Lakers’ Streak in ’72 Tops Heat’s in ’13




HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The Miami Heat may match or surpass the 1971-72 Lakers’ streak of 33 straight wins. But they will never win eight games in the span of 10 days.

Amazingly, that’s how those Lakers began their streak. It started with a back-to-back-to-back set. After a day off (in which they traveled 1,800 miles), they played a back-to-back in Chicago and Philadelphia. And after another day off (in which they traveled 2,500 miles back to L.A.), they played another back-to-back-to-back set.

The schedule got a little easier after that, both in terms of rest and schedule strength. Five of those first eight opponents eventually finished with at least 47 wins.

The Western Conference was as strong then as it is now. Six of the nine teams in the West finished with a winning record. The 49-33 Suns and 47-35 Sonics each missed the postseason. In the East, meanwhile, the 36-46 Hawks got the fourth and final playoff spot.

But the cumulative winning percentage (at the end of the season) of the teams the Lakers beat on their 33-game streak was just .477, not much stronger than the cumulative winning percentage (.472) of the teams the Heat have beaten over the last 24 games.

Boxscore data from the ’71-72 season is limited, so we can’t really determine pace and efficiency for the Lakers’ streak. We can guess that the pace was pretty quick, though, because scoring was so high. In fact, the Lakers’ 33 opponents scored more points per game (107.3) than the Heat have scored themselves during their streak (105.1).

And the Lakers won those 33 games by an average of 16.0 points. So while, their schedule strength wasn’t much tougher than what the Heat are going through, they were much more dominant.

Including Wednesday’s thriller in Cleveland, nine of the Heat’s 24 straight wins have come by six points or less, or in overtime. Only two of the Lakers’ 33 were by six points or less, and a third came in OT. More than half of their wins (17 of the 33) came by 15 points or more. So, in that sense, the Heat’s streak appears to be a little more lucky than what the Lakers did 41 years ago.

L.A.’s streak came to an end with a visit to Milwaukee on Sunday, Jan. 9, 1972, as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outscored Wilt Chamberlain, 39-15. The Bucks were the second best team in the league that year. The Lakers beat them in L.A. for their 11th straight win in November and eventually beat them 4-2 in the Western Conference finals, on their way to the franchise’s first championship since its 1960 move to Los Angeles (sixth overall).

Here’s a more detailed comparison of the two longest winning streaks in NBA history…

Streak comparison

1971-72 Lakers 2012-13 Heat
Wins 33 24
Avg. PTS 123.3 105.1
Avg. OppPTS 107.3 94.2
Avg. Pt. Diff. 16.0 10.9
By 6 or less or in OT 3 9
By 15 or more 17 7
Cum. opp. W% at time* 0.461 0.476
Cum. opp. W% at end** 0.477 0.472
.500+ opp. at time* 17 11
.500+ opp. at end** 15 12
Home 18 12
Road 15 12
No rest 9 6
Total days 59 46

* Based on opponent record at the time of the game
** Based on opponent record at the end of the ’72-72 season (for LAL) or through Wednesday (for MIA)
No rest = Second night of a back-to-back or third night of a back-to-back-to-back

***

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


140 Comments

  1. paulwall23 says:

    People will always find reasons to rag on the heat but truth is they are just haters. Back then there were not a lot of players brought into the league solely for their defense. There are players in the league now that are there just to defend the kobe, lebron, durant. There wasn’t as many amazing defenders back then. This streak is incredible whether people wanna admit it or not. And lets just remember teams play harder against the heat cause they wanna stop them so the heat have it tough and preserver anyway

  2. digitioli says:

    Oh, and I don’t think Howard could score 100 points if he played by himself… he can’t put the ball in the hole.
    In the era of big men, he’s not even earned the right to be mentioned yet. I’ll take Wilt, Kareem, Moses, Hakeem, Russell, Walton, Shaq, McHale, even Ewing waay before him off the top of my head. Most of these posters on this blog are talking about how superior today’s players are – the big men today aren’t even close to the legends.

  3. digitioli says:

    It’s a completely different game. The rules and the way they are (not) enforced, the 3 point line, traveling, palming, hand checking…
    Anyone who doubts Wilt wouldn’t be dominant in any era is an idiot.
    No way the heat beat either Laker team without a big man – Kareem and Wilt would kill them. Same with Russell’s Celtics.
    The bad boy Pistons would set the heat straight – lebron would get knocked on his butt, and he and bosch would fold, same with the Celtics of McHale and Bird. The Bulls would have Pippen and Jordan against Wade and James – that would be fun to watch! with Rodman crushing bosch and James. The game was MUCH tougher in the 60′s-80′s.
    It’s crazy that fans today think today’s players are so superior to the legends… I don’t think the shooting (Durant excepted) is even close to West, Bird, Petite, Wilkes – those guys were just money from anywhere.
    It would also be really fun to watch Barkley play lebron and knock him around – today no one even touches him…
    Oh well, we’ll never really know.

  4. Dan Meadows says:

    Not to mention 6 of the 9 winning streaks (including playoffs) 19 games or longer have happened since 2000. Watered down league makes streaks much easier now than in ’72.

  5. Hell says:

    Legend for sure, but who was guarding Wilt(7’1″) then, everybody except Rusell(6’10″) were 5 inches shorter and probably 50 lbs lighter. If Howard played today against Tayshaun Prince or Galinari in the post, he would have 100 ppg and rpg.

  6. 73m07 says:

    Y r we stil comparin which is better??? Different people different talent different era. Wat u mean its a bit of luck? Heat works hard to comeback if they just sit and play relax thats maybe luck but if u score on your end and stop at the other end. Thats how u win. By how many points? Does it matter? A win is a win no matter what. Dont deny Heat is playin at a different level. I aint say LBJ i said Heat! Its a team effort! Enjoy bbal guys!!!!

