8 Crazy NBA Streaks: Can They Be Broken?
Because it's the middle of August and things are slow in the basketball world, I thought it would be fun to look at some historical NBA streaks. Some of them look like they may never fall, if just for the reason that modern basketball is much different than it was 40 years ago. Other ones are more obtainable and we have some current players that have skill sets that could make it happen.
To do this, I used basketball-reference.com for the statistics. However, not every stat was always recorded, so our data isn't perfect.
All of the data is from 1985 to 2014, except for points and free throws, which is from 1963 to 2014. And this matters a lot. For example, as you'll see, Michael Jordan holds the record for consecutive games with a triple-double, with seven in a row. However, Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double in the 1961-1962 season, with 30.8 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, and 11.4 assists per game. His streak number is probably astronomically high.
Regardless of having limited years and limited stats, let's do this anyway, starting with double-doubles.
It's scary to think that Love is just approaching his prime, since he put up a ridiculous streak like this four years ago. There are only 82 games in the season, so Love stretched this streak across more than half the season. Boogie's 15 this year was impressive, but I don't see anyone topping 53 for a while. Although, the Warriors wouldn't trade Klay Thompson for Love, so maybe they think he can break this one.
Current Holder: Michael Jordan ('88-'89) - 7
2013-2014 Winner: None
There were 26 players this season that had at least one triple-double, but no one did it in consecutive games. In fact, Michael Jordan's streak of seven in a row was more than Lance Stephenson's season-leading five total this year. LeBron James is probably the only player capable of even doing it, and he doesn't really seem to have an interest in padding his stats. This streak will stand for some time.
Current Holder: Wilt Chamberlain ('63-'64) - 20
2013-2014 Winner: Kevin Durant - 12
We all made a huge deal out of Durant's hot streak during this past season, and while it was historically impressive and put him up on the board, it was barely halfway there to Chamberlain's all-time mark of 20. However, we haven't seen a scorer like Durant in a long time, and he's only 25 years old, so let's not write him off too fast. If anyone can do it, he can.
Current Holder: John Stockton ('87-'88) - 12
2013-2014 Winner: Kendall Marshall - 2 (twice)
John Stockton really dominated this one, holding all the top streaks. The only ones to come close to touching Stockton's 12 in 1988 was Stockton's own streaks of eight, which he did twice. Magic Johnson was the next highest on the list with six (Stockton had one of those too), and most recently, Steve Nash had a streak of five. Stockton could pass the ball.
If you ever hear the argument regarding "Big Threes" that Jordan would never have teamed up with players like LeBron has, refer them here. He didn't really need to go anywhere, as he had Pippen and Rodman, two all-time greats. And how great was Rodman at rebounding the basketball? Well, Kevin Love is the best rebounder we have right now, and he's nowhere close to Rodman territory. Wow.
10-Plus Free Throws
Current Holder: Oscar Robertson ('64-'65) - 10
2013-2014 Winner: James Harden - 6
Harden is such a master at getting to the line that this streak might actually be obtainable. With Jeremy Lin now in Los Angeles, he might have to take an even bigger creative role for the Rockets, so there exists a scenario that Harden could get to 10 in a row. Interestingly enough, Corey Maggette in the 2002-2003 season had a streak of nine games in a row with at least 10 free throws, second-best to Robertson. This streak may not be broken this coming year, but I bet it will within a decade.
Current Holder: Manute Bol ('85-'86) - 6
2013-2014 Winner: Anthony Davis - 3
Dikembe Mutombo had five 6-plus block games in a row during his prime, but Bol has the record here. Davis is the only player to obtain this streak this year, and did it two separate times (two games and three games in a row, respectively). It's a little odd that elite shot blockers like Serge Ibaka, Joakim Noah, and DeAndre Jordan haven't put consecutive games with six together. We have some great rim protectors in the league right now, with young guys like Andre Drummond and Nerlens Noel just around the corner. Maybe one of these guys can get to seven.
May Linsanity forever live in history! Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday was up on this list as well, with a streak of four in a row a couple years ago. With an influx of young point guards (hello, Michael Carter-Williams and Dante Exum), we may just have enough sloppy play to make a run at Linsanity's epic six-game performance. Or maybe now that Lin will have even more minutes this year in LA, he might make a run at his own record.