Are you ready to take on another edition of NBA Tuesday with us? Memorial Day has come and gone, but sports history never goes away, really. We make sure of that here.
On to the last year of the 1950s in NBA MVP award analysis …
1959 MVP: Bob Pettit (original, confirmed)
This was an easy analysis, as the St. Louis Hawks won the Western Division by a 16-game margin over the Minneapolis Lakers. The team’s best player, power forward Bob Pettit, led the NBA in Win Shares (14.75) and Player Efficiency Rating (28.20), while also topping the league in scoring with 29.2 points per game. For good measure, he also added 16.4 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists every time out.
The next-best WS mark came from New York Knicks power forward Kenny Sears (13.33), who led the NBA in field-goal percentage (.490), and the next best PER number was posted by Lakers small forward Elgin Baylor (23.58) in his rookie season.
Pettit won the players’ MVP vote by a whopping margin, too, with 59 first-place votes out of 82 cast. Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell got 10 first-place votes to finish a distant second. We agree with that vote, as this may have been our simplest award analysis in professional basketball so far.