Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BAA/NBA Lost Statistics

BAA/NBA LOST STATISTICS

During the early years of the BAA and NBA there were several years in which the final standings resulted in ties.  To break the ties and to determine playoff positions the tied teams engaged in single game tiebreaker playoffs.  The league, however, did not include the individual statistics from these games in either the regular-season totals or in the playoff totals. (see next paragraph.)  As a result, players such as George Mikan, Dolph Schayes are lacking points scored in NBA games from their career records.  For example, George Mikan scored 35 points in a March 21, 1950 tiebreaker game for first place and 13 points on March 16, 1956 in a second place tiebreaker game yet neither is included in either his regular-season or playoff totals in any of the various NBA encyclopedias and official guides.  Logically, they should be included in one of the two categories.  Major League Baseball treats tiebreakers as part of the regular season and I believe that the NBA should do the same.  

To show how inconsistent the NBA was in its early days, the 1952-53 season also had two sets of ties.  The Boston Celtics and Syracuse Nationals tied for second place in the Eastern Division and the Milwaukee Hawks and Indianapolis Olympians tied for fourth in the West.  The Nats defeated the Celtics 72-68 on March 17, 1953, one day after the end of their regular season and the Olympians defeated the Hawks 74-69 on March 18, 1953, one day after the end of their regular season. Both sets of games were added to the regular season totals and all individual statistics from those two games were incorporated into the regular season totals as well. 

Nine different teams took part in the other eight tiebreaker games during the league’s first 10 years with the Chicago Stags, Minneapolis Lakers and St. Louis Hawks each participating in three games, the Fort Wayne Pistons, two games and the Baltimore Bullets, New York Knickerbockers, Rochester Royals, Syracuse Nationals and Washington Capitols, one each. There were 108 different players who played in tiebreakers and whose individual statistics in those games have been lost.  Jack Coleman and Slater Martin each played in four tiebreakers, seven players played in three tiebreakers each and 19 players in two each.  Max Zaslofsky and Slater Martin each scored 59 points in tiebreakers, Bob Pettit had 51, George Mikan, 48, Clyde Lovellette 47, Jack McMahon 44, Cliff Hagan, 43, Ed Macauley, 42, Stan Miasek, 41 and Chuck Share, 40. Slater Martin fouled out of three of his four tiebreaker games, Ed Kalafat and Vern Mikkelsen were each disqualified twice in tiebreakers. Mikkelsen holds the career record for most disqualifications with 127 and if these tiebreaker games are included as regular season games that record should now be 129.  He also fouled out of two other regular season NBA games that were not included in the "official" statistics (in the 1954-55 season against the Baltimore Bullets) but that’s another story.

In the 1957-58 season the Cincinnati Royals and Detroit Pistons tied for second place in the Western Division with records of 33-39 but that year the NBA did the sensible thing and let the two teams have a coin flip to decide home court advantage.  Since that year the NBA has instituted various methods to break regular-season ties and as a result the NBA tiebreaker game is a thing of the past. 

Details of the ten tiebreaker games as found in newspaper box scores appear below.


TIEBREAKERS # 1 and 2 - 1947-48 SEASON

The Western Division in the 1947-48 BAA season ended in an unusual fashion. The first place team, St. Louis Bombers had a record of 29-19 while the other three teams - Baltimore Bullets, Chicago Stags and Washington Capitols all had records of 28-20.
Two tiebreaker games were played to determine which two of the three teams would be placed second and third and qualify for the post-season playoffs. Chicago played Washington in the first game and after the Capitols, played Baltimore in the next game.

March 23, 1948 @ Chicago, IL

WASHINGTON      FG FT FTA PF TP     CHICAGO        FG FT FTA PF TP
Irv Torgoff      3  4   6    10     Max Zaslofsky   9  6   8    24
Dick O’Keefe     0  1   2     1     Stan Miasek     4  4   6    12
John Norlander   3  1   1     7     Chuck Gilmur    2  6   7    10
John Mahnken     4  0   1     8     Jim Seminoff    6  1   4    13
Bones McKinney   1  2   3     4     Gene Vance      4  5   5    13
Bob Feerick      6  4   4    16     Marvin Rottner  1  0   0     2
Fred Scolari     7  2   3    16
Sonny Hertzberg  4  0   0     8
Jack Tingle      0  0   1     0
Totals          28 14  21    70     Totals         26 22 30     74