  7. LebronKingOfNba says:

    according to schumann

    winning in close games = lucky = clutch = kb24(big shots commercial) = most luckiest nba player(active)

    so every nba player, most specifically superstars winning games when trailing(let’s say 10-12pts in less than 5mins of 4th qtr) are just lucky. dang! kobe bryant must be an angel to be the most luckiest active player right now in the nba. checking his game winners back then.

    everyone, forget the word clutch. there’s no such thing as clutch. ALL TEAMS IN NBA WINNING A COME FROM BEHIND VICTORY ARE JUST LUCKY.

    ladies and gentlemen john schumann. . . . . . . BEST WRITER OF NBA.COM

  8. LebronKingOfNba says:

    it’s ironic that haters are saying lebron doesn’t have a 4th qtr. but coming from schumann itself which is i belief a die hard laker fan and a heat hater, the miami heat led by lebron are winning close games compared to the lakers dominating every entire game of the 33 winning streak. which means, lebron and heat are clutchness in the 24 winning streak. ok got ur point. =)

  9. heats says:

    I don’t think is right to compare the streak with the lakers.
    They are both diff era.
    u can make it sounds like the heats are doing it so easier now but then why cant the other teams do it now?

    is just like comparing lebron with MJ and kobe.

    Mj and lebron are in a different era.
    u can compare kobe and MJ cus the era they are playing are very close.

    why do ppl always like to compare. -.-

    if u really do want to compare u shld include many diff things too. The media and social stress etc and alot more!

  10. conor fitz says:

    If your gonna say comebacks thanks to LeBron James are lucky then are you going to call all the games where Jerry West or Wilt Chamberlain takeover the 4th quarter as lucky too? Are the clippers lucky when Chris Paul helps them comeback? The ’13 lakers with kobe? Please don’t categorize the ability of them to knock down the shots when they count in the fourth.

  11. Milosz says:

    The main difference is that in 1971-72 season, there played only 17 teams, today it’s 30 so it’s amost twice as much, twice as much competitive, but they played also 82 games in the season which would logicaly mean (im not sure) the 71-72 lakers played more games with same teams than the Heat play now. Today you can only play 4 times the same team, in those days where the lakers had the winning streak I guess they played the same worse teams at least 6 times, so it was easier to get 33 wins 40 years ago than it’s now. Also because of not many teams played they didn’t have to travel as much as HEat have to travel today. So I guess the Heat 24 games winning streak should already be much more appreciated and more worth than the Lakers record but hold on it’s not the end yet, I still believe they get wins over Detroit and Bobcats or maybe also with orlando and new orleans and they will get 28 wins. I don’t think they get 30 though.

  12. BoyLogro says:

    of course! butthurt heat fans will be mad at this

  13. B Korsakov says:

    I hope you put as much effort in everything else in your life as you put it on diminish what the Heat is doing.
    There is no way you can compare both teams, years have past, rules have changed, the game has changed, in favor or against the Heat streak.
    I’m looking forward and hoping to see W25, 26, 27… 34… just to prove how you guys change your mind with the flow.

    I’m a Heat fan and was enjoying what was happening ’till you started putting some senseless mediatic pressure on them.
    Ain’t nothing else to write ’bout? other teams? other games? other news?

  14. Uberbunk says:

    different league back then…….The Big Dippers records stand as a testament to his unrivaled greatness were it not for Russels amazing team player skillz Wilt would of certainly been the greatest winner of all time as well as his otherworldy achievements…..That being said, The miami Heat play in an entirely different league now…their dominance is unquestionable, when they have won their 40 games in a row..they will no longer live under the shadows of legends of a bygone era but be enshrined as legends of the modern age….Hail Champions

  15. Lar Junil says:

    Teams from that season were little bit easy for the lakers to beat since superstar or an allstar team is quite rare that time unlike now that almost all of the teams have superstars.

  16. MACKY says:

    yes agree, its not fear to talk all about to LBJ bcoz its the whole team effort,
    But logically, the entry of LBJ to miami is the biggest factor that increase the effeciency and popularity of the team. If Lebron went to LA it will be the same whta miami have now, Looking also how hes playing, He is not just shooting the ball ugly, hes shooting a lot of dynamic moves and accrobatic shots, include also how engage the whole team to plThose who are feeling jealous just watch and observe. and you cannot judge or make critic… if you are not long time fan of nba. You must to know fearly before you jealous….

  17. MACKY says:

    Comparing of winning streak of LA in 1972 vs Miami 2013 is so much exciting to watch on everyday…

    But if you look at the over all team effort, the miami is palying more complicated than LA in 1972…

    Basically, in 1972 its a smaller league becoz only 17 teams are playing, its almost twice as compare to this presesnt league which 30 teams playing.

    Just watch, enjoy, but dont compare thats it…

  18. yyoyoyoy says:

    all you guys are wrong lebron in 3 years will be better then mj and the heat will go down as the best team to ever play the game back then they were soft average height was like 6’1 now its 6’4 220 pounds cut the bs we all know it is tougher to win games now then back then tell me can the 92 lakers come back from 27 points ?

  19. Charlie says:

    it is a tough comparison. the 72 lakers had players with more skill while the Miami Heat have more athletic ability

  20. why so serious says:

    it’s not LeBRON, it’s the TEAM that made them that far.. lebron is indeed on his best right now (there’s more probably), but without the lineup they have now, it would be just nothing and wont even gonna make it that far.. MEDIA made LEBRON too big that NONE OF THE PEOPLE (okay maybe some) NOTICE the effort of the TEAM PUTTING ON EVERY GAME and they only focused on lebron.

  21. erich says:

    this doesnt matter anymore this time…what matters is the….72-10 record!

  22. Lebron James says:

    Maybe it just tells us that the “Competition” level back in the 70′s wasn’t that hard compared to this decade.

  23. Mars says:

    They had no salary cap back then and the Lakers were stacked and alot better than the other teams. The league is more even now so the streak is more impressive. Lebron is the second most dominant player ever next to Shaq.

