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New Jersey Nets Hit A Classic Low With Their 18th Straight Loss

Posted on December 02, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Nets Bench Watches Play Against the Nuggets in Denver

The Nets have been unable to get started this season opening with a record 18-straight losses.

With a 117-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the New Jersey Nets have set a new NBA record for futility at the start of the season.

Their 18th straight loss to open the season breaks the previous mark set by the Miami Heat in 1988-89 and matched by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1999.

What isn’t particularly encouraging as the Nets look to try to end their run sometime before Christmas (or more preferably before Chanukah) is that few of the losses have been all that close.

The margin of defeat by the Nets has been under-10 points only five times all season. Their most recent single digit loss was on November 21 when the New York Knicks defeated the Nets 98-91 for one of their four victories on the season.

As it turns out, their best chance at victory was actually in the season opener against the nearly as awful Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nets led by 19 points in that game before the Wolves rallied to win in the final seconds. Minnesota went on to lose their next 15 games.

They also nearly pulled out a victory against the Miami Heat, but a three-point basket by Dwyane Wade in the final second gave the Heat an 81-80 victory.

Barring some divine intervention, it would seem like the 2009-2010 Nets are destined for one of the worst seasons in the annals of NBA history.

The “Holy Grail” for futility in the NBA is the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, the only team in NBA history to win fewer than 10 games in a full season when they went 9-73.

Former head coach Lawrence Frank might ultimately be the lucky one as he stopped having to watch the Nets futility after the first 16 losses.

Former head coach Lawrence Frank might ultimately be the lucky one as he stopped having to watch the Nets futility after the first 16 losses.

After opening their first NBA season with 17 straight losses, the 1988-89 Miami Heat rebounded to finish with a 15-67 record.

In the strike-shortened 1999 season, the Clippers actually started the season with a 3-30 record before finishing with a mark of 9-41.

The team record for losses in a season came during the 1989-90 campaign, when a Nets squad that included Sam Bowie, Mookie Blaylock, Charles Shackleford and Joe Barry Carroll finished with a 17-65 record.

The Nets are hoping that a change in leadership can help turn the tide. Laurence Frank was relieved of his duties as head coach following the 16th loss and general manager Kiki Vandeweghe will assume the job for the rest of the season.

Considering that their next five games are all against teams with losing records so far this season, it would seem that the odds are in the favor of the Nets that they should stop their streak relatively soon.

However, if things continue to spiral downward, they do have solace that a rematch with the Timberwolves, now 2-16 on the season, is set for December 23rd in New Jersey.

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