Friday, March 29, 2019

1953-54 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)

1953-54 MINNEAPOLIS LAKERS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Western Division
Finished: 46-26 .639, 1st place

Advanced in Western Division Round Robin
Division Finals - Defeated Rochester, 2-1
NBA Championship - Defeated Syracuse, 4-3

For the defending champions, this was not to be as easy a season as the past. Looking for a third-straight NBA championship and the fifth in six years, Coach John Kundla had mostly returning players from the previous season, with Clyde Lovellette from Kansas being the key addition. Lovellette had a decent rookie year, but he did not play like the player he was destined to become. The future Hall of Famer averaged just over eight points a game. The stacked Lakers' lineup, with Hall of Famer players Slater Martin, Jim Pollard, Vern Mikkelsen and George Mikan, found themselves in a good battle for first place most of the season, but finished in first place by two games. After advancing out of the Round Robin, they defeated Rochester in a hard-fought battle for the division crown and had the Nationals take them to seven games in the Finals before celebrating their third consecutive title. This was the end of the Lakers' glory years in Minneapolis. The 1954-55 season saw them slide into second place, and they would endure five losing seasons after that before relocating out west.
  • Head Coach:  John Kundla (July 13, 1916 - July 23, 2017)
PLAYERS:
  • Jim Fritsche (December 10, 1931 - February 28, 2019)
Biography

  • Bob Harrison (b. August 12, 1927)
Biography 

  • Jim Holstein (September 24, 1930 - December 16, 2007)
Biography

  • Clyde Lovellette (September 7, 1929 - March 9, 2016)
Biography 

  • Slater Martin (October 22, 1925 - October 18, 2012)
Biography

  • George Mikan (June 18, 1924 - June 1, 2005)
Biography

  • Vern Mikkelsen (October 21, 1928 - November 21, 2013)
Biography 

  • Jim Pollard (July 9, 1922 - January 22, 1993)
Biography

  • Pep Saul (February 16, 1924 - November 7, 2019)
Biography 

  • Dick Schnittker (b. May 27, 1928)
Biography

  • Whitey Skoog (November 2, 1926- April 4, 2019)
Biography


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