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NBA And NHL Semi-Final Notes

May 24, 2016

Only three of the eight teams in the current NHL and NBA semi-final round have ever won titles in their current city. The Oklahoma City Thunder did win an NBA crown as the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978-1979 season.

The defending champion Golden State Warriors , Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning have won titles while the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks in addition to the Thunder in Oklahoma City have not.

Only in 1969-1970 when two semi-finalists were from the expansion, third year NHL West have there been less, in that case two of the 8 semi-final teams, that had never “titled.” Two of the six that had not won it all, the Los Angeles Lakers (they have won 11 in L.A. since that time) and Atlanta Hawks had won titles in their previous cities.

The Lakers had won 5 titles under the great coach John Kundla, led by George Mikan and Jim Pollard, as the Minneapolis Lakers (there are many lakes around Minneapolis not the case in L.A.).

Meanwhile the Hawks, who have not won a title since and never as much as made the NBA finals, going (1-16) in semi-finals tilts as the Atlanta Hawks, won the 1958 NBA crown as the St. Louis Hawks coached by the great Alex Hannum and led by Bob Pettit. They made two subsequent finals appearances while in St. Louis, losing to great Boston Celtics’ teams each time.

That year, 1969-1970 had established NHL teams, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks in the semis but NHL West third year teams the St. Louis Blues, long defunct California Golden Seals and all 4 NBA semis teams, the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and aforementioned Lakers and Hawks had never won it all.

It is interesting that starting with that year’s New York Knicks’ title, 3 of the NBA teams sans title going into the 1970 playoffs won their first crown ever or at least in the current city in consecutive years, the Bucks in 1971 and Lakers in 1972.

My research shows that in 1994, 1998 and perhaps other years there were as few as three teams that had “titled” among the 8 semi-final teams in the NHL and NBA. From the NBA’s first season in (1946-1947) through the (1966-1967) season the NHL’s 6 teams all had won titles precluding the possibility of less than 4 teams that had won titles, in the combined NHL and NBA semi-final fields.

 

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4 Notes, 4 teams in semi-finals and music would have been and is a better way to go.

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