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Longest Win Streaks in NY Knicks History

Vin GetzCorrespondent IApril 6, 2013

Longest Win Streaks in NY Knicks History

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    The suddenly amazing New York Knicks have posted 11 wins in a row out of nowhere, tied for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. They look better now than during their hot start, which bodes well for the playoffs.

    One more victory will give them 12—the third-longest win streak in Knicks history.

    But how many games did the Knicks’ longest streak last? And the second longest? Here’s a hint: They are both achievable this season.

    It will be tough. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers are on the horizon.

    And once playoff seedings lock up, surely Mike Woodson won’t want to gas his players. But that No. 2 seed might be at stake right down to the final game, which could see New York go all out for the duration.

    What’s the big deal about win streaks anyway? As you’ll see, they’re a pretty good indicator of a long postseason and may even be harbingers of a future title.

     

    Schedules and statistics used in this article courtesy basketball-reference.com.

4. 11 Wins in a Row: March-April, 2013

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    The Knicks’ current streak actually didn’t just come out of nowhere—it came out of a free fall.

    New York had lost five of six, including four in a row out West, and looked worse than it had all season long.

    The Knicks scored a season-low 63 points against the Golden State Warriors. A few days later, they fared barely better, posting 80 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. They dropped another to the 11th-seeded Portland Trail Blazers.

    Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler picked up what could have been season-affecting injuries (and still may be).

    Suddenly, the Knicks’ bubble burst and they were looking like a Round 1 bust in the making all over again.

    But just as suddenly, they snapped out of it. Anthony and J.R. Smith (and Kenyon Martin) co-led the way back, defeating nemeses like the Boston Celtics (twice), the pesky Toronto Raptors (back-to-back), the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chris Bosh-led Miami Heat.

    Who can beat this team right now? Well, the Thunder are next.

    1. Mar 18, 2013  @  Utah Jazz  90-83
    2. Mar 20, 2013    Orlando Magic  106-94
    3. Mar 22, 2013  @  Toronto Raptors  99-94
    4. Mar 23, 2013    Toronto Raptors  110-84
    5. Mar 26, 2013  @  Boston Celtics  100-85
    6. Mar 27, 2013    Memphis Grizzlies  108-101
    7. Mar 29, 2013    Charlotte Bobcats  111-102
    8. Mar 31, 2013    Boston Celtics  108-89
    9. Apr 2, 2013  @  Miami Heat  102-90
    10. Apr 3, 2013  @  Atlanta Hawks  95-82
    11. Apr 5, 2013    Milwaukee Bucks  101-83

4. 11 Wins in a Row: January-February, 1969

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    The Knicks had failed to make the playoffs seven years in a row (1959-60 through 1965-66).

    Then, the next two seasons, they did. Both were first-round knockouts, but the team showed improvement. In 1966-67, the Knicks fell to the long-time rival Boston Celtics 3-1.

    In 1967-68, after posting their first winning season in nine years, the Knicks lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2, including a double-overtime thriller.

    Of course, drafting Willis Reed in 1964 (eighth overall) and Walt Frazier in 1967 (fifth overall) had a lot to do with New York's upswing.

    By 1968-69, the Knicks had matured into a legitimate championship contender, posting their first 50-win season (54-28).

    They went on to a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Bullets in Round 1 only to lose to the eventual-champion Celtics in the Eastern finals, 4-2.

    But the Knicks won it all the following season.

    1. Jan 25, 1969 
    Milwaukee Bucks  113-96
    2. Jan 28, 1969 
    Philadelphia 76ers  121-88
    3. Jan 30, 1969  Baltimore Bullets  109-106
    4. Feb 1, 1969 
    Boston Celtics  109-82
    5. Feb 2, 1969  Boston Celtics  95-94
    6. Feb 4, 1969 
    Atlanta Hawks  122-97
    7. Feb 5, 1969  Milwaukee Bucks  111-102
    8. Feb 7, 1969  Chicago Bulls  105-98
    9. Feb 8, 1969 
    Baltimore Bullets  106-100
    10. Feb 12, 1969 
    Phoenix Suns  112-105
    11. Feb 15, 1969 
    San Francisco Warriors  98-92

4. 11 Wins in a Row: December-January, 1972-1973

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    Speaking of championships…

    The Knicks won their second of two titles in 1973. Along the way, they posted an 11-game win streak en route to a 57-25 record.

