Prior to the start of the season, the Minnesota Pipers moved back to Pittsburgh, the Oakland Oaks moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Caps and the Houston Mavericks moved to North Carolina and became the Carolina Cougars. For the regular-season, the schedule was increased from 78 to 84 games per team. The season ended with the Indiana Pacers capturing their first ABA Championship.
Spencer Haywood, a rookie from the University of Detroit, led the ABA in scoring (30.0 ppg) and rebounding (19.5 rpg) for the Denver Rockets. Haywood was professional basketball's first "hardship case", leaving college after his sophomore season. The NBA prohibited him from declaring for its draft, and he signed with the Rockets instead, leading them to the Western Division championship.