  24. Methawee says:

    Kobe cannot carry Cav like Lebron

  25. Northern Fist says:

    I didn’t read the comments all the way down, but we must remember something when we compare previous eras to current ones. When people say that Wilt wouldn’t dominate now because players are stronger and better, you are sadly mistaking, because you are comparing a player that played 40 years ago, to those of today. The times have changed, the regimen have changed. Wilt was dominant in his era, but not because the era was dominated by white guys or whatever, but simply because he elevated himself to be above the rest (at least from an individual perspective, since Russell did all the winning). Jordan, same thing…. he was the best, no matter who came and went (Barkley/Isiah/Magic/Malone/Olajuwon/Shaq/Ewing). I mean, are you kidding me? In the 90′s, this Heat team wouldn’t be steam rolling through everybody. Absolutely not! Now, if the guys of today are bigger and stronger, that is from a physical standpoint. But being strong and athletic, and being tough and rugged are two separate things. You take a guy like Charles Barkley, who takes down Shaq and is about to pound him through the floor, wouldn’t be tougher than 99% of the guys in the league now? Olajuwon, Malone, Rodman… those were tough players. The league was a different place 20 years ago… now, these guys are too busy updating their twitter accounts. Guys like Olajuwon/Barkley/Malone/ and more that I can’t think of now…. they were killers…. nowadays these guys are too busy trying to be liked and getting some endorsements. Totally different, these guys wouldn’t last 2 weeks with those SOBs from the 90′s

  26. JM says:

    I hate stats much more if you compare different eras! All I can say is this is the greatest NBA era I saw/will see (i’m 30 y/o) ever in my life. Nobody should miss this Heat team play!

  27. Aram says:

    What are you talking about people? Heat was still a sperm during those days! hahaha

  28. davo says:

    Michael Jordan -best player I have seen.LeBron is probably second at this stage.Wish i could se more film of Wilt.He would dominate even today.Everyone forgets that he could dunk foul shots and the rules were changed because of him.From all reports he was as athletic as any player today.Todays best need a big run up and still step over the line when dunking from the foul line.

  29. dexter says:

    wilt chamberlain is the only dominant big man during the streak in 71′-72′ season compare to the stats of the winning streak of miami heat this season.

  30. dexter says:

    because the LAKERS have wilt chamberlain during the streak in 71′-72′ season that’s why compare the stats to now HEAT winning streak, this article by schuhmann is so damn idiot.

  31. Kikeh says:

    Now what you have is a team of similarly skilled players with high basketball IQ’s players playing each other.

  32. Kikeh says:

    Youngsters – stop doing it to yourselves. The roof you see in the NBA would not exist now if it didn’t have a foundation. And if that foundation did not exist, the materials used to build the roof would be used to build the foundation. Without Jerry West, Wilt, Russell, Larry Bird, Magic, Jordan and co – Lebron and Kevin Durant do not exist. Those guys had the benefit of learning from the foundation laid by Russell, Jordan and co. Do you understand how hard it is to be original? It’s a 10 foot rim … the players are 6’7 on average. Players may have actually gotten smaller. Look at the Dream Team vs teams that follow, The Dream team is clearly much bigger than last years team. Now what you have if a team of similarly skilled players with high basketball players playing each other.

    If you play basketball for real, you understand that at a certain height and skill level, talent damn near evens out. It’s more about basketball IQ after a while. Your freakish athletes like Lebron, Carmelo, Pippen, Magic, Penny, Bird, Wilt, Russell exist in every era. I think these dudes would all hold steady to who they were in their era … in any era. Because they would have had all the same “ancestoral”/”historical” ….cheat sheet advantage today’s players have. In the end ..the only difference would be the competitive nature that made them stand out in the first place. Give Wilt the benefit of having watched Shaw and imagine the beast he would become in today’s era. Give Magic the benefit of watching Lebron in the 80′s and see what he becomes,

    I know it’s a fun argument …but the reason no one’s point really sticks is because you ignoring the most fundamental part of the argument. Without the blueprint laid by those “older players” your younger players would not be who they are today. They would be those “older players”. Once that logic really sets in …you realize that comparing the two eras does not really make much sense at all.

  33. KG4life says:

    You dont compare them as is. If you take the 71-72 lakers and put them on today’s season, with the same training as everyone now. Then we’ll see something. But Yeah, a lot of people here are right. MJ’s era was the hardest. Will all the dirty plays being allowed. And now, you can’t even touch the players. 80s to 90s basketball best ever.

  34. Woffie says:

    72′-73′ lakers were greater than this heat, period, nothing else to say…

  35. m says:

    its not about having longest winning streak, its about winning a championship. lets wait they can still dominate the playoffs.

  36. Darbie says:

    No defense before? Bill Russell who?

  37. Lady L says:

    The problem with the Heat is being excited about playing these other teams. They have already beat every team this season so naturally other teams will be more excited about beating the Heat than the Heat being excited about playing them. It’s natural. I really was not excited that they were even playing Cleveland and I am a fan and love to see them play. Some teams and cities is just boring! If you notice, they get up for the big games right away. Except for Boston, but no Rondo or KG in the last two games. It is kind of like making yourself watch a movie or book you don’t want to see every night. Look the Bulls had a 72-10 season and won the championship that year. 10 games lost? WoW a lot of bad games. That means that they lost about 2 out of every 20 games. That’s tough and just as amazing as this streak.

  38. A.K says:

    defense was far more superior in the 80′s and 90s as to the last 10 years, game 7 between the lakers and celtics in 2010 is the most defensive game we seen since the 90s, only difference every playoff game was like that back then. For anyone to downgrade the skills of players in the last 3 decades compared to this one is just silly , watch some of those games and shut up it was much more physical game.

  39. lolololol says:

    Some of you really need to go back to school, when you’re lack of grammar, spelling and basic understanding of the English language is this bad, any insult/argument for or against a point you are making automatically becomes irrelevant.

