Basketball Wiki
1985–86 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
TV partner/s CBS, TBS
Regular season
Season MVP Larry Bird (Boston)
Top scorer Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta)
Eastern champions Boston Celtics
Eastern runners-up Milwaukee Bucks
Western champions Houston Rockets
Western runners-up Los Angeles Lakers
Finals champions Boston Celtics
Runners-up Houston Rockets
Finals MVP Larry Bird (Boston)

The 1985–86 NBA season was the 40th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning their third championship of the decade, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Notable occurrences

  • The 1986 NBA All-Star Game was played at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, with the East defeating the West 139–132. Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons wins the game's MVP award. To add to the All-Star Weekend festivities, 5-foot-7-inch Spud Webb of the Atlanta Hawks wins the slam-dunk competition. The first three-point shootout was also held, won by Larry Bird (his first of three consecutive).
  • The Kings relocate from Kansas City, Missouri to Sacramento, California, playing their home games at the ARCO Arena I.
  • The Boston Celtics post an impressive 40–1 (.976) record at home, the closest any NBA team has ever come to playing a perfect home season. Their only regular-season home loss occurred on December 6, 1985, to the Portland Trail Blazers, by the score of 121–103. The Celtics would also win all 10 of their home games in the postseason.
  • This season marks the first time the NBA hands out a Most Improved Player award at the end of a season. Alvin Robertson of the San Antonio Spurs is the first to win the award. Robertson would also set the record for consecutive games with a steal (105), which stood for 22 years.
  • In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series, Michael Jordan scores 63 points against Boston, but his Chicago Bulls lose in double overtime.
  • All Midwest Division teams make the playoffs, the first time an entire division had done this since the 1983-84 season when all Atlantic Division teams made the playoffs.
  • The first NBA Draft of the Lottery Era was conducted at the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in New York City. Patrick Ewing was unanimously selected as the first overall pick by the New York Knicks.

Final standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Boston Celtics C 67 15 .817
Philadelphia 76ers 54 28 .659 13
New Jersey Nets 39 43 .476 28
Washington Bullets 39 43 .476 28
New York Knicks 23 59 .280 44
Central Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Milwaukee Bucks 57 25 .695
Atlanta Hawks 50 32 .610 7
Detroit Pistons 46 36 .561 11
Chicago Bulls 30 52 .366 27
Cleveland Cavaliers 29 53 .354 28
Indiana Pacers 26 56 .317 31

Western Conference

Midwest Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Houston Rockets 51 31 .622
Denver Nuggets 47 35 .573 4
Dallas Mavericks 44 38 .537 7
Utah Jazz 42 40 .512 9
Sacramento Kings 37 45 .451 14
San Antonio Spurs 35 47 .427 16
Pacific Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Los Angeles Lakers 62 20 .756
Portland Trail Blazers 40 42 .488 22
Los Angeles Clippers 32 50 .390 30
Phoenix Suns 32 50 .390 30
Seattle SuperSonics 31 51 .378 31
Golden State Warriors 30 52 .366 32

C – NBA Champions

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks 30.3
Rebounds per game Bill Laimbeer Detroit Pistons 13.1
Assists per game Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 12.6
Steals per game Alvin Robertson San Antonio Spurs 3.7
Blocks per game Manute Bol Washington Bullets 5.0
FG% Steve Johnson San Antonio Spurs 63.2
FT% Larry Bird Boston Celtics 89.6
3FG% Craig Hodges Milwaukee Bucks 45.1

NBA awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
  • Rookie of the Year: Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Bill Walton, Boston Celtics
  • Most Improved Player: Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs
  • Coach of the Year: Mike Fratello, Atlanta Hawks
  • All-NBA First Team:
    • F – Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
    • F – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks
    • C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers
    • G – Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
    • G – Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
  • All-NBA Second Team:
    • F – Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
    • F – Alex English, Denver Nuggets
    • C – Akeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
    • G – Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee Bucks
    • G – Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs
  • All-NBA Rookie Team:
    • Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
    • Charles Oakley, Chicago Bulls
    • Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
    • Xavier McDaniel, Seattle SuperSonics
    • Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
  • NBA All-Defensive Team:
  • First Team:
    • Paul Pressey, Milwaukee Bucks
    • Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics
    • Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz
    • Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee Bucks
    • Maurice Cheeks, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Second Team:
    • Michael Cooper, Los Angeles Lakers
    • Bill Hanzlik, Denver Nuggets
    • Manute Bol, Washington Bullets
    • Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs
    • Dennis Johnson, Boston Celtics