97
  • Game 3 @ New York: New York 101, Boston 91
  • Game 4 @ Boston: Boston 97, New York 96
  • Game 5 @ New York: New York 112, Boston 104
  • Game 6 @ Boston: Boston 106, New York 105

Awards and records[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New York Knickerbockers Franchise Index". Basketball-Reference. Archived from the original on 24 April 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ "1968–69 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ "1968–69 New York Knicks Roster and Stats". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ "1968 NBA Draft". Basketball Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Araton, Harvey (2011). When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks. New York City: HarperCollins. pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-0-06-195623-2. 
  6. ^ Araton, pp. 86, 90.
  7. ^ a b "1968–69 New York Knicks Schedule and Results". Basketball Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  8. ^ Araton, pp. 95, 104.
  9. ^ Araton, p. 95.
  10. ^ Araton, pp. 97–98.
  11. ^ "1968 NBA Draft". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "All-NBA & All-ABA Teams". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "NBA & ABA All-Defensive Teams". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]