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2003–04 NBA season

2003–04 NBA season

The 2003–04 NBA season was the 58th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–1 in the 2004 NBA Finals.

2003–04 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
DurationOctober 28, 2003 – April 14, 2004
April 17 – June 1, 2004 (Playoffs)
June 6 – 15, 2004 (Finals)
Number of teams29
TV partner(s)ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV
Top draft pickLeBron James
Picked byCleveland Cavaliers
Regular season
Top seedIndiana Pacers
Season MVPKevin Garnett (Minnesota)
Top scorerTracy McGrady (Orlando)
Eastern championsDetroit Pistons
  Eastern runners-upIndiana Pacers
Western championsLos Angeles Lakers
  Western runners-upMinnesota Timberwolves
ChampionsDetroit Pistons
  Runners-upLos Angeles Lakers
Finals MVPChauncey Billups (Detroit)


This was the final season for the original two-division format in both the Eastern and Western Conferences, before each of the conferences added a third division the following season. As a result, this would also be the final season for the NBA Midwest Division, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were that division's last champion, the only division title the franchise has won in their twenty-nine seasons in the NBA.

The All-Star Game was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The West won 136-132; Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was named Most Valuable Player.

For the first time in 21 years the Portland Trail Blazers did not make the playoffs, ending the second longest streak in NBA history. For the first time in 20 years the Utah Jazz did not make the playoffs, ending the third longest streak in NBA history.

Prior to the start of the season, Karl Malone and Gary Payton took major paycuts to leave their teams and join Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on the Lakers for a chance at a possible NBA title. However, that title chase came to an end in the NBA Finals, as the Detroit Pistons won 4-1. The Minnesota Timberwolves, behind their "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, and Sam Cassell, amassed the best record in the Western Conference, and were expected to finally win a first round playoff series. They won two and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, which they lost to the Lakers. It would be their last playoff appearance until the 2017–18 season.

LeBron James (1st overall to Cleveland), Carmelo Anthony (3rd overall to Denver), Chris Bosh (4th overall to Toronto), and Dwyane Wade (5th overall to Miami), among others, formed one of the strongest drafts in NBA history. Among the highly touted rookies, Anthony and Wade led their teams to the playoffs, and Wade's play pushed the Heat into the second round. James went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989–90 season.

The Memphis Grizzlies qualified for the postseason for the first time in the franchise's then 9 year history, dating back to their days in Vancouver. With a record of 50-32, it was also the first time they posted a winning season.

Tracy McGrady was the first scoring leader since Bernard King in 1984–85 whose team did not make the playoffs.


Coaching changes
Team2002–03 coach2003–04 coach
Cleveland CavaliersKeith SmartPaul Silas
Detroit PistonsRick CarlisleLarry Brown
Houston RocketsRudy TomjanovichJeff Van Gundy
Indiana PacersIsiah ThomasRick Carlisle
Los Angeles ClippersDennis JohnsonMike Dunleavy, Sr.
Miami HeatPat RileyStan Van Gundy
Milwaukee BucksGeorge KarlTerry Porter
New Orleans HornetsPaul SilasTim Floyd
Philadelphia 76ersLarry BrownRandy Ayers
Toronto RaptorsLenny WilkensKevin O'Neill
Washington WizardsDoug CollinsEddie Jordan
TeamOutgoing coachIncoming coach
Boston CelticsJim O'BrienJohn Carroll
Chicago BullsBill CartwrightPete Myers
Pete MyersScott Skiles
New Jersey NetsByron ScottLawrence Frank
New York KnicksDon ChaneyHerb Williams
Herb WilliamsLenny Wilkens
Orlando MagicDoc RiversJohnny Davis
Philadelphia 76ersRandy AyersChris Ford
Phoenix SunsFrank JohnsonMike D'Antoni


By division

By conference


  • z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs

  • c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs

  • y – Clinched division title

  • x – Clinched playoff spot


Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.

