How long until the Detroit Pistons break the NBA record for consecutive losses?

Last night the Detroit Pistons also lost to the Brooklyn Nets: their 26th consecutive defeat this season. The team coached by Monty Williams, who arrived in the summer as the highest paid coach in the NBA, currently has a record of 2-27, clearly in last place in the league. During their last home game, the one against the Jazz a few days ago, fans had started chanting “Sell the team!”. The 26 consecutive losses are already a franchise record, but it is surprisingly close to setting the all-time NBA record as well.

In fact, the Pistons tied precisely against the Nets the Philadelphia 76ers’ unenviable record in the 2013-14 season, those of Sam Hinkie and “Trust the Process”, and the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers. Those Sixers even managed to finish second-to-last, eventually winning 19 games on the season, the same number of successes as LeBron James’ post-discharge Cavs. So Detroit only needs to lose its next game, again against Brooklyn on December 26, to set a new NBA record for consecutive losses within a single regular season.

If, however, one merely considers consecutive knockouts, even over multiple seasons, the record is 28 and always belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers, but those between the end of the 2014-15 season and the beginning of the 2015-16 season. At that juncture, the Sixers lost 28 straight games: the last 10 of the 2014-15 season and the first 18 of the 2015-16 season. Overcoming this record for the Pistons will be more difficult, but not impossible: in addition to losing to the Nets, they will also have to go down Dec. 28 against Boston and Dec. 29 against Houston.

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If the Detroit Pistons continue on this pace, with a 6.9 percent winning percentage, they will also be able to surpass the record of the “worst team ever”: the Charlotte Bobcats who in the 2011-12 season won only 7 games (out of 66 in the lockout season), or 10.6%.

Francesco Manzi
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