The Brooklyn Nets have fallen apart since Kevin Durant went down to injury on January 15. They’ve won two of 14 games since that point, and with Saturday’s four-point loss against the Miami Heat, the Nets have now dropped 11 in a row. Despite the abysmal streak, optimism is still in the air, though at a fleeting rate.
“I mean the vibe is good, the energy is good in the locker room. We understand that we’re shorthand and we’re making up things as we go along,” said Kyrie Irving following Saturday’s loss. “But ultimately, it’s just having that persevering attitude. It’s not easy to go and clock in all these minutes, clock-in all the time day to day, and try to keep a smile on your face as much as possible when you’re going through a losing streak.”
Even if smiles are going all around, the bottom line is the Nets have lost 11 games in a row and are now only 3.5 games away from being out of the playoff picture completely. A skid this bad has intriguing numbers behind it, though it may not be enjoyable to the Brooklyn faithful.
The following list is every losing streak of 11+ games the Nets have endured in franchise history since they merged into the NBA in 1976-77 as well as the team’s record.
- 2009-10: 18-game losing streak (Oct. 28th 2009 - Dec. 2nd 2009), finished 12-70
- 2016-17: 16-game losing streak (Jan. 21st 2017 - Feb. 25th 2017), finished 20-62
- 1977-78: 16-game losing streak (Jan. 5th 1978 - Feb. 3rd 1978), finished 24-58
- 1987-88: 15-game losing streak (Mar. 23rd 1988 - Apr. 21st 1988), finished 19-63
- 1989-90: 14-game losing streak (Jan. 19th 1990 - Feb. 20th 1990), finished 17-65
- 1980-81: 14-game losing streak (Dec. 19th 1980 - Jan. 16th 1981), finished 24-58
- 1976-77: 13-game losing streak (Dec. 23rd 1976 - Jan. 21st 1977), finished 22-60
- 1976-77: 12-game losing streak (Mar. 13rd 1977 - Apr. 3rd 1977)
Multiple 11=game losing streaks:
- 2021-22 (Jan. 23rd 2022 - Present), currently 29-27
- 2016-17 (Dec. 28th 2016 - Jan. 17th 2017)
- 2009-10 (Jan. 2nd 2010 - Jan. 23rd 2010)
- 1999-00 (Mar. 31st 2000 - Apr. 19th 2000), finished 31-51
- 1990-91 (Dec. 22nd 1990 - Jan. 15th 1991), finished 26-56
- 1989-90 (Mar. 7th 1990 - Mar. 26th 1990)
- 1987-88 (Nov. 21st 1987 - Dec. 12th 1987)
An anomaly of a streak
How bad is this current 11 game losing streak? It’s tied for the second worst since the Nets have moved to Brooklyn, topped only by the 2016-17 Nets who lost 16 in a row. To put in perspective how much that team was ‘struggling’ let me name off some of the starters. Randy Foye (retired after that season), Isaiah Whitehead (had a two-year NBA career), and Justin Hamilton (never played another season) are some of the highlights. Of course, fan favorites like former face of the franchise Brook Lopez and rookie Caris LeVert got their runs as well, but that didn’t change the fact that the results were poor.
To find another losing streak worse than 11 games, you’d have to rewind to the 2009-10 season; this was the year of the infamous Nets team who had the sixth worst winning percentage in league history. They won only three more games than the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers who hold the worst record in NBA history when a full season is played at 9-73. At least both teams weren’t the Charlotte Bobcats…
Beyond that, you have to go all the way back to the 1989-90 season when the Nets lost 14 in a row. That’s way back when. How far back is that? George H.W. Bush was the president, Kevin Durant was two years old, the all-time blockbuster film Titanic didn’t come out for another seven years, and Brooklyn legend Biggie Smalls wouldn’t release his debut album Ready to Die for another four years. The leading scorer for the 1989-90 New Jersey Nets? Former third overall pick Dennis Hopson who’s currently the head coach for the men’s basketball team at Lourdes University in Ohio at 56 years old.
However, taking a look at the worst losing streaks in Nets history since the NBA merger shows that this current skid is an anomaly from the rest. For starters, this 2021-22 roster trails only one of the aforementioned teams (1999-00) for total wins in their respective season despite not even hitting the All-Star break yet.
Of all of those teams, only five had a player average 20+ points per game for the season, and only two had two players average 20+ points per game. They were the 1976-77 and 1977-78 teams — $50 to anybody who can guess the players. Do you have your guesses in? Here we go. John Williamson did it both years, with Tiny Archibald being the second player for the 1976-77 team and Bernard King being the second player for the 1977-78 team.
Astonishingly, this year’s team featured —at some point in time— three players who are averaging 22+ points per game on the season, putting all the aforementioned Nets teams to shame… actually it would be the reverse… but you see the disparity.
Regardless, it’s apparent this team is an anomaly. How will this team fare out in the end? Will a Larry O’Brien be raised in Brooklyn come June? Will Irving, Ben Simmons, and Patty Mills start a Down Under cult in the locker room? Time will tell. Maybe we should’ve traded for Robert Williams III in that case…
The Brooklyn Nets are headed back home to the ‘Clays tonight to take on the Sacramento Kings in hopes of snapping this horrid losing streak. Read our game breakdown to see what to look out for tonight, as well as some Janet Jackson to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day.