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Eastern Division
LeagueNational Basketball Association
SportBasketball
Inaugural season1946–47 BAA season
Ceased1969–70 NBA season
Replaced byEastern Conference
Championships
Last champion(s)New York Knicks (3rd title) (1970)
Most titlesBoston Celtics (9 titles)

The Eastern Division was a division in the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and its forerunner National Basketball Association (NBA). The division was created at the start of the 1946–47 BAA season,[1] when the league was created, and was then kept as one of the divisions when BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to create the NBA on August 3, 1949.[2] The division existed until the 1970–71 NBA season when the NBA expanded from 14 to 17 teams and realigned into the Eastern and Western conferences with two divisions each.[3]

Teams

Team City Year From Year To Current division
Joined Left
Baltimore Bullets (original) Baltimore, Maryland 1948 Western Division 1954 Folded
Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) Baltimore, Maryland 1966 Western Division 1970 Central Division Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics Boston, Massachusetts 1946 § 1970 Atlantic Division Atlantic Division
Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) Cincinnati, Ohio 1962 Western Division 1970 Central Division Pacific Division
Detroit Pistons Detroit, Michigan 1967 Western Division 1970 Midwest Division Central Division
Milwaukee Bucks Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1968 dagger 1970 Midwest Division Central Division
New York Knicks New York City, New York 1946 § 1970 Atlantic Division Atlantic Division
Syracuse Nationals (19491963)
Philadelphia 76ers (1963–present)
Syracuse, New York
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1949 —* 1970 Atlantic Division Atlantic Division
Philadelphia Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1946 § 1962 Western Division Pacific Division
Providence Steamrollers Providence, Rhode Island 1946 § 1949 Folded
Toronto Huskies Toronto, Ontario 1946 § 1947 Folded
Washington Capitols Washington, D.C. 1946
1948
§ 1947
1951
Western Division
Folded
Notes

Team timeline

Milwaukee BucksDetroit PistonsBaltimore Bullets (1963–1973)Cincinnati RoyalsSyracuse NationalsBaltimore Bullets (1944–1954)Washington CapitolsToronto HuskiesProvidence SteamrollersPhiladelphia WarriorsNew York KnicksBoston Celtics

Division champions

^ Had or tied for the best regular season record for that season
Season Team Record Playoffs result
1946–47 Washington Capitols^ 49–11 (.817) Lost Semifinals
1947–48 Philadelphia Warriors 27–21 (.563) Lost BAA Finals
1948–49 Washington Capitols 38–22 (.633) Lost BAA Finals
1949–50 Syracuse Nationals^ 51–13 (.797) Lost NBA Finals
1950–51 Philadelphia Warriors 40–26 (.606) Lost Division Semifinals
1951–52 Syracuse Nationals 40–26 (.606) Lost Division Finals
1952–53 New York Knicks 47–23 (.671) Lost NBA Finals
1953–54 New York Knicks 47–23 (.671) Lost Division Semifinals (round-robin)
1954–55 Syracuse Nationals^ 43–29 (.597) Lost Division Finals
1955–56 Philadelphia Warriors^ 45–27 (.625) Won NBA Finals
1956–57 Boston Celtics^ 44–28 (.611) Won NBA Finals
1957–58 Boston Celtics^ 49–23 (.681) Lost NBA Finals
1958–59 Boston Celtics^ 52–20 (.722) Won NBA Finals
1959–60 Boston Celtics^ 59–16 (.787) Won NBA Finals
1960–61 Boston Celtics^ 57–22 (.722) Won NBA Finals
1961–62 Boston Celtics^ 60–20 (.750) Won NBA Finals
1962–63 Boston Celtics^ 58–22 (.725) Won NBA Finals
1963–64 Boston Celtics^ 59–21 (.738) Won NBA Finals
1964–65 Boston Celtics^ 62–18 (.775) Won NBA Finals
1965–66 Philadelphia 76ers^ 55–25 (.688) Lost Division Finals
1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers^ 68–13 (.840) Won NBA Finals
1967–68 Philadelphia 76ers^ 62–20 (.756) Lost Division Finals
1968–69 Baltimore Bullets^ 57–25 (.695) Lost Division Semifinals
1969–70 New York Knicks^ 60–22 (.732) Won NBA Finals

