1968–69 New York Knicks season
|1968–69 New York Knicks season|
|Head coach||Red Holzman|
|General manager||Eddie Donovan|
|Arena||Madison Square Garden|
|Place||Division: 3rd (Eastern)|
East Division Finals|
Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
The 1968–69 New York Knicks season was the 23rd season for the team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Knicks finished third in the Eastern Division with a 54–28 regular season record, and qualified for the NBA Playoffs for the third straight year. In the first round of the playoffs, New York defeated the Baltimore Bullets in a four-game sweep to earn a berth in the Eastern Division Finals. The Knicks lost the division finals to the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics in six games. Willis Reed scored a team-best 21.1 points per game for the Knicks; Walt Frazier led the team with 7.9 assists per game and Reed averaged 14.5 rebounds per game.
The Knicks selected Bill Hosket, Jr. in the opening round of the 1968 NBA draft, and made a significant trade early in the season, acquiring Dave DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Walt Bellamy and Butch Komives. Author Harvey Araton called him "the player who would complete the championship puzzle in New York." After a 5–11 start to the season, New York went on a long winning streak, winning all but 2 of 19 games in one stretch that included 13 straight home wins. After a two-game losing streak, the Knicks won 11 consecutive games from January 25 to February 15 to bring their record to 44–21. The Knicks had two four-game winning streaks during the rest of the season, and ended with a 54–28 record. This mark placed them third in the Eastern Conference; only the Bullets and Philadelphia 76ers had superior records. New York saw an increase in attendance during the regular season; after having six sellouts in their entire history, the Knicks played to capacity crowds in 14 games at Madison Square Garden.
New York faced the Bullets, who had won 57 games in the regular season and held the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, in their first playoff round. The Knicks won the first two games by over 10 points each, and a pair of closer victories in games three and four eliminated Baltimore. They held home court advantage for their series with the Celtics, but lost it with a 108–100 loss in the first game. After losing two of the next three games, New York won game five to force a sixth game. However, Boston's Sam Jones posted 29 points to help the Celtics to a 106–105 win that ended the Knicks' season.
|1||10||Bill Hosket||F/C||United States||Ohio State|
|3||30||Don May||F/C||United States||Dayton|
|17||202||Milt Williams||G||United States||Lincoln (MO)|
|x-New York Knicks||54||28||.659||3||30–7||19–20||5–1||26–14|
- x – clinched playoff spot
Record vs. opponents
|1968–69 NBA records|
East Division Semifinals
- Game 1 @ Baltimore: New York 113, Baltimore 101
- Game 2 @ New York: New York 107, Baltimore 91
- Game 3 @ Baltimore: New York 119, Baltimore 116
- Game 4 @ New York: New York 115, Baltimore 108
East Division Finals
- Game 1 @ New York: Boston 108, New York 100
- Game 2 @ Boston: Boston 112, New York 97
- Game 3 @ New York: New York 101, Boston 91
- Game 4 @ Boston: Boston 97, New York 96
- Game 5 @ New York: New York 112, Boston 104
- Game 6 @ Boston: Boston 106, New York 105
Awards and records
- Willis Reed, All-NBA Second Team
- Dave DeBusschere, All-NBA Second Team
- Walt Frazier, NBA All-Defensive First Team
- Dave DeBusschere, NBA All-Defensive First Team
- "New York Knickerbockers Franchise Index". Basketball-Reference. Archived from the original on 24 April 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
- "1968–69 NBA Season Summary". Basketball-Reference. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
- "1968–69 New York Knicks Roster and Stats". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- "1968 NBA Draft". Basketball Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- Araton, Harvey (2011). When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks. New York City: HarperCollins. pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-0-06-195623-2.
- Araton, pp. 86, 90.
- "1968–69 New York Knicks Schedule and Results". Basketball Reference. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- Araton, pp. 95, 104.
- Araton, p. 95.
- Araton, pp. 97–98.
- "1968 NBA Draft". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "All-NBA & All-ABA Teams". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- "NBA & ABA All-Defensive Teams". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved August 3, 2013.