                1  2  3  4  T
WSC             ? 36 16 18 70
CHS             ? 32 27 15 74

March 25, 1948 @ Chicago, IL

BALTIMORE        FG FT FTA PF TP     CHICAGO         FG FT FTA PF TP
Carl Meinhold     3  0  0      6     Max Zaslofsky    6  9  11    21
Paul Hoffman      0  2  3      2     Stan Miasek      4  8  12    16
Grady Lewis       1  2  2      4     Marvin Rottner   1  0   0     2
Connie Simmons    3  4  4     10     Chuck Gilmur     3  2   5     8
Kleggie Hermsen   4  6  8     14     Paul Huston      2  0   0     4
Dick Schulz       4  5  5     13     Andy Phillip     3  2   4     8
Buddy Jeannette   2  8  9     12     Gene Vance       3  1   2     7
Chick Reiser      3  7  9     13     Jim Seminoff     3  0   1     6
?                 0  1  1      1     Ben Schadler     0  0   0     0
Totals           20 35 41     75     Totals          25 22  35    72


                1  2  3  4  T
BLB            10 21 17 27 75
CHS            17 15 21 19 72


TIEBREAKERS # 3 and 4 - 1949-50 SEASON

The Central Division of the 17-team 1950 NBA featured a tie between the Minneapolis Lakers and Rochester  Royals for first place at 51-17 each and also one for third place between the Fort Wayne Pistons and Chicago Stags at 40-28 each.  Although all four teams qualified for the post-season playoffs, the two tied pairs played tiebreakers to determine their final positions.  The Lakers won an additional $1,000 for their team by winning their tiebreaker and finishing first.

March 20, 1950 @ Fort Wayne, IN

FORT WAYNE      FG FT FTA PF TP     CHICAGO          FG FT FTA PF TP
Fred Schaus      8  4   6  2 20     Max Zaslofsky     4  6   7  3 14
Bob Carpenter    5  3   3  0 13     Joe Graboski      1  2   2  2  4
Bob Harris       4  4   5  3 12     Odie Spears       4  0   0  4  8
Jerry Nagel      0  0   0  0  0     Stan Miasek       5  3   4  3 13
Howie Schultz    1  3   6  2  5     George Nostrand   0  1   1  1  1
Ralph Johnson    2  2   2  4  6     Kleggie Hermsen   3  2   5  4  8
Curly Armstrong  0  2   2  3  2     Frank Kudelka     0  3   7  5  3
Duane Klueh      4  1   2  1  9     Kenny Rollins     1  0   0  1  2
Clint Wager      0  1   1  1  1     Andy Phillip      3  2   2  3  8
Jack Kerris      3  6   6  3 12     Leo Barnhorst     4  0   0  4  8
John Oldham      2  2   3  4  6     Joe Bradley       0  0   0  1  0
Totals          29 28  36 23 86     Totals           25 19  28 31 69

               1  2   3   4  T
FTW              46         86
CHS              35         69

March 21 1950 @ Rochester, NY

ROCHESTER      FG FT FTA PF TP     MINNEAPOLIS     FG FT FTA PF TP
Bob Davies     10  6   6  3 26     Vern Mikkelsen   3  6   7  4 12
Red Holzman     5  2   3  1 12     Arnie Ferrin     1  2   2  5  4
Pep Saul        0  1   1  0  1     Jim Pollard      3  3   3  2  9
Bill Calhoun    3  0   1  2  6     Tony Jaros       2  0   0  1  4
Arnie Risen     3  2   5  3  8     George Mikan    13  9  12  3 35
Ed Mikan        2  0   0  1  4     Bob Harrison     0  0   0  0  0
Arnie Johnson   1  1   1  5  3     Slater Martin    1  0   0  6  2
Jack Coleman    2  0   1  6  4     Herm Schaefer    5  2   2  3 12
Bobby Wanzer    2  7   8  0 11     
Fran Curran     0  1   1  1  1
Totals         28 20  27 22 76     Totals          28 22  26 24 78

                1  2  3  4  T
MPL               36       78
ROC               43       76

Notes - Tony Jaros hit a 40 foot set shot with two seconds remaining to win the game.
Attendance - 4,310 standing room only


TIEBREAKERS # 5 and 6 - 1952-53 SEASON

There were two ties for position in the 1952-53 season.  The Boston Celtics and Syracuse Nationals both finished the Eastern Division with records of 46-24 and were tied for second place.  The Milwaukee Hawks and Indianapolis Olympians tied for fourth place in the Western Division with records of 27-43. That year the top four teams in each division competed in the post-season playoffs so the Hawks-Olympians game determined which team of the two would make the playoffs. The Celtics-Nats game on the other hand only decided which team would receive the $1,500 second place team bonus money and home court advantage since the first round of the playoffs that year was contested between the first and fourth place teams and second and third place teams and the Celtics and Nats would meet in the playoffs regardless of the outcome of their tiebreaker.

