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NBA PM: The NBA’s Most Impressive Streaks Ever

It’s hard to lose as many consecutive games as Philadelphia has this season, but theirs isn’t the worst losing streak ever… Phil Jackson approached–again–by the New York Knicks for head coaching job.

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The NBA’s Most Impressive Streaks

The Philadelphia 76ers are in the throes of a brutal 15-game losing streak that even their head coach isn’t sure has any end in sight. They still have a long way to go before they break the league record for consecutive losses, but there’s no denying the fact that 15 lost games in a row is bad.

The league record for most losses in a row is still held by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers, who dropped in 26 games in a row in their quest to land Kyrie Irving. They ended up with him, but only because they had the Los Angeles Clippers’ pick that year from a previous trade. All that mediocrity, and they only got Tristan Thompson to show it. Hopefully, Philadelphia will have better luck.

»In Related: Philadelphia 76ers Salary Information

Here’s a look at some of the league’s other most impressive streaks:

L.A. Lakers Win Streak – The longest winning streak in NBA history belongs to the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 games in a row. That was a Wilt Chamberlain/Jerry West/Elgin Baylor team, which helps explain the dominance. And yes, they won the NBA championship that year. It would’ve been a waste if they hadn’t.

Philadelphia’s Playoffs Streak – Between 1955 and 1977, the Philadelphia 76ers/Syracuse Nationals, made the postseason 22 consecutive times. The closest any active team has gotten to that is the San Antonio Spurs, who have made the playoffs 16 straight times, and look pretty certain to make it 17 here in 2013-14. The next closest is the Denver Nuggets (10 consecutive postseason appearances) and the L.A. Lakers (eight), but both of those are going to end this year. Atlanta and Boston are next with six straight playoff appearances, but those could both end this year, too. That gives Miami the next-best active streak with five straight seasons in the playoffs. In other words, after San Antonio, nobody in the NBA is even close.

Most Consecutive Free-Throws – In 1993, Minnesota Timberwolves player Michael Williams sunk 97 straight free throws, a streak that extended over two seasons. He missed a free throw in March of 1993, and didn’t miss again until November 9th the next season.

Most Consecutive Three-Pointers Made – Amazingly, the two players who hold this record both accomplished the feat in 1996 (though in two different seasons); both Brent Price and Terry Mills made, at one point, 13 three-point field goals without a miss over the course of a few games.

Most Consecutive Points in a Regular Season Game – On December 10, 2008, Carmelo Anthony was responsible for 26 straight points in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s more of a single-game streak, but one of the streakiest games ever deserves a spot on this list, too.

A.C. Green’s Consecutive Games Played Streak – A.C. Green once played in an incredible 1,192 straight games, which is over three seasons more than the guy who holds second place on the list. He was quite the ironman in his day, and it’s hard to imagine anyone topping that. The active leader was Russell Westbrook before his injury, but he hadn’t even hit 400 straight. Then it was Omer Asik with a little over 200, but that streak was snapped this year, too. If this one ever gets broken, it will be a long, long time before it actually happens.

Wilt Chamberlain’s 20+ Point Game Streak – Not that it’s a surprise that Wilt Chamberlain would hold a record, but when it comes to streaks, Chamberlain had a few impressive ones over the course of his career. One of those was his streak of 126 games in which he scored 20 or more points. Of course, he also holds the record for most consecutive 30+ point games (65), 40+ point games (14), and 50+ point games (seven), none of which seem likely to be broken any time soon.

Most Consecutive Scoring Titles – Chamberlain shares this record with Michael Jordan. Both legendary players led the league in scoring for seven straight seasons.

Most Consecutive Triple-Doubles – Wilt again, with nine in a row. In today’s NBA, three in a row would make major news. Four would be legendary. Nine is unfathomable. Interestingly, Oscar Robertson actually averaged a triple-double in his second year in the league, but never actually strung together this many in a row over the course of that season.

Boston’s Consecutive Championship Streak – Under Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, the Boston Celtics won a ridiculous eight championships in a row between 1959 and 1966, which is the most outrageous consecutive championships streak in the history of professional team sports. As hard as it is to win two rings in a row in today’s era, this streak will never even approach contention in any sport.

Philadelphia still has an opportunity to make their way onto this list because they still have plenty of games to lose. Despite that, there are better ways to make the record books, as the aforementioned streaks prove.

Knicks Angling for a Big Fish for Next Head Coach

New York Knicks president and GM Steve Mills reportedly met with Phil Jackson a couple of weeks ago to discuss the possibility of coaching the team, according to ESPN.com’s Stephen A. Smith.

Jackson, predictably, wasn’t interested in the opportunity to coach a New York team that has completely fallen apart at the seams this season, but Mills was likely hoping that Jackson’s allegiance to the franchise for which he once played would be enough to drag him out of retirement.

Jackson did, after all, tell the New York Times back in 2012, “New York is special,” while adding, “I have no desire to coach, (but) you never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind.”

Perhaps by making the job a combination coaching/general managing position, Jackson could be persuaded, but even then his track record over the course of the last few years suggests he’d much rather do front office work than coach.

So while Jackson turning down yet another job offer from the Knicks isn’t exactly news, what is much more interesting is how high New York is aiming in what appears to be a preemptive quest to replace Mike Woodson as soon as the season is over.

Jeff Van Gundy’s name has come up. So has Lionel Hollins’. There are even some rumblings about Tom Thibodeau, which makes little sense considering how many years and how much money he still has left on his contract with thef Chicago Bulls.

Whomever they end up hiring, the name will be big, and that, they hope, will be enough to help persuade Carmelo Anthony to stay put so that the new head coach can put back together the chemistry, attitude and work ethic that helped make the Knicks one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference last year.

It’s not going to be Jackson, but clearly the Knicks are going to be much splashier in their next coaching hire than they were when removing Woodson’s interim tag a couple of years ago. They don’t really have much of a choice at this point.

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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