Cleveland Cavaliers Lose 22nd Straight: Will Cavs Break Own Record for Futility?

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IFebruary 2, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 31:  Ramon Sessions #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on dejected during a game against the Miami Heat  at American Airlines Arena on January 31, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers are only one game away from making NBA history and giving the city the most publicity it has seen since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers and their fans, this bit of history is nothing to be proud of.

Cleveland is only one game away from matching the longest single-season losing streak in the history of the National Basketball Association.

The Denver Nuggets and Vancouver Grizzlies currently hold the record at 23 games, set during the 1997-98 and 1995-96 seasons respectively.

The Vancouver Grizzlies were simply an expansion team throughout their terrible losing streak as they managed to scrape out 15 victories even though the team had five different players averaging over 10 points per game.

The Nuggets only won 11 games throughout the course of the entire 1997 NBA season.

The Nuggets struggled to find their way out of the basement for seasons to come as poor drafting and a serious lack of free agent appeal kept Denver in the dark ages.

Is Cleveland headed for the same fate?

The only thing Cleveland can do to avoid going down as the worst single-season team in history is win. Not a simple task when the team has not notched a victory since defeating the New York Knicks 109-102 on December 18, 2010. 

The Memphis Grizzlies will be the opponent that Cleveland will be faced with as they try to avoid a humiliating spot in history.

To date, Memphis is fighting to stay relevant in the Western Conference at 26-24. Memphis has more than tripled the Cavaliers win total to this point in the season and will be coming off a 16-point victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

If Cleveland should happen to lose against the Grizzlies, they will face Portland as they will try to avoid becoming the owner of the worst single-season performance in history.

Portland has been led by Brandon Roy as Roy currently leads the team in field goals attempted and points per game with a little over 22.

The Trailblazers have found a way to keep close to .500 despite battling the injury bug all season and should certainly be eyeballing a match-up with the Cavaliers no matter what kind of streak Cleveland may have at stake.

Strangely enough, the Cleveland Cavaliers currently own the record for the longest losing streak covering more than one season. The Cavaliers from 1981-1983 lost 24 straight games finally ending in the second week of the 1983 season.