In 1952-53, the NBA decided to include the tiebreaker games as part of their regular season statistics so that the NBA “official” statistics for the season show the Knicks with a first place record of 47-23, the Nats only one-half game behind at 47-24 and the Celtics at 46-25.  The NBA Official Guides and various basketball encyclopedias don’t even mention the fact that the regular season ended in a tie. All individual stats from the tiebreakers that season are also included with the regular season statistics.

March 17, 1953 @ Syracuse, NY (Syracuse Coliseum)

SYRACUSE         FG FT FTA PF TP     BOSTON        FG FT FTA PF TP
Dolph Schayes     6 11  15  3 23     Chuck Cooper   1  2   3  6  4
Bill Gabor        2  4   6  4  8     Bob Brannum    2  0   0  6  4   
Earl Lloyd        1  1   2  4  3     Bob Harris     3  7  10  5 13
Red Rocha         2  0   0  4  4     Ed Macauley    3  9  10  2 15
Noble Jorgensen   2  4   7  4  8     John Mahnken   0  0   0  1  0
Paul Seymour      4  9   9  4 17     Bob Cousy      5  6   9  6 16
George King       1  5   6  5  7     Bill Sharman   5  4   5  5 14
Wally Osterkorn   1  0   0  3  2     Bob Donham     1  0   0  4  2
Totals           19 34  45 31 72     Totals        20 28  37 35 68

                 1  2  3  4  T
SYR             19 16 14 23 72
BOS             16 17 21 14 68

Notes - Attendance 2,834
Officials - Arnie Heft and Joe Serafin
Schayes - 21 rebounds, 4 assists
Red Auerbach fined for "verbally attacking League President Maurice Podoloff outside the dressing room after the game.  The fine must be paid before the next game otherwise Auerbach will be banned from the bench."

March 18, 1953 @ Milwaukee, WI (Pius XI High School)

INDIANAPOLIS   FG FT FTA PF TP     MILWAUKEE         FG FT FTA PF TP
Leo Barnhorst   8  0   5  1 16     Jack Nichols       5  2   5  6 12
Bob Lavoy       2  1   2  6  5     George Ratkovicz   6  2   3  3 14
Mel Payton      1  1   2  1  3     Mel Hutchins       5  3   3  6 13
Bob Zawoluk     1  0   3  5  2     Bill Calhoun       4  5   7  2 13
Joe Graboski    4  7   8  4 15     John Payak         0  4   7  4  4
Paul Walther    2  6   7  6 10     Stan Miasek        1  0   1  3  2
Bill Tosheff    5  8   9  5 18     Al Masino          1  2   4  6  4
Gene Rhodes     1  3   3  0  5     Dillard Crocker    2  2   3  5  6
                                   Bucky McConnell    0  1   1  2  1
Totals         24 26  39 28 74     Totals            24 21  34 37 69

                 1  2  3  4  T
INO             16 18 14 26 74
MLH             19 12 17 21 69

Notes - Officials - Charley Eckman and Bill Biebel


TIEBREAKERS # 7 and 8 - 1955-56 SEASON

In the 1955-56 NBA season the New York Knickerbockers and Syracuse Nationals finished tied for third place in the Eastern Division with records of 35-37.  Since only the top three teams qualified for the post-season playoffs the Knicks and Nats played a tiebreaker to determine which of them would continue in the playoffs.  In the Western Division the Minneapolis Lakers and St. Louis Hawks tied for second place with records of 33-39 (both less than the Knicks and Nats.)  Although both the Lakers and Hawks qualified for the post-season playoffs they nonetheless played a tiebreaker to determine which of them would receive home court advantage in the best-of-three first round of the playoffs.

March 15, 1956 @ Syracuse, NY

NEW YORK        FG FT FTA PF TP     SYRACUSE       FG FT FTA PF TP
Harry Gallatin   5  9  11  3 19     Dolph Schayes   6  2   3  6 14
Kenny Sears      6  6   8  4 18     Red Rocha       2  2   2  2  6
Ray Felix        3  3   8  5  9     Jim Tucker      3  0   0  3  6
Carl Braun       3  2   6  3  8     Ed Conlin       3  5   7  3 11
Jim Baechtold    0  1   1  1  1     John Kerr       6  0   4  3 12
Gene Shue        1  1   1  1  3     Earl Lloyd      3  0   0  4  6
Dick McGuire     2  0   1  5  4     Paul Seymour    2  4   6  3  8
Nat Clifton      6  3   5  4 15     George King     4  3   6  3 11
                                    Dick Farley     2  0   2  1  4
                                    Billy Kenville  1  2   2  0  4
Totals          26 25  41 26 77     Totals         32 18  32 28 82

