The 1974 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1973-74 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Milwaukee Bucks 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. John Havlicek was named NBA Finals MVP.
It was the Celtics' twelfth NBA title, and first accomplished in the post-Bill Russell era. It is the last -- to date -- Finals appearance for Milwaukee.
Using the revised playoff format adopted in 1973, two third-place teams (Buffalo in the East, Detroit in the West) qualified for the playoffs, while the second-place finishers in the Central (Atlanta) and Pacific (Golden State) divisions did not. Also, since the top three Western qualifiers were in the Midwest Division, the two divisional champions in the Western Conference (Milwaukee and Los Angeles) played in the conference semifinals.
As a matter of historical curiosity, 3 of the 4 teams in the 1974 Western Conference bracket (Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago) now reside in the Eastern Conference.
This was the only appearance of the Capital Bullets in the playoffs under that moniker; they assumed the "Capital" name for one year before changing to the Washington Bullets the next season. It was the playoff debut of the Buffalo Braves, who had joined the league in 1971.
For the first time in BAA/NBA history (dating back to 1947), neither the Lakers (of Minnesota, then Los Angeles) or Warriors (of Philadelphia, then San Francisco and Golden State) participated in a conference (or division prior to 1971) finals series.
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
Champion: Milwaukee Bucks
Last playoff meeting: 1972 Western Conference Finals (Los Angeles won 4-2)
Last playoff meeting: This is the first meeting between the Bulls and the Pistons
Last playoff meeting: This the first meeting between the Bucks and the Bulls
Champion: Boston Celtics
Last playoff meeting: 1973 Eastern Conference Finals (New York won 4-3)
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