  40. erich says:

    no one can beat beat the BULLS!!…72-10!!! match it

  41. Ali says:

    LAKERS IN 72 WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST. NOBODY IS GOING TO BEAT THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Mfaruque Khan says:

    I would say its too early to compare with the 1972 Lakers because Heat still has not won 33 games yet. If they do that at that point you can start comparing. It is just too early now. I mean Heat just won 24 games while Lakers won 33 games. That is a huge difference of 9 games so too early to compare.

    And as for which team is better that 1972 Laker team or the current Miami Heat team, that is a interesting discussion. One thing that is clear is that 1972 Laker team was more dominant for that time compare to the current Heat team. I mean they won 33 games in a row and 69 wins which was the highest ever and they set the standards. Unless Miami wins 75 games, there is no comparison and they can’t win 75 games this season because its mathematically impossible now.

    Now as for which team is better 1972 Lakers or the current Miami Heat, I give the credit to current Miami Heat, simply because players have become much better overall. Back then it was mostly white guys and not much competition from internationally. Also the game has evolved over time. We have faster and stronger players which better coaches and more strategies and so on. The game keeps on evolving over time just like all the other sports. And one thing is that people look at the old data and old teams and say they are the best but its not true because players evolved. Lot of the old players that were great early on, if played in the current NBA they would not be that great. Its hard to compare in NBA but one example that I can give is track. Over the years track has evolved and players have become faster and only reason we know it is because in track we can put people under the same standard. We can measure someone’s speed 40 years ago and can do the same thing so you can compare accurately. And when you do you see that the old runners are nothing compare to current greats. With Basketball you can’t do that but if you could of done it just like other sports the old greats would be no match for the current greats.
    If the current Miami heat played the 72 Lakers they would probably crush them. Heck current Spurs and Thunder can also crush the 72 Lakers because players and coaches have become better over the years with more complicated play moves and defensive strategies. The game has become much much more harder and much much more advanced.

  43. 54TONE says:

    i wonder who got more calls….. 72 lakers or 13 heat.

  44. LOL says:

    To the people saying that competition back then isn’t as tough as today due to he changes made (ie athleticism, speed of the game, defense, etc), please don’t apply double standards. It’s not as if that the Heat’s competition are the only ones that has evolved, the Heat players too, benefited from that evolution. It’s only fair to compare the ’72 lakers to the ’13 heat.

  45. shot bro says:

    Hahaha… the 71-72 lakers would get crushed by the heat! they would get crushed by the bobcats even! the athleticism of the players today is far to superior. back then they would drink beers and smoke ciggies after games, not to mention all the other ”recreational’ things they used to do outside the team

  46. Kevin says:

    The differences in scoring between the streaking teams and their opponents would be better expressed through a percentage, because the higher scoring in the past helps create larger margins of victory.

  47. Imed5 says:

    I think its time that people gave the greats of the past their due credit. It’s not their fault that they played in a less athletic era, that’s due to the reality of the evolution that has occurred in sports sciences since then. But think about what you’re saying. You make it sound as though the feats of the past were easy. If it was so easy back then, why didn’t everyone average 50+ points a game, or score 100, or average a triple-double throughout a season? For instance look at bill Russell. You have to take into account his basketball I.Q. He was playing against a much bigger player in chamberlain and still winning. There is no question wilt would be dominant today. Please stop disrespecting these legends.

    With that being said, the heat’s streak is more impressive to me, as the competition is much higher, much stronger. The players of before didn’t have to close out to a 3 point line or deal with zone defenses. I think the author of this article is simply a contrarian, and gets more pleasure out of finding a “but” in everything than simply appreciating what’s currently happening. It’s actually pretty sad

  48. hmm says:

    Honestly you have to also remember that the Heat are the reigning champions and so every team they challenge will give the heat their very best each night

  49. sjnoorvikalaska says:

    haha mj claims its easier to get foul calls now, but if you watch the game where he played the celtics in the playoffs…walton ainge and johnson didnt even touch him on most plays and they all fouled out, IN A PLAYOFF GAME! the beating that superstarts today take is alot worst than back in the day..heat streak alot more impressive than the 72 lakers

  50. khalil says:

    i think 87 lakers the best team ever

  51. foficos says:

    Let’s put it in other way. If the Heat were playing in the Western conference they wouldn’t win more than 10 straight games

  52. Jay says:

    LOL @ the skinny white guys in the video. John Schuhman let’s see you make a team consisting of players of a similar physique/stature of the players back in those days, and see how that team fares against the Heat. Think before you write please.

  53. Sgt, Ivonne says:

    Well. you can’t compare Lakers’72 cause this is a new era. Miami’13 is not the same. They are more athletic, and they really are monsters, That doesn´t mean they are better. It´s totally different.

  54. Word says:

    The Heat deserve mad respect but honestly they’ve only got one championship so far and everyone’s saying they’re one of the best teams ever. You cant say that right now but they’re streak is very impressive and deserves a lot of credit.

  55. Danny says:

    Those of you who think that Wilt would not be dominant in today’s league, I laugh at you. Dwight Howard is easily the best center in the league today with a bad back and no post moves. Wilt was as dominant or even more than Shaq was in his prime. Wilt would still dominate even though the players are more athletic.

  56. KunJayMaster says:

    I completely disagree with you Schuhmann. You do know back then there were only 17 teams in the NBA? Players back then were good players but nowhere near the level of athleticism that NBA players have today. Your chart displays a team that won by outscoring their opponents. Any team that allows 105 ppg this days does not get very far. Just check yourself the 17 teams in 71-72 allowed an average of 110.2 ppg right now the 30 NBA teams allow only 98 ppg and still we think the Heat are waltzing because the east is bad. Talent was diluted back then, basketball has evolved and people drafted now are better overall players. What that tells me is defending back then was not a priority and was very weak hence people like Chamberlain aside from being good players back then in this times they would never average 30 ppg and 22 rpg in his career. Thats why nobody will ever match those numbers again. And thats why the Heat’s run is much more difficult and much more significant now than it was back in 71-72.

