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New Orleans Jazz - Year Four

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New Orleans Jazz - Year Four
        The 1977-78 Season

The 77-78 season started with the Jazz making another key move toward what they thought would be a winning season. They acquired forward Len “Truck” Robinson for another first round pick. Truck had an immediate and impressive impact on the team. Not only did he average 22.7 points per game, but he went ballistic on the boards: he had seven games in which he grabbed at least 20 rebounds, including two games in which he had 27 rebounds. Robinson wound up leading the NBA in rebounds that year with a 15.7/game average, and made the All-NBA First Team.

Things were looking up, but then dark forebodings presaged the team’s future. Local seafood magnate Andrew Martin sold his 20% share of the team to the Californians, effectively ending any substantial local ownership. In a January 31st game, Maravich injured his right knee while making a between-the-legs pass, taking him out of the line-up for all but three games of the rest of the season. With Maravich out, the Jazz (who had been in serious contention for a playoff berth) wound up finishing 39-43. Just two games difference would have gotten them a .500 season and a playoff spot. Once again, the competitive team played a part in attractive attendance figures—the team drew the highest ever during their stay (12,862 per game average, 6th highest in the NBA).

Go to next section: New Orleans Jazz - Year Five: The 1978-79 Season

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