Titles by team

Team Titles Season(s) won
Boston Celtics 9 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65
Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers 6 1949–50, 1951–52, 1954–55, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68
Philadelphia Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors) 3 1947–48, 1950–51, 1955–56
New York Knicks 3 1952–53, 1953–54, 1969–70
Washington Capitols 2 1946–47, 1948–49
Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) 1 1968–69

Season results

^ Denotes team that won the BAA/NBA championships
+ Denotes team that lost the BAA/NBA Finals
* Denotes team that qualified for the BAA/NBA playoffs
Season Team (record)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
  • 1946: the Eastern Division was formed with six inaugural members.
1946–47 Washington* (49–11) Philadelphia^ (35–25) New York* (33–27) Providence (28–32) Boston (22–38) Toronto (22–38)
1947–48 Philadelphia+ (27–21) New York* (26–22) Boston* (20–28) Providence (6–42)
  • 1948: the Washington Capitols re-joined the division, while the Baltimore Bullets joined from the Western Division.
1948–49 Washington+ (38–22) New York* (32–28) Baltimore* (29–31) Philadelphia* (28–32) Boston (25–35) Providence (12–48)
1949–50 Syracuse+ (51–13) New York* (40–28) Washington* (32–36) Philadelphia* (26–42) Baltimore (25–43) Boston (22–46)
1950–51 Philadelphia* (40–26) Boston* (39–30) New York+ (36–30) Syracuse* (32–34) Baltimore (24–42) Washington (10–25)
  • 1951: the Washington Capitols folded midway through the 1950–51 season.
1951–52 Syracuse* (40–26) Boston* (39–27) New York+ (37–29) Philadelphia* (33–33) Baltimore (20–46)
1952–53 New York+ (47–23) Syracuse* (47–24) Boston* (46–25) Baltimore* (16–54) Philadelphia (12–57)
1953–54 New York* (47–23) Boston* (42–30) Syracuse+ (42–30) Philadelphia (29–43) Baltimore (16–56)
  • 1954: the Baltimore Bullets folded during the 1954–55 season.
1954–55 Syracuse^ (43–29) New York* (38–34) Boston* (36–36) Philadelphia (33–39)
1955–56 Philadelphia^ (45–27) Boston* (39–33) Syracuse* (35–37) New York (35–37)
1956–57 Boston^ (44–28) Syracuse* (38–34) Philadelphia* (37–35) New York (36–36)
1957–58 Boston+ (49–23) Syracuse* (41–31) Philadelphia* (37–35) New York (35–37)
1958–59 Boston^ (52–20) New York* (40–32) Syracuse* (35–37) Philadelphia (32–40)
1959–60 Boston^ (59–16) Philadelphia* (49–26) Syracuse* (45–30) New York (27–48)
1960–61 Boston^ (57–22) Philadelphia* (46–33) Syracuse* (38–41) New York (21–58)
1961–62 Boston^ (60–20) Philadelphia* (49–31) Syracuse* (41–39) New York (29–51)
1962–63 Boston^ (58–22) Syracuse* (48–32) Cincinnati* (42–38) New York (21–59)
1963–64 Boston^ (59–21) Cincinnati* (55–25) Philadelphia* (34–46) New York (22–58)
1964–65 Boston^ (62–18) Cincinnati* (48–32) Philadelphia* (40–40) New York (31–49)
1965–66 Philadelphia* (55–25) Boston^ (54–26) Cincinnati* (45–35) New York (30–50)
1966–67 Philadelphia^ (68–13) Boston* (60–21) Cincinnati* (39–42) New York* (36–45) Baltimore (20–61)
1967–68 Philadelphia* (62–20) Boston^ (54–28) New York* (43–39) Detroit* (40–42) Cincinnati (39–43) Baltimore (36–46)
1968–69 Baltimore* (57–25) Philadelphia* (55–27) New York* (54–28) Boston^ (48–34) Cincinnati (41–41) Detroit (32–50) Milwaukee (27–55)
1969–70 New York^ (60–22) Milwaukee* (56–26) Baltimore* (50–32) Philadelphia* (42–40) Cincinnati (36–46) Boston (34–48) Detroit (31–51)

References

  1. ^ Goldaper, Sam. "The First Game". NBA.com. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  2. ^ "NBA is born". History.com. November 16, 2009. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  3. ^ "N.B.A. Is Realigned Into Four Divisions". The New York Times. April 24, 1970. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.