Marching on in our second NBA Tuesday miniseries, we now take on the 1953 season for our awards analysis of the DPOY and the Finals MVP. Have fun on this second ride through NBA history as we see it now, and remember to check out our first miniseries entry on this year for context, as well.
And yes, it’s more of the same. All we do is report the facts here, though, so don’t blame us.
1953 NBA FINALS MVP: Jim Pollard, SF, Minneapolis Lakers
The Minneapolis Lakers won their third NBA title in four seasons, and there are no rebounding statistics for the Finals series between the Lakers and the New York Knicks. It was a five-game series, with the Knicks only winning the first game on the road. After that, it was all Minneapolis.
Lakers center George Mikan scored 20.8 points per game to lead all players in that category, but his shooting percentage was brutal (30.9 percent). The next-best player on the Minneapolis roster was small forward Jim Pollard, who outshot Mikan from both the field (45.5 percent) and the free-throw line (78.6 percent to 77.2 percent). Pollard averaged 14.4 points over the five-game series.
Without rebounding or defensive statistics, we’re going to give this MVP Award to Pollard, since he made a lot more of his shots than Mikan did: Overall, the Lakers star center made just 5 more field goals than Pollard did despite taking 42 more shots. The small forward also led the team with 17 points in the decisive Game 5 victory on the road, missing just one shot from the floor and one from the line.
1953 NBA DPOY: George Mikan, C, Minneapolis Lakers
Mikan again topped his peers in Defensive Win Shares (6.90), and he was followed by Milwaukee Hawks center Mel Hutchins (5.54) and Syracuse Nationals power forward Dolph Schayes (5.12). The Hawks missed the postseason, while the Lakers and the Nats both finish atop their respective divisions in win total. So, all things being equal, we give the DPOY Award again to Mikan.
His scoring average dropped significantly during this season, but he led the NBA in rebounding (14.4 per game) for the second year in a row, and while Mikan did not commit the most fouls in the league in this season, his total (290) was higher than his leading mark from the prior season (286). He was again the dominant defensive force he had been his whole career, still.