1987–88 NBA season
|1987–88 NBA season|
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Duration||Nov 6, 1987 – Apr 24, 1988
Apr 28 – Jun 4, 1988 (Playoffs)
Jun 7–21, 1988 (Finals)
|Number of teams||23|
|TV partner(s)||CBS, TBS|
|Top draft pick||David Robinson
(didn't play until 89–90 season)
|Picked by||San Antonio Spurs|
|Top seed||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Season MVP||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Top scorer||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Eastern champions||Detroit Pistons|
|Eastern runners-up||Boston Celtics|
|Western champions||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Western runners-up||Dallas Mavericks|
|Champions||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Finals MVP||James Worthy (L.A. Lakers)|
The 1987–88 NBA season was the 42nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their second straight Championship, beating the Detroit Pistons in seven hard fought games in the NBA Finals, becoming the NBA's first repeat champions since the Boston Celtics did it in the 1968–69 NBA season.
|Team||1986–87 coach||1987–88 coach|
|Dallas Mavericks||Dick Motta||John MacLeod|
|Phoenix Suns||Dick Van Arsdale||John Wetzel|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Don Nelson||Del Harris|
|New York Knicks||Bob Hill||Rick Pitino|
|Sacramento Kings||Jerry Reynolds||Bill Russell|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Don Chaney||Gene Shue|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Golden State Warriors||George Karl||Ed Gregory|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Matt Guokas||Jim Lynam|
|New Jersey Nets||Dave Wohl||Bob MacKinnon|
|Bob MacKinnon||Willis Reed|
|Sacramento Kings||Bill Russell||Jerry Reynolds|
|Washington Bullets||Kevin Loughery||Wes Unseld|
- The 1988 NBA All-Star Game was played at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, with the East defeating the West 138–133. Local hero Michael Jordan steals the show during the week-end, taking home the game's MVP award, after winning the slam dunk contest earlier in the week.
- Michael Jordan becomes the only player in NBA history to win both the scoring title and Defensive Player of the Year honors. He is also the only player in NBA history to combine these awards with the season's Most Valuable Player award.
- James Worthy records the first ever Game Seven triple double as he records 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
- The league awards expansion franchises to Charlotte, Miami, Minneapolis, and Orlando. The Charlotte and Miami franchises would debut in the 1988–89 NBA season, while Minneapolis and Orlando would begin play in the 1989–90 NBA season.
- The New Jersey Nets had 3 different head coaches during the season, a rare occurrence. Interestingly, the Indiana Pacers would have 4 different head coaches during the following season.
- The San Antonio Spurs are the last team in NBA history to lose 50 or more games in a season, and still make the playoffs.
- With the exception of a first round sweep of San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers played seven-game series the rest of the way. During the run, they overcame the Utah Jazz in the semifinals, the Dallas Mavericks in the conference finals, and the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. The Mavs' appearance in the conference finals was the team's first of three appearances.
- On January 5, 1988, Hall of Famer Pete Maravich died of a heart attack during a pickup game. He was 40 years old. The Utah Jazz subsequently honored him by sporting a patch containing his jersey No. 7.
- The Phoenix Suns mourned the loss of center Nick Vanos, killed in an airline crash on August 16, 1987. The Suns sported black circular patches with his jersey No. 30 on their uniforms for the season.
- The Detroit Pistons play their final season at Pontiac Silverdome.
- The Milwaukee Bucks play their final season at MECCA (Milwaukee Arena).
- The Sacramento Kings play their final season at ARCO Arena I.
- The Washington Bullets played the 1987–88 season with two players on opposite sides of the NBA height record: 7'7" Manute Bol, then the league's tallest player (tied with another former Bullet, Gheorghe Mureșan) and 5'3" Muggsy Bogues, the league's shortest player.
|x-New York Knicks||38||44||.463||19||29–12||9–32||10–14|
|New Jersey Nets||19||63||.232||38||16–25||3–38||6–18|
|x-San Antonio Spurs||31||51||.378||23||23–18||8–33||12–18|
|y-Los Angeles Lakers||62||20||.756||–||36–5||26–15||23–7|
|x-Portland Trail Blazers||53||29||.646||9||33–8||20–21||23–7|
|Golden State Warriors||20||62||.244||42||16–25||4–37||7–23|
|Los Angeles Clippers||17||65||.207||45||14–27||3–38||7–23|
|8||x-New York Knicks||38||44||.463||19|
|11||New Jersey Nets||19||63||.232||38|
|1||z-Los Angeles Lakers||62||20||.756||–|
|4||x-Portland Trail Blazers||53||29||.646||9|
|8||x-San Antonio Spurs||31||51||.378||31|
|11||Golden State Warriors||20||62||.244||42|
|12||Los Angeles Clippers||17||65||.207||45|
- z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
- c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
- y – Clinched division title
- x – Clinched playoff spot
Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.
|First Round||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
|Points per game||Michael Jordan||Chicago Bulls||35.0|
|Rebounds per game||Michael Cage||Los Angeles Clippers||13.0|
|Assists per game||John Stockton||Utah Jazz||13.8|
|Steals per game||Michael Jordan||Chicago Bulls||3.16|
|Blocks per game||Mark Eaton||Utah Jazz||3.71|
|FG%||Kevin McHale||Boston Celtics||.604|
|FT%||Jack Sikma||Milwaukee Bucks||.922|
|3FG%||Craig Hodges||Milwaukee Bucks||.492|
- Most Valuable Player: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- Rookie of the Year: Mark Jackson, New York Knicks
- Defensive Player of the Year: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- Sixth Man of the Year: Roy Tarpley, Dallas Mavericks
- Most Improved Player: Kevin Duckworth, Portland Trail Blazers
- Coach of the Year: Doug Moe, Denver Nuggets
- All-NBA First Team:
- All-NBA Second Team:
- All-NBA Rookie Team:
- NBA All-Defensive First Team:
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team:
Note: All information on this page was obtained on the History section on NBA.com
Player of the week
The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.
Player of the month
The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.
|November||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|December||Larry Nance (Phoenix Suns)|
|January||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|February||John Stockton (Utah Jazz)|
|March||Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)|
|April||Lafayette Lever (Denver Nuggets)|
Rookie of the month
The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.
|November||Mark Jackson (New York Knicks)|
|December||Mark Jackson (New York Knicks)|
|January||Armon Gilliam (Phoenix Suns)|
|February||Mark Jackson (New York Knicks)|
|March||Greg Anderson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|April||Kevin Johnson (Phoenix Suns)|
Coach of the month
The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.
|November||Doug Collins (Chicago Bulls)|
|December||Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons)|
|January||Wes Unseld (Washington Bullets)|
|February||Pat Riley (Los Angeles Lakers)|
|March||Doug Moe (Denver Nuggets)|
|April||Lenny Wilkens (Cleveland Cavaliers)|