    Willis Reed was out most of the previous season with a knee injury, managing 11 games total.

    He returned in 1972-73, his penultimate season, as more of a role player than an on-the-floor leader.

    This was more Walt Frazier’s team. He was backed up by Reed, but more so by backcourt partner Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Dave DeBusschere and Bill Bradley.

    1. Dec 28, 1972 
    Buffalo Braves  107-86
    2. Dec 29, 1972  Detroit Pistons  99-94
    3. Dec 30, 1972 
    Baltimore Bullets  100-98
    4. Jan 2, 1973 
    Milwaukee Bucks  102-92
    5. Jan 5, 1973  Buffalo Braves  129-106
    6. Jan 6, 1973 
    Houston Rockets  116-106
    7. Jan 9, 1973  Kansas City-Omaha Kings  116-115
    8. Jan 11, 1973  Atlanta Hawks  122-107
    9. Jan 12, 1973  Houston Rockets  104-103
    10. Jan 14, 1973  Seattle SuperSonics  86-84
    11. Jan 16, 1973  Phoenix Suns  102-101

3. 12 Wins in a Row: April-November, 1993

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    The Knicks won 12 games in a row spanning two seasons, from the end of 1992-93 through the first seven games of 1993-94.

    They finished a very promising 1992-93 on the heels of a five-game win streak. New York had streaks of nine, seven and six that season, on the way to a 60-win year.

    The Knicks charged through the first rounds of the playoffs, beating the Indiana Pacers 3-1 and then the Charlotte Hornets 4-1.

    Then, as so often happened in the 1990s, they ran into Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. This time in the Eastern Conference finals.

    But the door was opened in 1993-94, when Jordan retired a first time, and the Knicks seized the chance right from the beginning, starting out 7-0.

    New York would make it to the NBA Finals, thanks also to an even bigger win streak.

    1. Apr 17, 1993 
    Detroit Pistons  95-85
    2. Apr 20, 1993  Miami Heat  109-97
    3. Apr 21, 1993 
    New Jersey Nets  105-74
    4. Apr 23, 1993  Philadelphia 76ers  99-84
    5. Apr 25, 1993 
    Chicago Bulls  89-84
    6. Nov 5, 1993  Boston Celtics  111-108
    7. Nov 7, 1993  Cleveland Cavaliers  115-107
    8. Nov 9, 1993 
    Philadelphia 76ers  95-86
    9. Nov 10, 1993  Washington Bullets  92-84
    10. Nov 12, 1993  Indiana Pacers  103-84
    11. Nov 13, 1993 
    Milwaukee Bucks  99-86
    12. Nov 16, 1993  Dallas Mavericks  103-90

2. 15 Wins in a Row: March-April, 1994

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    The Knicks won 57 games in 1993-94, three less than the previous season, but at times were much more dominant.

    They started on the tail end of that 12-game win streak, beginning the year 7-0 and taking that to 15-3 in a hurry.

    After weaving to 36-15, the Knicks hit one of those West-swing roadblocks, like the one this season. New York lost four in a row (three on the road) before righting the path.

    They righted it with a 15-game win streak, beating 13 different opponents in the process, including future Eastern Conference postseason opponents in the New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers (twice).

    After making easy work of the Nets in Round 1 (3-1), the Knicks went the distance the next three rounds, taking the Bulls and Pacers to 4-3 wins and, in the championship, taking the Houston Rockets to a 4-3 loss.

