• Sun. May 26th, 2024

November 29, 2015, Queens, NY  A Tale of Two Cities by noted author Charles Dickens was first published in 1859. In the current NBA season, we are witnessing greatness and grossness. On the side of greatness are the Golden State Warriors. On the side of grossness are the Philadelphia 76ers.

Let’s start with the positive. The Warriors have won their first 18 games this season, an NBA record. They also won their last four regular season games of 2014-15. With 22 consecutive regular season victories, the Warriors have tied the 2007-08 Houston Rockets. In the 2012-13 season, the Miami Heat won 27 consecutive games. But the distinction of rarefied air goes to the Los Angeles Lakers team that won 33 straight in 1971-72.

The Warriors haven’t taken their foot off the gas; this is probably due to the criticism levied upon them regarding their championship run. Some have questioned the “authenticity” of their title (their first in 40 years). They not only want to repeat as champions, it seems they’re after two records, one aforementioned. The first is the number of consecutive wins compiled by the Los Angeles Lakers of yesteryear. The team that featured Wilt (Chamberlain), Jerry (West,  who is the silhouette of the NBA logo), and Gail (as in Goodrich). But they are a long way from breaking that record. Sixteen more games to go.

The other record is held by the Chicago Bulls who won 72 games in 1995-96. According to an ESPN calculation, the Warriors are expected to win 69 games this year. That prediction may be a little off when you consider the Warriors won 67 games last year in a more competitive conference. The Warriors look to be more than two games better than they were last year.

Barring injuries, expect the Warriors to equal or surpass the Miami Heat team that won 27 straight. Up next for the Warriors are the Utah Jazz. The teams square off tomorrow evening.

Okafor

The Philadelphia 76ers are the other team in question. Rookie forward Jahlil Okafor hasn’t played a month of pro ball and is off to a very rough start, off the court. Last week he got into a confrontation with a “fan” in Boston. Okafor allegedly hit someone, and the incident is being investigated by the Boston Police and NBA. In another story, Okafor was allegedly accosted at gunpoint. And in another story, Okafor was pulled over for speeding across the Ben Franklin Bridge going 108 mph in a 40-mph speed zone. Someone, as television sitcom star Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies would say, “needs to have a long talk with that boy.”

jed-clampett

The Sixers are 0-17 and are headed for the lottery again. They have the worst record over the course of 82 games in NBA history. The 1972-73 team won 9 games for the entire season, going 9-73. That’s a record that will stand, at least it still looks safe. But, the current Sixers team lost more games to open a season than any other team. Their 27 consecutive losses, beginning from the end of last season, gave them the dubious honor of losing more games in a row than any team in U.S. American Major Sports history. By the way, the record of 26 straight defeats was held by, yes, you guessed it, the Sixers. (The Cleveland Cavaliers also lost 26 consecutive games.)

Philadelphia has lost their last four games by a total of 16 points. They are getting close and will probably get their first win tonight, against the Memphis Grizzlies, or another team this week.

One thing is for sure, you will never have two teams at such opposite ends of the spectrum to start a season. As of Friday, Nov. 27th, the Warriors both had 17–but for one team it was wins and for the other team it was losses. If the Sixers lose tonight, both teams would have 18. Eighteen would be wins for the Warriors, and eighteen would be losses for the Sixers.

Definitely a Tale of Two Cities.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

By Vernon McKenzie

Graduate of New Institute Of Technology with a BA in Communications with a focus on Television Radio. Owner and Executive Producer of PureSportsNY

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