1970–71 Cleveland Cavaliers season

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1970–71 Cleveland Cavaliers season
Head coachBill Fitch
ArenaCleveland Arena
Results
Record15–67 (.183)
PlaceDivision: 4th (Central)
Conference: 8th (Eastern)
Playoff finishDid Not Qualify

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionWEWS-TV
RadioWERE
1971–72 >

The 1970–71 Cleveland Cavaliers season was the inaugural season of NBA basketball in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers finished the season with a 15–67 record in their first season, finishing last in the Central Division and Eastern Conference. John Johnson was named an All-Star, the first in franchise history.

Key Dates:

Offseason[edit]

Expansion Draft[edit]

  • As an expansion (first year) franchise, the Cavaliers chose 11 players from other NBA teams in the 'expansion draft.'
Player Position Team
Butch Beard Guard Atlanta Hawks
Len Chappell Center Milwaukee Bucks
Johnny Egan Guard L.A. Lakers
Bobby Lewis Guard San Francisco Warriors
McCoy McLemore Center Detroit Pistons
Don Ohl Guard Atlanta Hawks
Walt Wesley Center Chicago Bulls
Loy Petersen Guard Chicago Bulls
Luther Rackley Center Cincinnati Royals
Bingo Smith Guard San Diego Rockets
John Warren Guard New York Knickerbockers

[1]

Free agents[edit]

Trades[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 7 John Johnson Forward  United States Iowa
2 26 Dave Sorenson Forward  United States Ohio State
3 41 Surry Oliver Guard  United States Stephen F. Austin
4 60 Glen Vidnovic Forward  United States Iowa
5 75 Wayne Sokolowski Forward  United States Ashland
6 94 Joe Cooke Guard  United States Indiana
7 109 Narvis Anderson Forward  United States Stephen F. Austin
8 128 Walt Robertson Forward  United States Loyola University Chicago
9 143 Tom Lagodich Guard  United States Kent State
10 162 Ken Johnson Forward  United States Indiana

Roster[edit]

1970–71 Cleveland Cavaliers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
SG 10 Cooke, Joe 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Aug. 14, 1948 Indiana
PF 23 Freeman, Gary 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Jul. 25, 1948 Oregon State
SF 32 Johnson, John 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Oct. 18, 1947 Iowa
SG 5 Lewis, Bobby 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Mar. 20, 1945 North Carolina
PF 30 Mikan, Larry 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Apr. 8, 1948 Minnesota
C 45 Rackley, Luther 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Jun. 11, 1946 Xavier
PF 15 Sorenson, Dave 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Jul. 8, 1948 Ohio State
G/F 7 Smith, Bingo 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Feb. 26, 1946 Tulsa
C 40 Suiter, Gary 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Jan. 18, 1945 Midwestern State
SG 11 Warren, John 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Jul. 7, 1947 St. John's
PG 17 Washington, Bobby 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Jul. 11, 1947 Eastern Kentucky
C 44 Wesley, Walt 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Jan. 25, 1945 Kansas
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Central Division
Team W L PCT. GB Home Away Neutral Div.
Baltimore Bullets 42 40 .512 24–13 16–25 2–2 10–6
Atlanta Hawks 36 46 .439 6 21–20 14–26 1–0 9–7
Cincinnati Royals 33 49 .402 9 17–16 11–28 5–5 12–6
Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 .183 27 11–30 2–37 2–0 1–13

[2]