  57. Number4 says:

    How can you compare Wilt led Laker team to LeBron & Miami. There’s a reason no one has been able to reproduce the number Wilt put up in those days. The NBA is much tougher now. When Will Kobe or Durant average 50.4 for a whole season? & They are such gifted scorers. When will Dwight Howard average 20+ Rebounds over a 82 game stretch. You just can’t compare the two teams. Why are you even trying to undermine what Miami has been doing? Appreciate it, like we appreciate what Wilt & the GREATS did. This is a different time.

  58. dj rgm9 says:

    The Heat’s long streak is not so unlogic, they have the weakest(East) conference + the regular season schedule from the Heat is made that way choose’d by the Heat organisation!The organisation has calculating wisely with agreement from the Nba-commisioner before season start.Also the injury plague around the league makes them almost invincible right now because they still injury-free rising&shinning games.It’s only logic d’ont you?

  59. blingbling says:

    the heats won coz James cheated……..

  60. Martin Heiman says:

    All you have to do is watch any of the films of the old games. No one played defense as a team. They were individual great but it wasn’t until the era of the Jordan Bulls that teams worked on defense. When Wilt got his 100 the rest of the team scored over 50. Jordan was so great because he played like they do now 20 years before anyone else. It’s a different game. Remember back then most kids that played basketball did because they were too skinny to play football. Just look at the physical stature of today’s plays compared to the past., There were exceptions but most basketball players could play football today if they wanted.

  61. islander says:

    This guy is one of the haters. They cannot swallow it. They cannot sleep. They cannot conceive the Miami Heat’s success. They pray every day for something bad to happen to the Miami Heat. They hate the team, the players, the city and everything related to the sunshine state…
    Why nobody was saying anything this year when the Lakers took the main two available players (Howard and Nash) from the market, making also a “Big Four” together with Kobe and Gasol, trying to defeat the Heat?
    How this guy dares to compare two teams separated by 41 years?…different game and different players…athleticism is way more higher and EVEN in entire league. Competence is stronger, defense more elaborated and strategy sharper…
    How in the world this guy can insinuate this team wins because they are lucky?…OMG….

  62. Ty says:

    You can’t compare apples to oranges. There’s no way to standardize their performances to compare. UNLESS… if someone has a time machine handy.

  63. ko0kie says:

    milwaukee was in the western conference back then? man I really don’t know nothing about that time…

  64. dj rgm9 says:

    If you check Lebron’s picture on the frontpage nba.com it catch my eyes there’s something fishy involved !
    He looks more muscular than before suspicious like using some hormone preparation during season.Somekind of dope usage or maybe new kind “epo” stuff, gen dope.Watch closely than you see there’s something going on with himself.
    It would’nt surprise me one day in the future there’s gonna be an investigation with superstars-athlete’s today.Soon on the european media,they gonna expose many superstar-athlete’s by spanish famous doctor Fuentes.Very interesting the list of doctor Fuentes,who knows.The hole nba is a joke now, would’nt surprise me anymore involving nba players today or in the past!Not for nothing we calling them the “cHEATer’s”.uhummm…!

  65. Grang Tapes says:

    Looking at the remainder of their season, the only challenge I think they’ll face is San An. But, who knows, anything could happen.

  66. FREDDY RINCON says:

    from my point of view , there is no comparison between basketball level this days and 70′s , today any team can beat a top team, 70′s basketball only lakers and celtics where elite teams
    so Congratulations Miami Heat for the best ever straight in basketball history

  67. crooner says:

    people comparing the “then” and “now” better not make that argument with the likes of bill russell

  68. ism says:

    zzZZZzzz point duly noted.
    But still: this is today. I might not have the numbers to back it up, but I feel it’s almost impossible to win 33 by an average margin of 16 pts today. even if it’s possible, the heat’s “lesser” streak is the best we’ve seen in years. Winning close games is an achievement, too.

  69. JMaine says:

    @Dillinja331, couldn’t have said it better. but you do know people are going to think you crazy now. I felt that way for years, but no one want to look at those things as a factor.

  70. Big Al says:

    The longer the streak goes, the harder it is to win each game. The Heat are still nine to go before tying the ’72 Lakers, but I certainly doubt that they will get even close to that. Bear in mind that Miami’s last two games were come-from-behind ones against a lower teams yet without their best players. But if it ends, that’s okay, so long as the loss isn’t to DC, Charlotte, New Orleans, well, you know what I mean. Still, all credit goes to everyone who made 24+ straight wins possible. LeBron and friends have performed so impressively and showed that the East has at least one serious title contender.

  71. ELISEO SORIANO OLDPATH says:

    MICHAEL JORDAN’S era is still best, very efficient…
    LBJ-WADE-BOSH… 2nd Best…
    LAKERS 71-72… is hard to tell..NBA is more physical now…

    But its okay to have 24 Winning Streak… Go Heat!!
    Miami All Day… –Daniel Razon Oldpath

  72. oli says:

    Don’t forget how in the past basketball was a “more american” sport, now it evolved to a mondial sport and a lot of countries have talented and well trained players, the amount of foreign players in nba is very high… so in the past the competiton was much smaller… now the best players from around the world are in the NBA… Heat’s streak more impressive than 72′ Lakers’…

  73. Esteban says:

    Everything’s relative. Don’t forget real facts. You can’t compare different things, but we keep doing it. Miami Heat is the best team RIGHT NOW, and only now. Period.

  74. GottaLoveLebron says:

    You can’t tell me that those goofballs would be any good if they were playing in the League today. There is a reason it has evolved in 40 years. The pool of athletes have gotten so much bigger, recruitment methods, training methods. Wilt Chamberlain would be a Robin Lopez today. And that is probably an overstatement. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t even make the 2013 Draft.

    • nba2013 says:

      When your name shows you’re obviously a lebron fanboy, i dont think you know what you’re talking about. Wilt Chamberlain was the greatest athlete to ever play the game of basketball. He had a 4 foot vertical in chuck taylors, he could have easily had 50+ in todays shoes. Call me up when lebron averages 50 ppg in a league tailored to scoring

  75. dreamer says:

    why not NBA Champion VS ALL STAR NBA Player

  76. GottaLoveLebron says:

    Let’s put it this way. If the ’13 Heat were playing in 1972, they would win 82 straight games.

