It may be a new year, but it was same old, same old for the Washington Wizards Tuesday as they lost again, this time to the Dallas Mavericks by a 103-94 score despite taking a 14-point lead in the first half. The loss dropped the Wizards to an NBA-worst 4-25 and they remain the only team in the league to have not won two consecutive games.
It's one thing to be bad, but it's an entirely different thing to be historically bad. While Washington missed claiming the record for the worst start in NBA history by just seven games (it started 0-12; the record is 0-18, set by the 2009-10 Nets), it is on pace to challenge for a much more dubious distinction.
The worst team in NBA history is the 1972-1973 Philadelphia 76ers, which finished 9-73. Through 29 games, the Sixers were 3-26, just one game behind this year's Wizards. The Wizards won their fourth game in Game No. 27, while the Sixers didn't win their fourth game until Game No. 42 and fifth game until No. 63 following a 20-game losing streak. With 53 games left, there's still plenty of time for the Wizards to have one of those.
Meanwhile, only six teams in NBA history have had worse records through 29 games than Washington's 4-25: the 1988-89 Heat, aformentioned Sixers, 1970-71 Cavaliers, 1992-93 and 1993-94 Mavericks and 1997-98 Nuggets. The highest win total among those teams was 15. If the Wizards were to win 15 games, then that would set the franchise record for fewest wins in a season, breaking the current record of 18.
So the next time you flip on the Wizards game, fight the natural temptation to flip it right back off. You might be witnessing history.
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