    1. Mar 1, 1994  Sacramento Kings  100-88
    2. Mar 3, 1994 
    New Jersey Nets  97-86
    3. Mar 7, 1994  Detroit Pistons  99-85
    4. Mar 9, 1994  Atlanta Hawks  90-83
    5. Mar 11, 1994  Boston Celtics  90-83
    6. Mar 12, 1994 
    Cleveland Cavaliers  96-86
    7. Mar 15, 1994 
    Indiana Pacers  88-82
    8. Mar 17, 1994 
    Milwaukee Bucks  105-83
    9. Mar 19, 1994 
    Boston Celtics  105-91
    10. Mar 22, 1994 
    Chicago Bulls  87-78
    11. Mar 24, 1994  Minnesota Timberwolves  123-106
    12. Mar 25, 1994  Indiana Pacers  85-82
    13. Mar 27, 1994  Orlando Magic  111-90
    14. Mar 29, 1994 
    Charlotte Hornets  106-95
    15. Apr 2, 1994 
    Miami Heat  110-87

1. 18 Wins in a Row: October-November, 1969

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    The 2012-13 Knicks will need to win out the regular season to tie this one. Unlikely, but if it happens, all bets are off. Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks, Heat or not, will have officially transformed themselves into viable championship contenders.

    The longest Knicks win streak of all time is 18, posted by the 1969-70 championship team.

    This Willis Reed-led squad, and the aforementioned 1992-93 team, are the only Knicks teams with 60-win seasons.

    In 1969-70, the Knicks started the season 26-2, winning the first five, losing the sixth and then winning the next 18 in a row. They beat every other team in the league during the streak except the Seattle SuperSonics, who they defeated anyway two games later.

    In 14 of these games, New York scored over 110 points (six times over 120) for the most dominant period in the franchise's history.

    1. Oct 24, 1969  Detroit Pistons  116-92
    2. Oct 25, 1969 
    Baltimore Bullets  128-99
    3. Oct 28, 1969 
    Atlanta Hawks  128-104
    4. Oct 30, 1969 
    San Diego Rockets  123-110
    5. Nov 1, 1969 
    Milwaukee Bucks  112-108
    6. Nov 3, 1969  Milwaukee Bucks  109-93
    7. Nov 4, 1969  Phoenix Suns  116-99
    8. Nov 7, 1969  San Diego Rockets  129-111
    9. Nov 9, 1969  Los Angeles Lakers  112-102
    10. Nov 11, 1969  San Francisco Warriors  116-103
    11. Nov 13, 1969 
    Chicago Bulls  114-99
    12. Nov 15, 1969 
    Boston Celtics  113-98
    13. Nov 18, 1969 
    Cincinnati Royals  112-94
    14. Nov 21, 1969  Philadelphia 76ers  98-94
    15. Nov 22, 1969 
    Phoenix Suns  128-114
    16. Nov 25, 1969 
    Los Angeles Lakers  103-96
    17. Nov 26, 1969  Atlanta Hawks  138-108
    18. Nov 28, 1969  Cincinnati Royals  106-105

Conclusion

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    Winning streaks, particularly long, robust ones as the Knicks have going now, are good omens.

    At the very least, they mean deep postseason runs. At the most, a title in the near future.

    Based on the history of the Knicks’ winning streaks, you have to believe this team has the goods to take it to the Eastern Conference finals.

    There, they will likely meet a team who had an even bigger win streak, the Miami Heat (27).

    According to this theory of winning streaks, the Heat should advance.

    But according to that same theory, the Knicks have a pretty good chance of making it to the NBA Finals and possibly winning it in 2014.

    The Knicks' remaining 2012-13 schedule:

    1. Apr 7, 2013  Oklahoma City Thunder 
    2. Apr 9, 2013 
    Washington Wizards 
    3. Apr 11, 2013  Chicago Bulls 
    4. Apr 12, 2013  Cleveland Cavaliers 
    5. Apr 14, 2013 
    Indiana Pacers 
    6. Apr 15, 2013  Charlotte Bobcats 
    7. Apr 17, 2013 
    Atlanta Hawks 

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