    • foficos says:

      Let’s put it in other way. If the Heat were playing in the Western conference they wouldn’t win more than 10 straight games

      • jim says:

        good joke

      • Imed5 says:

        Where are these excuses coming from? No western team has a winning record over the heat. They beat the thunder twice, the lakers twice, the nuggets twice, split games with the grizzlies, the warriors… And god forbid I mention the win over the spurs. Since all you apologists will say it was competitive even though the best players weren’t there. You don’t even take into account that the heat couldn’t care less for a game where Parker, Duncan, ginobli and green don’t show up. This streak has nothing to do with what conference they’re in. Perhaps you’d have a point if they had a losing record against the west but guess what…they don’t. Stop crying. The heat are doing something incredible. Why is that so difficult to accept?

      • Stephen says:

        There is some validity to that comment (it’s not completely an excuse). A team plays more games against teams in their conference. As of a few days ago, The west leads the interconference battle (about 230 – 160). Obviously as a whole, the western conference is tougher. If the heat were in the western conference they would be playing more of their games against better teams. I’m not saying that they would lose those games, but it would definitely be tougher to keep a winning streak like that alive if they’re having to play tougher teams more frequently. In the end, it is still impressive to have a winning streak like that though.

      • colby says:

        thats funny because i believe the heat have beat okc, memphis, lakers (twice), clippers, San antonio, and most of the other teams in the west oh and by the way heat actually has the best record against the westen conference oh and lakers memphis clippers and okc all came during this win streak. and i maybe i fan of heat but im still a fan of the entire basketball scene and to me jordan is the best player ever but to say the heat wouldnt stand a chance is completely stupid due to the fact that bulls team had been beat before whether it was losing a four games series with the pistons or losing in the regular season ( the bulls never had a perfect record which means they had been beat many of times atlest 10 or more times a season) and this heat team would dominate the 72′ lakers because if there size strenght and quickness. as a fan of the sport you should understand legends need respect for their accoplishments yet when you understand the meaning of true talent it is something lebron kobe mj magic bird drexler pipper isaiah thomas karl malone had and their accomplishments are amazing but the way they play the game is what really is amazing because they inspire people to become basketball players or to strive to be the best at whatever they want

  77. GottaLoveLebron says:

    The league is FAR more competitive 40 years later… by a long shot… that’s why not as many points are scored (WAY better/more athletic defenses)…. ’nuff said.

  78. deJavu says:

    cavaliers loss to miami really shows or exemplifies even the cavs are up by 25-30..would still loss in the end. it only means cavs belong to d-league..

    • Mister 215 says:

      @Dejavu…. you sir make no sense at all…. You do realize that Kyrie, Anderson, and Waiters did not play right??? Thats the cavs three top offensive weapons…. That would be like Miami playin witout Lebron, Wade, nd Bosh… If their top scoring players played in that game the outcome would have been diffenent…. Did you even watch the game???? The cavs had no player on the court that could break down the defense the way Kyrie would have….

  79. TheChosen says:

    Poorly written article. Article predicts the future which is absurd. By this reasoning the heat’s 2nd championship is one of the greatest of all time since it happened on a compressed schedule and they were playing up to 5 games per week, plus they had players injured during the playoffs. Please don’t write an articles FOR THE NBA condemning a team to never be as good as another team from the past. Be professional.

  80. GottaLoveShaq says:

    The league is FAR more competitive 40 years later… by a long shot… that’s why not as many points are scored (WAY better/more athletic defenses)…. ’nuff said.

    Miami’s 24 more impressive.

  81. Shaqwave says:

    If we pit wilt and rest to Todays players im pretty sure wilt dont stand a chance… Just saying

  82. NBA Fan #361153140 says:

    This is why its a little unfair to compare any two players, teams, statistics from two very different eras. Although the conventional stat junkies here at nba.com would make a conclusion like the heat streak is “lucky” as if they are trying to take away from what is already an unbelievably amazing run. The best in the last 40 YEARS. 40 YEARS! Think of the great teams that ave played in the last 40 YEARS, very few have even come close to 24 wins. That attests to how special this Heat team is. These writers even sound like they’re scrutinizing the heat for not being as “dominant” as a superstar-packed team in the 70s. Ughhh..

  83. Chris says:

    Instead of updating Everytime heat win a game with one of these articles please write about something else. We all know you’re basically going to repeat every article written when it ends so why not see where it goes instead of constantly reminding us the heat are basketball Gods.

    • Wow says:

      they are only doing because of the way the heat are winning. half of their wins in the streak were comeback victories and lebron has been insanely clutch. oh, and by speculating on the upcoming schedule, it is pretty likely that they will beat the lakers streak if they keep playing like this.

      • Chris says:

        thats why I’m saying wait till it happens first instead of stupidly speculating. It’s like the writers are so excited for history to happen in their era they’re jumping at the opportunity to provide us with every single detail. 3/4 of the last emails I’ve gotten from hang time in the last 12hrs have been about this subject. I used to subscribe cause I found the blogs interesting, but come on stop updating the heat everyday. I’ve got the game time app or nba.com I can check that information myself without being reminded every second. I actually would look forward to the recap when it ended if what’s to be written doesnt just repeat everything they’ve already written an will write till it ends

  84. Dillinja331 says:

    Even if the Heat’s streak ended in their next game, I would find it more impressive because today the average NBA player is bigger, stronger, faster, more talented, and overall a lot more athletic. This is why scoring in the NBA is down. Teams are a lot better defensively, strategies have evolved overtime which is why the NBA tries to implement rules like no more hand checking to make things easier on the offensive side because of how the average player, average team, and the game has evolved. I’m not trying to take away from the legends of the past did. Dominating your era is very impressive, but you need to put things in perspective. Kobe’s 81 is more impressive than Wilt’s 100. Kobe could score 100 back then, Wilt couldn’t score 50 today in his prime. The game has changed so much, even from the time Jordan played. Jordan is the best to ever play, but he wouldn’t be as dominant in today’s game and his Bulls team wouldn’t win 6 championships in 8 years in today’s game.