                1  2  3  4  T
NYK            19 21 21 16 77
SYR            17 27 20 18 82

Notes - The game was played on a Thursday afternoon on a court laid down over ice since the Ice Capades were scheduled for that evening.
Attendance - 3,951
Officials - Sid Borgia, Mendy Rudolph

March 16, 1956 @ St. Louis, MO

MINNEAPOLIS       FG FT FTA PF  TP     ST. LOUIS      FG FT FTA PF TP
Vern Mikkelsen     4  3   5  6  11     Bob Pettit      7  8  16  3 22
Dick Schnittker    4  6   6  4  14     Jack Coleman    6  2   3  1 14
Lew Hitch          0  0   0  1   0     Alex Hannum     3  0   2  5  6
Ed Kalafat         1  1   1  6   3     Chuck Share     6  9  17  5 21
Clyde Lovellette   6  5   7  6  17     Med Park        1  0   2  0  2
George Mikan       4  5   7  2  13     Jack McMahon    3  1   2  3  7
Whitey Skoog       4  2   2  5  10     Bob Harrison    0  1   3  4  1
Slater Martin      9 10  13  6  28     Bob Schafer     1  0   0  1  2
Chuck Mencel       1  5   6  0   7     Jack Stephens   2  2   4  6  6
Dick Garmaker      0  0   0  1   0     Al Ferrari      4  8  12  6 16
Totals            33 37  47 37 103     Totals         33 31  61 34 97

               1  2  3  4   T
MPL           27 25 29 22 103
STL           33 19 17 28  97


TIEBREAKERS # 9 and 10 - 1956-57 SEASON

The 1956-57 NBA regular season finished in an unusual way. In the Eastern Division, the New York Knickerbockers finished in fourth place with a record of 36-36 and did not qualify for the post-season playoffs. In the Western Division, the St. Louis Hawks, Minneapolis Lakers and Fort Wayne Pistons all finished with records of 34-38, worse than the Knicks yet all three qualified for the playoffs.  However, to determine the final placing and consequent playoff matchups two tiebreaker games were held.  Minneapolis drew a bye for the first game and the Hawks received the home court for both tiebreakers since they won 8 of 12 games from both the Pistons and Lakers during the season.

March 14, 1957 @ St. Louis, MO

FORT WAYNE      FG FT FTA PF  TP     ST. LOUIS      FG FT FTA PF  TP
George Yardley   7 12      3  26     Bob Pettit      5  3      5  13
Mel Hutchins     4  5      3  13     Ed Macauley     6  6      5  18
Red Rocha        0  0      1   0     Jack Coleman    3  0      2   6
Bill Thieben     2  0      0   4     Chuck Share     2  6      2  10
Larry Foust      8  4      6  20     Jack McMahon   11  2      2  24
Bob Houbregs     3  4      2  10     Slater Martin   7  3      5  17
Billy Kenville   0  0      0   0     Cliff Hagan     6  3      5  15
Gene Shue        7  8      2  22     Med Park        4  4      3  12
Chuck Noble      1  0      4   2
Corky Devlin     2  2      2   6
Totals          34 35  43 23 103     Totals         44 27  36 29 115

               1  2  3  4   T
FTW           29 18 33 23 103
STL           21 45 24 25 115


March 16 1957 @ St. Louis, MO

MINNEAPOLIS       FG FT FTA PF  TP     ST. LOUIS      FG FT FTA PF  TP
Vern Mikkelsen     5  0      6  10     Bob Pettit      6  4      2  16
Dick Schnittker    1  8      2  10     Jack Coleman    3  1      4   7
Jim Paxson         1  2      1   4     Ed Macauley     5 14      4  24
Ed Kalafat         3  2      6   8     Cliff Hagan    11  6      4  28
Clyde Lovellette  11  8      1  30     Chuck Share     4  1      4   9
Walter Dukes       2  0      6   4     Alex Hannum     0  0      2   0
Bob Leonard        4  9      1  17     Irv Bemoras     0  1      0   1
Dick Garmaker      8  6      6  22     Jack McMahon    5  3      6  13
Chuck Mencel       2  2      2   6     Med Park        1  2      5   4
                                       Slater Martin   5  2      6  12
Totals            37 37  54 31 111     Totals         40 34  46 37 114

              1  2  3  4 OT   T
MPL          19 24 29 28 11 111
STL          22 21 27 30 14 114 

Notes - Fight between McMahon and Leonard but neither ejected.
Pettit played with a fractured left wrist in a cast.
Hawks won $4,000 first place money and bye in first round of Western Division Playoffs
Attendance - 3, 500 est.
National television - NBC - 2 pm. start

1 comment:

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