|Dates||March 16-April 12, 1954|
|Champions||Minneapolis Lakers (5th title)|
|Runners-up||Syracuse Nationals (2nd finals appearance)|
The 1954 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1953-54 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Minneapolis Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Syracuse Nationals 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.
For the Lakers, it was their third straight NBA title, and fifth in the last six years.
With the folding of the Indianapolis Olympians after the previous year's playoffs, leaving the NBA with nine teams, they resorted to a round-robin playoff format in 1954 for the only time in league history.
Although the Minneapolis Lakers, Fort Wayne Pistons, Rochester Royals and Syracuse Nationals all play in different cities now (Los Angeles, Detroit, Sacramento and Philadelphia respectively), this is the earliest NBA playoff in which every team that participated still exists today.
Within each division, the top three teams in the season standings played a double round robin, comprising one home game in each city for each pair of teams, in order to eliminate one of the three participants. A three-way tie with two wins each would have secured home-court advantage in the Division Finals for New York or Minneapolis, who finished first in the season standings, against an opponent to be determined by one further game played with the season runner-up as host. In the event, neither round-robin generated even a two-way tie, so no seventh game was required in either Division. Two of three teams (shaded green) advanced to the Division Finals. The second game between Minneapolis and Rochester--the sixth and final Western Division game scheduled--was not played because both teams had qualified for the Division Final and Minneapolis had secured home-court advantage in that series. The sixth and final Eastern Division game scheduled, Boston at Syracuse, was played because home-court advantage in their subsequent Division Final hadn't been determined. Both teams had won 42 season games and Boston had won by coin flip the edge in case of a tie in the round-robin stage.
Five games, Tuesday to Sunday, March 16-21
Six games, Tuesday to Monday, March 16-22
|Division Finals||NBA Finals|
Champion: Minneapolis Lakers
Last Playoff Meeting: 1952 NBA Western Division Finals (Minneapolis won 2-1)
Champion: Syracuse Nationals
Last Playoff Meeting: 1953 NBA Eastern Division Semifinals (Boston won 2-0)
Last Playoff Meeting: 1950 NBA Finals (Minneapolis won 4-2)