Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Heat Extinguished on Lakers' All-Time Streak

Article written by Dave Thomas - Guest Poster
As the seconds ticked away last Wednesday night in the Windy City, LeBron James and company watched their dream of perhaps making history fade into the early spring night. For long-time fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, their prayers were answered.
Signed James Photograph - with " x 24" InscriptionIn Chicago’s 101-97 victory over the Miami Heat, the defending world champions saw their impressive 27-game winning streak (last lost on Feb. 1 to Indiana) come to a halt. In doing so, the Lakers’ remarkable stretch of 33 consecutive wins (1971-72) had been preserved.
When you look back to that Lakers squad of the early 1970’s, you had the likes of the late Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, two of the game’s greatest players to ever walk on the court. Although he played only a handful of games due to injury, Hall-of-Famer Elgin Baylor was also on the squad, along with the very talented Gail Goodrich.
With this collection of Miami Heat, you have two of the best players in recent times, James and Dwayne Wade, though neither is in the category of Chamberlain or West at this point in their respective careers. In an ironic twist, current Heat President Pat Riley was also a member of that Lakers team which set the standard decades ago.
Going back to the 1971-72 season, you had a Lakers squad that:
  • Went 69-13 during the regular season, including the 33-game win streak (lost in game 34 versus Milwaukee)
  • Won the Pacific Division title (finished 18 games ahead of second-place Golden State) and Western Conference crown;
  • Won its first L.A. title since relocating from Minneapolis, defeating the New York Knicks 4-1;
  • Featured future Hall-of-Famers Chamberlain, West, Baylor.
Meantime, some might argue that Miami plays today in a somewhat diluted league, although its streak should be honored for what it was, an amazing run.

The Heat had some blowouts, but they also had to win some games by the skin of their teeth, including comebacks against Boston (17 points) and Cleveland (27 points) among others.

If you fast forward to this season’s NBA Finals, it would take an epic collapse by the Heat not to wind up representing the Eastern Conference when all is said and done. 
About the Author: Dave Thomas is a freelance writer who covers topics for a variety of websites, including Reputation.com.

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