1978–79 Washington Bullets season

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1978–79 Washington Bullets season
Eastern Conference Champions
Head coach Dick Motta
Arena Capital Centre
Results
Record 54–28 (.659)
Place Division: 1st (Atlantic)
Conference: 1st (Eastern)
Playoff finish NBA Finals
(Eliminated 1–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television WDCA
Radio WJMD
< 1977–78 1979–80 >

The 1978–79 Washington Bullets won their 2nd consecutive Eastern Conference Championship, making it to the NBA Finals before losing to the Seattle SuperSonics. They finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA, at 54-28.

Coming off of their NBA Championship the previous season, the Bullets were transferred to the Atlantic Division.[1] The Bullets would continue to remain one of the top teams in the league, as they captured the Atlantic Division championship with a league best record of 54–28. The Bullets ended the regular season losing 8 of their last 11 games, but rebounded in the playoffs with victories in both the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Eastern Conference Finals over the Atlanta Hawks and the San Antonio Spurs, respectively.

Offseason[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

Round 1: Roger Phegley, Dave Corzine

Round 2: Terry Sykes (Never played in the NBA)

Round 4: Lawrence Boston

Roster[edit]

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Wes Unseld Dave Corzine
PF Elvin Hayes Mitch Kupchak
SF Bob Dandridge Greg Ballard
SG Kevin Grevey Charles Johnson Roger Phegley
PG Tom Henderson Larry Wright Phil Chenier

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Washington Bullets 54 28 .659 31–10 23–18 11–5
x-Philadelphia 76ers 47 35 .573 7 31–10 16–25 9–7
x-New Jersey Nets 37 45 .451 17 25–16 12–29 7–9
New York Knicks 31 51 .378 23 23–18 8–33 7–9
Boston Celtics 29 53 .354 25 21–20 8–33 6–10
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Washington Bullets 54 28 .659
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 48 34 .585 6
3 x-Philadelphia 76ers 47 35 .573 7
4 x-Houston Rockets 47 35 .573 7
5 x-Atlanta Hawks 46 36 .561 8
6 x-New Jersey Nets 37 45 .451 17
7 New York Knicks 31 51 .378 23
8 Cleveland Cavaliers 30 52 .366 24
8 Detroit Pistons 30 52 .366 24
10 Boston Celtics 29 53 .354 25
11 New Orleans Jazz 26 56 .317 28


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1978-79 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHI CLE DEN DET GSW HOU IND KCK LAL MIL NJN NOJ NYK PHI PHO POR SAS SDC SEA WAS
Atlanta 2–2 3–1 3–1 3–1 3–1 1–3 3–1 1–3 2–2 1–3 3–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–2
Boston 2–2 1–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–1 1–3 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–3 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–2 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–3 2–2 0–4
Chicago 1–3 2–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–3 4–0 0–3 0–4 0–4 1–3
Cleveland 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–2 1–3 2–1 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 2–2 2–2 0–4
Denver 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–1 2–2 4–0 1–3 3–1 1–3 3–1 2–2 4–0 3–1 3–1 0–3 3–1 1–3 3–1 2–2 3–1 1–3
Detroit 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–1 0–4 2–2 1–3 1–3 0–4 1–3 1–3 2–2 0–3 1–3
Golden State 3–1 1–2 1–3 1–2 0–4 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 3–1 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–1 2–2
Houston 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 3–1 2–1 2–2 3–1 4–0 4–0 0–4 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–1 2–2 2–2
Indiana 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 4–0 1–3 0–4 2–2 1–2 2–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 1–3 0–4 1–3
Kansas City 2–2 3–1 4–0 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–1 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–0
Los Angeles 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–2 4–0 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–0 1–3 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2
Milwaukee 0–3 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–3
New Jersey 2–2 3–1 2–2 1–3 0–4 4–0 3–1 1–3 2–1 1–3 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–0 2–2 0–4 2–2 0–4 1–3
New Orleans 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 0–4 1–2 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 0–4 0–3 0–4
New York 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–3 3–1 1–3 0–4 2–2 1–2 0–3 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–3
Philadelphia 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 3–0 3–1 1–3 4–0 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–2 3–1 3–1 1–3 3–1
Phoenix 1–2 4–0 3–1 4–0 1–3 4–0 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–3 3–1 4–0 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–3 1–3
Portland 2–2 3–1 0–4 4–0 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–1 1–3 2–1 2–2 1–3 3–1
San Antonio 1–3 4–0 3–0 4–0 1–3 3–1 3–1 1–3 1–3 3–1 2–2 3–1 4–0 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–2 4–0 2–2 1–3
San Diego 1–3 3–1 4–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 1–2 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 2–2 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–2 0–4 2–2 0–3
Seattle 3–1 2–2 4–0 2–2 1–3 3–0 1–3 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 4–0 3–0 2–2 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 2–2
Washington 2–2 4–0 3–1 4–0 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–3 2–2 3–1 3–1 4–0 3–1 1–3 3–1 1–3 3–1 3–0 2–2

Season Schedule[edit]

Player stats[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; REB= Rebounds; AST= Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; AVG = Average

Player GP REB AST STL BLK PTS AVG

Playoffs[edit]

East First Round[edit]

The Bullets had a first round bye.

East Conference Semifinals[edit]

In the conference semifinal round of the playoffs, the Bullets needed 7 games to beat the Atlanta Hawks. The Bullets nearly lost the series as they had a 3–1 series lead.[1]

(1) Washington Bullets vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks: Bullets win series 4–3

  • Game 1 @ Washington: Washington 103, Atlanta 89
  • Game 2 @ Washington: Atlanta 107, Washington 99
  • Game 3 @ Atlanta: Washington 89, Atlanta 77
  • Game 4 @ Atlanta: Washington 120, Atlanta 118 (OT)
  • Game 5 @ Washington: Atlanta 107, Washington 103
  • Game 6 @ Atlanta: Atlanta 104, Washington 86
  • Game 7 @ Washington: Washington 100, Atlanta 94

East Conference Finals[edit]

In the Eastern Finals, the Bullets would find themselves down 3 games to 1 facing the San Antonio Spurs. The Bullets would rally to win the next 2 games and force a 7th game at home. In Game 7 the Bullets would rally again. They overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Spurs 107–105.[1]

(1) Washington Bullets vs. (2) San Antonio Spurs: Bullets win series 4–3

  • Game 1 @ Washington: San Antonio 118, Washington 97
  • Game 2 @ Washington: Washington 115, San Antonio 95
  • Game 3 @ San Antonio: San Antonio 116, Washington 114
  • Game 4 @ San Antonio: San Antonio 118, Washington 102
  • Game 5 @ Washington: Washington 107, San Antonio 103
  • Game 6 @ San Antonio: Washington 108, San Antonio 100
  • Game 7 @ Washington: Washington 107, San Antonio 105

NBA Finals[edit]

The triumph would set up a rematch with the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA Finals. In the Finals, the Bullets would squeak out a close victory in Game 1 by a score of 99–97. However, the Sonics would rally to win the next 4 and take the series in 5 games.[1]

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 May 20 Washington 99–97 Seattle
Game 2 May 24 Washington 82–92 Seattle
Game 3 May 27 Seattle 105–95 Washington
Game 4 May 29 Seattle 114–112 Washington
Game 5 June 1 Washington 93–97 Seattle

SuperSonics win series 4–1

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]