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1990–91 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
TV partner/s NBC, TBS, TNT
Regular season
Season MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Top scorer Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Chicago Bulls
Eastern runners-up Detroit Pistons
Western champions Los Angeles Lakers
Western runners-up Portland Trail Blazers
Finals
Finals champions Chicago Bulls
Runners-up Los Angeles Lakers
Finals MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)

The 1990–91 NBA season was the 45th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their first NBA Championship, eliminating the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals.


Notable occurrences

  • The 1991 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the East defeating the West 116-114. Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers won the game's MVP award.
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves played their first game at the Target Center. They had played their first season at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome while Target Center was being built.
  • The NBA on NBC began (replacing The NBA on CBS) when the National Broadcasting Company signed a 4 year, US$600 million deal with the NBA. The relationship lasted 12 years (concluding at the end of the 2001-02 NBA season), until The NBA on ABC returned in 2002-03.
  • On December 30, the last game of 1990, Scott Skiles of Orlando recorded 30 assists in a game against the Denver Nuggets to set a new NBA record.
  • The Utah Jazz played their final season at the Salt Palace.
  • The flagrant foul was instituted.
  • For the first time since 1981, the Los Angeles Lakers were not the Number 1 seed in the Western Conference. However they still reached the NBA Finals by upsetting the heavily favored Portland Trail Blazers in six games. They would go on to lose to the Chicago Bulls in five games, their last NBA Finals appearance until 2000.
  • During the season, all NBA teams sport patches featuring the American flag on their warmups as an honor to the American soldiers fighting during the Persian Gulf War.

Standings

By division

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division v •d •e W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Boston Celtics 56 26 .683 35–6 21–20 20-6
x-Philadelphia 76ers 44 38 .537 12 29-12 15-26 14-12
x-New York Knicks 39 43 .476 17 21-20 18-23 17–9
Washington Bullets 30 52 .366 26 21-20 9-32 10-16
New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 30 20-21 6–35 8-18
Miami Heat 24 58 .293 32 18-23 6-35 9-17
Central Division v •d •e W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Chicago Bulls 61 21 .744 35–6 26–15 25–5
x-Detroit Pistons 50 32 .610 11 32–9 18–23 19-11
x-Milwaukee Bucks 48 34 .585 13 33–8 15–26 16–14
x-Atlanta Hawks 43 39 .524 18 29–12 14–27 11–19
x-Indiana Pacers 41 41 .500 20 29-12 12–29 15-15
Cleveland Cavaliers 33 49 .402 28 23–18 10–31 11-19
Charlotte Hornets 26 56 .317 35 12–24 9–32 8–22


Western Conference
Midwest Division v •d •e W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-San Antonio Spurs 55 27 .671 33–8 22–19 20–8
x-Utah Jazz 54 28 .659 1 36–5 18–23 21-7
x-Houston Rockets 52 30 .634 3 31-10 21–20 20-8
Orlando Magic 31 51 .378 24 24-17 7–34 13–15
Minnesota Timberwolves 29 53 .354 26 21-20 8-33 9-19
Dallas Mavericks 28 54 .341 27 20-21 8–33 7-21
Denver Nuggets 20 62 .244 35 17-24 3-38 8–20
Pacific Division v •d •e W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Portland Trail Blazers 63 19 .768 36–5 27–14 18-10
x-Los Angeles Lakers 58 24 .707 5 33–8 25-16 19-9
x-Phoenix Suns 55 27 .671 8 32–9 23-18 17–11
x-Golden State Warriors 44 38 .537 19 30–11 14–27 13–15
x-Seattle SuperSonics 41 41 .500 22 28-13 13–28 12-16
Los Angeles Clippers 31 51 .378 32 23–18 8-33 10-18
Sacramento Kings 25 57 .305 38 24-17 1–40 9–19


By conference

# Eastern Conference v •d •e
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Chicago Bulls 61 21 .744
2 y-Boston Celtics 56 26 .683 5
3 x-Detroit Pistons 50 32 .610 11
4 x-Milwaukee Bucks 48 34 .585 13
5 x-Philadelphia 76ers 44 38 .537 17
6 x-Atlanta Hawks 43 39 .524 18
7 x-Indiana Pacers 41 41 .500 20
8 x-New York Knicks 39 43 .476 22
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 33 49 .402 28
10 Washington Bullets 30 52 .366 31
11 New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 35
11 Charlotte Hornets 26 56 .317 35
12 Miami Heat 24 58 .293 37


# Western Conference v •d •e
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Portland Trail Blazers 63 19 .768
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 55 27 .671 8
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 58 24 .707 5
4 x-Phoenix Suns 55 27 .671 8
5 x-Utah Jazz 54 28 .659 9
6 x-Houston Rockets 52 30 .634 11
7 x-Golden State Warriors 44 38 .537 19
8 x-Seattle SuperSonics 41 41 .500 22
9 Orlando Magic 31 51 .378 32
10 Los Angeles Clippers 31 51 .378 32
11 Minnesota Timberwolves 29 53 .354 34
12 Dallas Mavericks 28 54 .341 35
13 Sacramento Kings 25 57 .305 38
14 Denver Nuggets 20 62 .244 43



Notes

  • z – clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
  • y – clinched division title
  • x – clinched playoff spot

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 31.5
Rebounds per game David Robinson San Antonio Spurs 13.0
Assists per game John Stockton Utah Jazz 14.2
Steals per game Alvin Robertson Milwaukee Bucks 3.0
Blocks per game Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets 3.9
FG% Buck Williams Portland Trail Blazers 60.2
FT% Reggie Miller Indiana Pacers 91.8
3FG% Jim Les Sacramento Kings 46.1

NBA awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • Rookie of the Year: Derrick Coleman, New Jersey Nets
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Dennis Rodman, Detroit Pistons
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Detlef Schrempf, Indiana Pacers
  • Most Improved Player: Scott Skiles, Orlando Magic
  • Coach of the Year: Don Chaney, Houston Rockets
  • All-NBA First Team:
    • F - Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
    • F - Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers
    • C - David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
    • G - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
    • G - Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
  • All-NBA Second Team:
    • F - Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks
    • F - Chris Mullin, Golden State Warriors
    • C - Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
    • G - Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns
    • G - Clyde Drexler, Portland Trail Blazers
  • All-NBA Third Team:
    • F - James Worthy, Los Angeles Lakers
    • F - Bernard King, Washington Bullets
    • C - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
    • G - John Stockton, Utah Jazz
    • G - Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
  • All-NBA Rookie Team:
    • Dee Brown, Boston Celtics
    • Kendall Gill, Charlotte Hornets
    • Derrick Coleman, New Jersey Nets
    • Dennis Scott, Orlando Magic
    • Lionel Simmons, Sacramento Kings
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team:
    • Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
    • Alvin Robertson, Milwaukee Bucks
    • David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
    • Dennis Rodman, Detroit Pistons
    • Buck Williams, Portland Trail Blazers
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team:
    • Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
    • John Stockton, Utah Jazz
    • Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
    • Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
    • Dan Majerle, Phoenix Suns

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