Thursday, 23 May 2024

Season Review: 1959-60

The 1959-60 NBA season was marked by the dominance of the Boston Celtics and the emergence of rookie sensation Wilt Chamberlain with the Philadelphia Warriors. In this season review, we take a closer look at the key highlights, standout performances, and the Celtics’ path to their second straight championship.

Dominance of the Celtics

The Celtics were unstoppable throughout the season, setting a record by winning 59 games. Led by coach Red Auerbach, the team had built a dynasty piece by piece, adding talented players such as Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and Bill Sharman. Their emphasis on team play and Auerbach’s eye for talent made them one of the greatest teams in sports history.

Wilt Chamberlain’s Impact

However, the season was also defined by the incredible individual dominance of Wilt Chamberlain. Standing at 7-foot-1 and weighing nearly 275 pounds, Chamberlain towered over his opponents. In his rookie season, he not only won the Rookie of the Year award but also claimed the Most Valuable Player title. Chamberlain led the league in scoring with 37.6 points per game and rebounding with 27.0 rebounds per game. His scoring prowess was evident as he scored 50 or more points in seven games.

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Celtics vs. Warriors

Despite Chamberlain’s remarkable performance, the Celtics proved to be the superior team. In the Eastern Division finals, the Celtics defeated the Warriors in six games. Although Chamberlain had more points and rebounds than Russell in their head-to-head matchups, Russell’s Celtics consistently outperformed Chamberlain’s teams. Chamberlain would go on to win two titles in his career, while Russell won an astounding 11 championships.

Playoffs and Finals

In the playoffs, the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the Syracuse Nationals in the Eastern Division semifinals. The Minneapolis Lakers emerged victorious in the Western Division semifinals against the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics faced off against the Warriors in the Eastern Division finals, while the St. Louis Hawks took on the Lakers in the Western Division finals. Eventually, the Celtics triumphed over the Hawks in a thrilling seven-game series to claim their second consecutive championship.

Season Leaders and Award Winners

Wilt Chamberlain topped the league in scoring with 37.6 points per game, while Bob Cousy of the Celtics led in assists with 9.5 per game. Chamberlain also dominated the boards, averaging 27.0 rebounds per game. Kenny Sears of the New York Knicks had the highest field goal percentage at 47.7%, and Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals led in free throw percentage with 89.3%.

Chamberlain’s stellar performance earned him both the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards. He also showcased his skills in the All-Star Game, winning the MVP title.

FAQs

Q: Who were the standout players in the 1959-60 NBA season?
A: The standout players of the season were Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors and the Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell. Chamberlain’s extraordinary scoring and rebounding abilities caught the league’s attention, while Russell’s leadership and defensive prowess played a crucial role in the Celtics’ success.

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Q: How many championships did the Boston Celtics win in the 1950s and 1960s?
A: The Boston Celtics won a total of eight championships in the 1950s and 1960s. Their unparalleled success during this period solidified their status as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

Summary

The 1959-60 NBA season was a testament to the dominance of the Boston Celtics and the remarkable talent of Wilt Chamberlain. While the Celtics continued their winning tradition, the league witnessed the rise of a new force in Chamberlain. The season was filled with memorable performances, thrilling playoffs, and remarkable individual achievements. As the Celtics claimed their second consecutive championship, Chamberlain made his mark on the league and laid the foundation for an illustrious career.