    • Chris says:

      As much as I doubt that speculation about Jordan’s bulls I have to agree the times have changed. Standards have changed but we’ll never be able to make appropriate judgement about the players of the past competing today. I think a huge reason today’s players get more praise than those in the past is because of the change in our culture, not our skills. We want to elevate everyone to God status, over expose them in th media. Lebron is great but he’s also over exposed. A lot of these awards come from what the media says, and well in Lebron’s prime the media is far more powerful than it was in even Kobe’s prime. Basketball back than also wasn’t as flashy, also a sign of our culture and the media. These guys are now every where you look, after all theyre celebrities. Where areas you’d have to do something like score 100 points to be thrown into the media, modern day players will end up ok a Facebook post for the whole world to see just for picking their nose. Not to take away anything from today’s game but I do think the media skews things

    • Cisco808 says:

      All good points. Agree with you 99% of the way. I do think that Jordans best is still above anyone elses today. Also think his 6 Championship winning teams in (8 years) would still wi., If not the championship, would still be good enough to make it to the finals.

    • pointofview says:

      as dominant as wilt was, he wouldnt be all that right now, its a different league, a more competitive one, more athletecism and right now the NBA is more talented that it has been in decades, its a smarter league, strategies and the way defense is played has improved so much. any given night a player can go off and drop 40 nowadays, HEAT have been able to overcome all that, having bad shooting,games slow, starts and everything, their will as a team is unmatched. they’ve done something great BOTH of them, if HEAT match LA’s winning streak, no streak will be superior than the other, in sports what matters most are results. wins.

      • big mo says:

        youre talking about how the leauge is more athletic now smhh wilt was one of the most athletic people of all time he had a 50′ vert. a 4.3 40 and has beaten o.j. simpson and jim brown in races also he could bench press 500 pounds nobody in todays leauge could stop him

    • Wow says:

      Who do you think you are, being all logical in your comment? You think people just come in here and make perfect sense? You’re supposed to say completely biased and nonsensical things! But really though, you are absolutely correct. The technology and larger salaries these teams have today make our athletes way better than the ones in the past.

    • AK says:

      Wilt couldn’t score 50 in todays game? LOL You have no idea what you are talking about..

    • Schemer21 says:

      Im sorry but i completely disagree. You say that teams are a lot better defensively now then they were back then which is why the NBA implement rules like the hand-checking rule? There was no hand-checking rule, no defensive 3 second rule, and the game was more physical in Jordan’s era. You say he wouldn’t be as dominant in todays game?? He’d be more dominant than ever! I don’t even know where to start! Firstly check out the likes of Joe Dumars or Gary Payton. You won’t find a guard in todays league that can defend like either of them. These are the kind of guards that Jordan faced up against every night, whilst they hanb-checked him as much as they liked. So he beats his man and drives to the basket.. Ok no defensive 3 second rule, so now he’s driving to the basket against Patrick Ewing, Hakeem, Mutombo, David Robinson, Mourning, Shaq, the list goes on of the true dominant centers of league history, and they could stay in the paint all they liked. Also, check out the Jordan Rules and see what he had to play against. Sorry but that was the toughest era to play in.
      Secondly, you won’t find a guard or forward who can defend the way Jordan and Pippen could nowadays. Those to guys would dominate in this era.
      You say the rules were brought in because the defense became too good. That’s correct, but it was because of the previous era, not this era. The defensive 3 second rule came into place in 2001 and the hand checking rule in 2004. Both the help up the level of scoring and increase revenue for the league. It was tougher in Jordans day, believe me.

    • mdonnelly21 says:

      I respectfully disagree. You think Wilt wouldn’t be able to score 50 against he downgrading big man league? Wilt almost more athletic than any big man today by era comparison. He was much stronger than any big man today, and that was in an era where working out was an after thought, imagine if Wilt had the trainers today, the diets, and the gyms he would miles ahead of every other big man.
      if you surround him with shooters like Lebron has you couldn’t double and triple team him like teams did on a regular basis, and he would average 35 on accident in todays game against a down big man league. On 60+% shooting. There’s basically only 3 guys I could see holding him around 30 is Joakim, Chandler, and Dwight and they would have to be on there A games with help D.

      Further more, your also downgrading the hand check rule that we don’t have today, which made it much easier on defenders back in the day, although it’s much better guard league today, Jordan would still go off regardless he was too competitive, trained better. A guy who averaged 20 10 years ago at an old age.

      If the Heat win around 30 games in a row, and win the championship they will be one the greatest teams of all time, regardless how deeply you look in the #’s. And I’m sure there are #’s that are in favor of the Heats win streak over the Lakers if you look deep enough!

    • GMAN says:

      You had me till the Jordan thing. I think what makes Jordan so great is that you can, literally pluck him out of one era and drop him in any era and he would dominate. I think with all this athletic talk people are forgetting Jordans strength, fundamentals, and basketball I.Q. He would still dominate for the simple fact that people are not allowed to HAND CHECK on defense anymore.

    • JayMacon says:

      6 championships in 6 years remember those two years where he didnt play or the year and a half, but jordan would still dominate now like he did then, because you dont have those defenses like you have back then. No one plays defense or takes pride in defense like they did in the past. Jordan came back to the wizards and still averaged 20 points a game. At age 39 so jordan in today’s game would probably be even more dominant. You must have forgot that Jordan, used to get mugged, by detroit, by the celtics, by the knicks, the lakers, the rockets, alot of the calls that they make in today’s game wasnt called back then. The athletes are a lil bigger but they are more divas now. But if you think they are that much bigger go back and look at shaq rookie year and look at dwight rookie year, shaq still out weighed dwight and would have made dwight look like a lil girl.

