1969–70 NBA season

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1969–70 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
DurationOctober 14, 1969 – March 22, 1970
March 25 – April 20, 1970 (Playoffs)
April 24 – May 8, 1970 (Finals)
Number of games82
Number of teams14
TV partner(s)ABC
Top draft pickLew Alcindor[a]
Picked byMilwaukee Bucks
Regular season
Top seedNew York Knicks
Season MVPWillis Reed (New York)
Top scorerJerry West (L.A. Lakers)
Eastern championsNew York Knicks
  Eastern runners-upMilwaukee Bucks
Western championsLos Angeles Lakers
  Western runners-upAtlanta Hawks
ChampionsNew York Knicks
  Runners-upLos Angeles Lakers
Finals MVPWillis Reed (New York)
NBA seasons

The 1969–70 NBA season was the 24th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the New York Knicks winning the NBA Championship, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

Regular season[edit]

The 1969–70 season saw the NBA into a new decade as well as a new era. The retirement of Bill Russell from the Boston Celtics at the end of the 1968–69 season effectively signaled the end of the Celtics dynasty that had dominated the NBA for the past decade.

The New York Knicks were the top club in the league. They had a solid team of players led by star center Willis Reed and rising star guard Walt Frazier. Dave DeBusschere, who had been acquired from the Detroit Pistons the previous year, combined with Frazier and Reed to anchor the league's best defense. Coach Red Holzman led the club to wins in 60 of its 82 regular season games to pace the league.[citation needed]

In just their second season in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks totaled 56 wins helped by rookie superstar Lew Alcindor. Alcindor averaged 29 points per game on 52% shooting. He was also third in rebounds, seventh in shooting accuracy, and second in minutes played. Coach Larry Costello's team also had a strong backcourt of Jon McGlocklin and Flynn Robinson, and two ex-Cincinnati Royals, but Alcindor's arrival on the team nearly doubled their win total from the previous season, earning him rookie of the year honors.[citation needed]

The Baltimore Bullets also reached the 50-win plateau. Coach Gene Shue led a squad looking to improve after their early playoff exit the previous year. Guards Earl Monroe and Kevin Loughery were the team's main scoring threats, while center Wes Unseld and forward Gus Johnson excelled at rebounding, giving the Bullets more field goals than any other NBA team that year.

The Atlanta Hawks won the NBA's West Division title with 48 wins. Under coach Richie Guerin, they fielded a solid starting five, led again by scorer Lou Hudson. An early-season trade with Detroit netted star center Walt Bellamy.[citation needed]

Division standings[edit]


Eastern Division[edit]

Eastern Division W L PCT GB
x-New York Knicks 60 22 .732
x-Milwaukee Bucks 56 26 .683 4
x-Baltimore Bullets 50 32 .610 10
x-Philadelphia 76ers 42 40 .512 18
Cincinnati Royals 36 46 .439 24
Boston Celtics 34 48 .415 26
Detroit Pistons 31 51 .378 29

Western Division[edit]

Western Division W L PCT GB
x-Atlanta Hawks 48 34 .585
x-Los Angeles Lakers 46 36 .561 2
x-Chicago Bulls 39 43 .476 9
x-Phoenix Suns 39 43 .476 9
Seattle SuperSonics 36 46 .439 12
San Francisco Warriors 30 52 .366 18
San Diego Rockets 27 55 .329 21

x – clinched playoff spot


Division Semifinals Division Finals NBA Finals
E1 New York* 4
E3 Baltimore 3
E1 New York* 4
Eastern Division
E2 Milwaukee 1
E4 Philadelphia 1
E2 Milwaukee 4
E1 New York* 4
W2 Los Angeles 3
W1 Atlanta* 4
W3 Chicago 1
W1 Atlanta* 0
Western Division
W2 Los Angeles 4
W4 Phoenix 3
W2 Los Angeles 4
  • * Division winner
  • Bold Series winner
  • Italic Team with home-court advantage in NBA Finals

Statistics leaders[edit]

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Jerry West Los Angeles Lakers 31.2
Rebounds per game Elvin Hayes San Diego Rockets 16.9
Assists per game Lenny Wilkens Seattle SuperSonics 9.1
FG% Johnny Green Cincinnati Royals .559
FT% Flynn Robinson Milwaukee Bucks .898

NBA awards[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar before the 1971–72 season.[1]


  1. ^ "Basketball Star Lew Alcindor Changes Name to Kareem Jabbar". The Morning Record. September 17, 1971. p. 14. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "Division Standings". 1969–70 NBA Season Summary. Basketball Reference. Retrieved 24 August 2018.