During the seven seasons with LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers averaged 49.9 wins per season and made five playoff appearances. But without LeBron this season, the Cavs have fallen to 8-40 and are in danger of being one of the worst teams in NBA history.
On Monday night, the Cavs lost to LeBron and the Heat. It was their 21st loss in a row. That is three short of the all-time NBA record (24) set by the 1981-82 and 1982-83 Cavaliers. The 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies and the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets hold the record for the longest losing streak in a single season (23).
But where this season’s Cavs, and the 97-98 Nuggets separate themselves, is in the shear ineptitude of their losing streaks.
The 1997-98 Nuggets were beaten by an average of 16.1 points per game during their 23-game losing streak. So far, the 2010-11 Cavaliers have been bested by 15.5 points per games. Those numbers easily outpace the 1982-83 Cavs (10.8 ppg) and 1995-96 Grizzlies (12.1 ppg). Both of those teams had longer losing streaks but were able to remain more competitive during their ineptitude.
Here is a look at the four longest losing streaks in NBA history and how much each team was outscored during the respective streaks…
*The Cavaliers 24-game losing streak in 1982-83 actually began during the 1981-82 season.
All data via Basketball-Reference.com
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