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1970–71 NBA Records
Team ATL BAL BOS BUF CHI CIN CLE DET LAL MIL NYK PHI PHO POR SDR SFW SEA
Atlanta 3–3 2–4 3–1 1–4 2–4 4–0 0–5 3–2 1–4 3–3 4–2 1–4 2–2 2–3 2–3 3–2
Baltimore 3–3 3–3 3–1 2–3 3–3 4–0 2–3 2–3 1–4 2–4 3–3 3–2 2–2 4–1 2–3 3–2
Boston 4–2 3–3 4–0 4–1 4–2 3–1 2–3 3–2 0–5 0–6 4–2 2–3 2–2 3–2 3–2 3–2
Buffalo 1–3 1–3 0–4 0–4 0–4 5–7 1–5 2–2 0–4 2–2 0–4 1–3 6–6 1–3 1–3 1–3
Chicago 4–1 3–2 1–4 4–0 4–0 4–0 3–3 2–4 1–5 3–2 3–2 3–3 3–1 6–0 4–2 3–2
Cincinnati 4–2 3–3 2–4 4–0 0–4 5–1 1–4 1–4 1–4 2–4 1–5 1–4 4–0 1–3 2–3 1–4
Cleveland 0–4 0–4 1–3 7–5 0–4 1–5 2–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 1–3 0–4 2–10 0–4 1–3 0–4
Detroit 5–0 3–2 3–2 5–1 3–3 4–1 2–2 2–3 1–5 2–3 2–3 2–4 3–1 4–2 1–4 3–1
Los Angeles 2–3 3–2 2–3 2–2 4–2 4–1 4–0 3–2 1–4 3–2 3–2 2–4 4–0 3–3 4–2 4–2
Milwaukee 4–1 4–1 5–0 4–0 5–1 4–1 4–0 5–1 4–1 1–4 4–1 4–2 3–1 4–1 6–0 5–1
New York 3–3 4–2 6–0 2–2 2–3 4–2 4–0 3–2 2–3 4–1 2–4 4–1 3–1 4–1 3–2 2–3
Philadelphia 2–4 3–3 2–4 4–0 2–3 5–1 3–1 3–2 2–3 1–4 4–2 3–2 4–0 3–2 3–2 3–2
Phoenix 4–1 2–3 3–2 3–1 3–3 4–1 4–0 4–2 4–2 2–4 1–4 2–3 4–0 2–4 3–2 3–2
Portland 2–2 2–2 2–2 6–6 1–3 0–4 10–2 1–3 0–4 1–3 1–3 0–4 0–4 0–4 1–3 2–4
San Diego 3–2 1–4 2–3 3–1 0–6 3–1 4–0 2–4 3–3 1–4 1–4 2–3 4–2 4–0 2–4 5–1
San Francisco 3–2 3–2 2–3 3–1 2–4 3–2 3–1 4–1 2–4 0–6 2–3 2–3 2–3 3–1 4–2 3–3
Seattle 2–3 2–3 2–3 3–1 2–3 4–1 4–0 1–3 2–4 1–5 3–2 2–3 2–3 4–2 1–5 3–3

Game log[edit]

October[edit]

Record: 0–9 ; Home: 0–2 ; Road: 0–7

# Date H/A/N Opponent W/L Score Record
1 October 14 A Buffalo Braves L 92–107 0–1
2 October 16 A Portland Trail Blazers L 112–115 0–2
3 October 17 A San Francisco Warriors L 108–128 0–3 at Oakland, California
4 October 20 A Portland Trail Blazers L 98–120 0–4
5 October 22 A San Diego Rockets L 110–140 0–5
6 October 23 A Phoenix Suns L 104–108 0–6
7 October 25 A Los Angeles Lakers L 96–123 0–7
8 October 28 H San Diego Rockets L 99–110 0–8
9 October 30 H Cincinnati Royals L 110–125 0–9

November[edit]

Record: 1–17 ; Home: 0–8 ; Road: 1–9

# Date H/A/N Opponent W/L Score Record
10 November 1 H Atlanta Hawks L 107–130 0–10
11 November 2 A Philadelphia 76ers L 87–141 0–11
12 November 4 H Milwaukee Bucks L 108–110 0–12
13 November 7 A Buffalo Braves L 91–103 0–13
14 November 8 H Seattle SuperSonics L 105–111 0–14
15 November 10 A San Francisco Warriors L 74–109 0–15
16 November 12 A Portland Trail Blazers W 105–103 1–15
17 November 13 A Seattle SuperSonics L 91–111 1–16
18 November 14 A Portland Trail Blazers L 110–125 1–17
19 November 16 A Baltimore Bullets L 86–98 1–18
20 November 18 H Baltimore Bullets L 98–111 1–19
21 November 20 A Boston Celtics L 112–116 1–20
22 November 21 A New York Knicks L 94–102 1–21
23 November 22 H Phoenix Suns L 99–114 1–22
24 November 25 H San Francisco Warriors L 99–108 1–23
25 November 27 H Portland Trail Blazers L 102–111 1–24
26 November 28 A Cincinnati Royals L 86–105 1–25
27 November 29 H Detroit Pistons L 99–120 1–26

December[edit]