    • Just saying says:

      If Jordan in his prime would play today’s game,he’ll probably average 40 to 50 pts a game…too many touch fouls called resulting in free throws,that’s why Kevin Durant leads the league in scoring for the past four year coz he’s just swinging his arms around the defender’s arms and the refs are buying it…Jordan is an offensive juggernaut,nobody has stopped him then when the rules let the players play, nobody can stop him now when the game has become too soft..

    • Bballer says:

      In 1965 there were only 9 NBA teams. That meant you were going up against a top-level player every night. In today’s game there are quite a few teams that have backups in an earlier era as starters. Interesting point about rule changes. I would say the two players that have had the biggest impact on rule changes were Wilt and Kareem.

    • Nick says:

      what that is so not true. once the made it so you couldnt hand check anymore defense in the league got harder to play effectively its much easier to score now then it was back then. the bulls would still dominate

  85. Filipino Idiot says:

    I always have the belief that the era of Michael Jordan up to now are far more superior than the past ones. Everything is more scientific and the players we have today are supermen as compared in the past.

  86. The NBA was dominated by small skinny white guys back then. Now it is dominated by freakish big athletes. Much harder to win in today’s league.

    • jose says:

      Yes!!!!!, thank you …I was about to say that.
      Where did that Lakers would be today ?????

      • lolzz says:

        I love comments like these. What would Lebron do if he faced the bad boy pistons. Guess what if that was the case Lebron could play with there rules. What would happen if a beast of a physical specimen like lebron was allowed even more physicality and cheap shots as he does now. Think about it. Isaiah Thomas would have to be carried off the floor after a simple foul.

    • JayMacon says:

      the league is alot more softer, to many flops now a day, and Michael Jordan would definately have wade or lebron on pad locks, and scottie pippen would guard the other one and lebron will do ok vs pippen he is gonna look like a regular player vs pippen, those two were 2 of the better defensive players ive ever seen. Plus jordan’s competitive nature wouldnt let them lose

      • bullsfan23 says:

        I agree the game now is too soft people are to afraid to foul lebron. I would love to see how lebron would have done against the bad boy pistons.

      • sick says:

        If Lebron will play against the old bad boys Pistons then somebody from that badboys will be killed … Lol

  87. The Angry Buddhist says:

    The 72 Lakers were the better team. Here is the breakdown.

    West-Wade–Even
    Hairston-Haslem- Edge Hairston, He was a much better offensive player
    McMillan-James Edge James
    Goodrich-Chalmers Edge Goodrich
    Wilt-Bosh Edge Wilt

    Wilt was still the most dominate player of all time. This Laker team was the original show time with Hairston and McMillan filling the wings. Goodrich hit those corner shots blindfolded and West was Mr. Clutch. They were practically unbeatable in the playoffs stomping the Knicks in 5. The only game the Knicks won was when they shot 60% for the game.
    Chalmers and Haslem are mediocre players and keep this team from being ranked from the all-time greats.

    • joseph tiu says:

      can i know what you are smokin boy?well researched..well basketball is a five man game!and with lebron leading miami its by far the best team i ever seen on NBA.

      • Mister 215 says:

        Well you must have never saw the Bulls when Jordan played…. The Lakers when Magic played…… The Celtics when Bird played…. Nd When Kobe nd Shaq played together…. Each one of these teams would have ran down on the Heat nd if you know basketball, you would know that this statment would be true on so many levels…. I do admit winning 24 games in a row is something to brag about… I would

      • Johansen Peralta says:

        LOL at Mister 215, this heat squad is way better than kobe shaq combo, lebron right now is better than kobe ever was.

    • jhbh says:

      If we pretend that players havent evolved and gotten stronger faster and more skilled in the last 40 years, sure

      • skrutz says:

        I second that. It’s fun to compare, but the players in general are a whole different breed.

      • Bballer says:

        Let’s take a look at play in the paint in 1972. It wasn’t “skinny white guys” as one commenter said: Wilt, Kareem, Walt Bellamy, Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed, Elvin Hayes, Bob Lanier, Wes Unseld, Elmore Smith. And there was a white guy – Dave Cowens. I would take all of them but Elmore Smith over Dwight Howard. (Look these guys up. For example, Elmore Smith was a 7 footer that blocked 17 shots in one game.)

    • GMAN says:

      lol im sorry but west against Wade? lol wade is a defensive monster at his position. Wade has the edge.

      • big mo says:

        yo jerry west was agreat defensive player in one of his books wilt said that if they had recorded steals back then west would average about 4 a game

  88. Ballin for life says:

    You know I cant deny the fact that Lebron is the best in the league right now. I’m a diehard lakers fan and love Kobe but god damn, when I watch Lebron play you cant do s*** to stop him…he is definitely in beastmode right now

    • TNT says:

      Great team altogether for the Heat. Unfortunately I hate to see that Lebron gets all the credit publicly. Lebron proved it 7 times that he could not do it by himself, like in Cleveland. If you take out Lebron and put Kyrie Irving on the Heat team, the Heat would do just as good as they are right now with all the pieces. So why does Lebron get all the credit? Who the f* know..

      • Saeed says:

        Come on, are u serious?
        No one wins on himself. Even the big Wilt wildly fell short of enough wins in Philadelphia warriors.

      • Average Joe says:

        I would have to disagree with your comment. Kyrie isn’t the player LeBron is. Irving is a great playmaker and scorer, but so is LeBron. And James has more skills, is physically bigger and stronger and can control the game just with his presence alone. So no, the Heat wouldn’t do as good as they’re doing now if you swap LeBron with Irving.

      • S3S says:

        Lol no way! Kyrie is in no way even close to being the player that Lebron is. You’re crazy (or stupid) if you think that. Remember when LeBron was on the cavs and apart from him they had a horrible team but still managed to win over 60 games? No other player in the NBA (not Durant, Kobe or even Kyrie (lol)) could do that. The cavs lost 26 games in a ROW the year after for gods sake. 26! That’s amazingly bad.

  89. The Watcher says:

    When all else fails…be a contrarian and hater for controversy points.