On this day in 1956, the Minneapolis Lakers crush the St. Louis Hawks 133-75 in the NBA Western Division Semifinals, marking up the biggest margin of victory to date in league history; the Hawks would take game three, only to lose the Division title to the Fort Wayne Pistons. Offering no competition that year were the Rochester Royals, who went 31-41.
Said Pistons, sharing Fort Wayne fame with Eckrich Meats and Archway Cookies, would go on to lose in the Finals to the Philadelphia Warriors, four games to one. The aforementioned Hawks would come back strong in the ’56-’57 season, only to lose it all to the Celtics.
Confused? There’s more; eventually the Lakers would move to LA, the Hawks to Atlanta, the Pistons to Detroit, the Warriors to Oakland, CA and the Royals would become the Sacramento Kings.
Back to the ’55-’56 season, Dick Ricketts was the top draft pick going to the Hawks, who moved from Milwaukee to St. Louis mid-season. The Hawk’s Bob Pettit led the league in points and rebounds, Bob Cousy topped in assists, and any one of these fellows would have been a big help to the hapless Wolverines last Sunday.