Record: 4–13 ; Home: 4–6 ; Road: 0–7

# Date H/A/N Opponent W/L Score Record
28 December 4 H Boston Celtics L 107–118 1–27
29 December 6 H Buffalo Braves W 108–106 2–27
30 December 9 H Portland Trail Blazers L 102–109 2–28
31 December 11 A Milwaukee Bucks L 92–134 2–29
32 December 12 A Cincinnati Royals L 95–114 2–30
33 December 13 H San Diego Rockets L 95–118 2–31
34 December 15 A New York Knicks L 92–110 2–32
35 December 16 H New York Knicks L 84–108 2–33
36 December 18 A Buffalo Braves L 94–113 2–34
37 December 19 H Buffalo Braves W 123–112 3–34
38 December 20 H Chicago Bulls L 103–116 3–35
39 December 22 A Chicago Bulls L 80–121 3–36
40 December 25 A Cincinnati Royals L 100–117 3–37
41 December 26 H Buffalo Braves W 120–107 4–37
42 December 27 H Philadelphia 76ers W 114–101 5–37
43 December 29 H Milwaukee Bucks L 97–119 5–38
44 December 31 A Atlanta Hawks L 85–119 5–39

January[edit]

Record: 5–9 ; Home: 4–4 ; Road: 0–5 ; Neutral: 1–0:

# Date H/A/N Opponent W/L Score Record
45 January 1 H Baltimore Bullets L 105–128 5–40
46 January 2 A Milwaukee Bucks L 73–118 5–41
47 January 4 H Portland Trail Blazers L 106–119 5–42
48 January 6 H New York Knicks L 94–127 5–43
49 January 7 H Los Angeles Lakers L 105–110 5–44
50 January 9 H Buffalo Braves W 111–89 6–44
51 January 14 A Detroit Pistons L 106–108 6–45
52 January 16 A Philadelphia 76ers L 96–115 6–46
53 January 19 N Buffalo Braves W 111–79 7–46 at Syracuse, New York
54 January 24 A Boston Celtics L 110–121 7–47
55 January 25 H Boston Celtics W 117–116 8–47
56 January 27 H Portland Trail Blazers W 118–104 9–47
57 January 29 A Atlanta Hawks L 111–119 9–48
58 January 31 H Buffalo Braves W 117–108 10–48

February[edit]

Record: 2–12 ; Home: 1–5 ; Road: 0–7 ; Neutral: 1–0

# Date H/A/N Opponent W/L Score Record
59 February 2 N Buffalo Braves W 101–91 11–48 at Rochester, New York
60 February 3 H Seattle SuperSonics L 95–98 11–49
61 February 5 A San Diego Rockets L 105–116 11–50
62 February 6 A Phoenix Suns L 91–119 11–51
63 February 7 A Portland Trail Blazers L 103–112 11–52
64 February 9 H Los Angeles Lakers L 111–116 11–53
65 February 12 H Phoenix Suns L 105–114 11–54
66 February 13 H Buffalo Braves L 106–111 11–55
67 February 14 A Chicago Bulls L 83–108 11–56
68 February 17 H Chicago Bulls L 104–109 11–57
69 February 19 H Cincinnati Royals W 125–109 12–57
70 February 21 A Portland Trail Blazers L 105–123 12–58
71 February 24 A Seattle SuperSonics L 101–123 12–59
72 February 28 A Los Angeles Lakers L 90–107 12–60

March[edit]

Record: 3–7 ; Home: 2–5 ; Road: 1–2

# Date H/A/N Opponent W/L Score Record
73 March 6 A Buffalo Braves L 109–120 12–61
74 March 7 A Detroit Pistons W 104–100 13–61
75 March 9 H Philadelphia 76ers L 113–124 13–62
76 March 12 H Atlanta Hawks L 107–119 13–63
77 March 14 H Cincinnati Royals L 103–115 13–64
78 March 16 H San Francisco Warriors W 108–103 14–64
79 March 17 A Baltimore Bullets L 109–113 14–65
80 March 20 H Detroit Pistons W 114–103 15–65
81 March 21 H Portland Trail Blazers L 110–113 15–66
82 March 23 H Portland Trail Blazers L 112–114 15–67


1970–71 game log
Total: 15–67 (Home: 11–30; Road: 2–37, Neutral: 2–0)
1970–71 schedule

References[edit]