Conference QuarterfinalsConference SemifinalsConference FinalsNBA Finals
E5New Orleans3
Eastern Conference
E2New Jersey*3
E2New Jersey4
E7New York0
W2LA Lakers*1
Western Conference
W2LA Lakers*4
W3San Antonio4
W3San Antonio2
W2LA Lakers*4
W2LA Lakers4
  • Division winner Bold Series winner Italic Team with home-court advantage

Statistics leaders

Points per gameTracy McGradyOrlando Magic28.0
Rebounds per gameKevin GarnettMinnesota Timberwolves13.9
Assists per gameJason KiddNew Jersey Nets9.2
Steals per gameBaron DavisNew Orleans Hornets2.36
Blocks per gameTheo RatliffPortland Trail Blazers3.61
FG%Shaquille O'NealLos Angeles Lakers.584
FT%Peja StojakovićSacramento Kings.927
3FG%Anthony PeelerSacramento Kings.482


Yearly awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Rookie of the Year: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Defensive Player of the Year: Ron Artest, Indiana Pacers

  • Sixth Man of the Year: Antawn Jamison, Dallas Mavericks

  • Most Improved Player: Zach Randolph, Portland Trail Blazers

  • Coach of the Year: Hubie Brown, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Executive of the Year: Jerry West, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Sportsmanship Award: P. J. Brown, New Orleans Hornets

  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers

Players of the month

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.

MonthEastern ConferenceWestern Conference
October – NovemberBaron Davis(New Orleans Hornets) (1/1)Peja Stojaković(Sacramento Kings) (1/1)
DecemberJermaine O'Neal(Indiana Pacers) (1/1)Kevin Garnett(Minnesota Timberwolves) (1/4)
JanuaryMichael Redd(Milwaukee Bucks) (1/1)Kevin Garnett(Minnesota Timberwolves) (2/4)
FebruaryKenyon Martin(New Jersey Nets) (1/1)Kevin Garnett(Minnesota Timberwolves) (3/4)
MarchLamar Odom(Miami Heat) (1/1)Kobe Bryant(Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
AprilJamaal Magloire(New Orleans Hornets) (1/1)Kevin Garnett(Minnesota Timberwolves) (4/4)

Rookies of the month

The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month.

MonthEastern ConferenceWestern Conference
October – NovemberLeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers) (1/6)Carmelo Anthony(Denver Nuggets) (1/6)
DecemberLeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers) (2/6)Carmelo Anthony(Denver Nuggets) (2/6)
JanuaryLeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers) (3/6)Carmelo Anthony(Denver Nuggets) (3/6)
FebruaryLeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers) (4/6)Carmelo Anthony(Denver Nuggets) (4/6)
MarchLeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers) (5/6)Carmelo Anthony(Denver Nuggets) (5/6)
AprilLeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers) (6/6)Carmelo Anthony(Denver Nuggets) (6/6)

Coaches of the month

The following coaches were named the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month.

MonthEastern ConferenceWestern Conference
October – NovemberRick Carlisle(Indiana Pacers) (1/1)Phil Jackson(Los Angeles Lakers) (1/1)
DecemberByron Scott(New Jersey Nets) (1/1)Gregg Popovich(San Antonio Spurs) (1/1)
JanuaryLarry Brown(Detroit Pistons) (1/2)Rick Adelman(Sacramento Kings) (1/1)
FebruaryLawrence Frank(New Jersey Nets) (1/1)Hubie Brown(Memphis Grizzlies) (1/2)
MarchStan Van Gundy(Miami Heat) (1/1)Hubie Brown(Memphis Grizzlies) (2/2)
AprilLarry Brown(Detroit Pistons) (2/2)Flip Saunders(Minnesota Timberwolves) (1/1)


Citation Linkwww.deseretnews.comhttp://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695268141,00.html
Sep 25, 2019, 11:11 PM
Citation Linkwww.deseretnews.comhttp://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695268141,00.html
Sep 25, 2019, 11:11 PM
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Sep 25, 2019, 11:11 PM