The 2014-15 season is not even a month old, but we are starting to see glimpses of what this campaign has to offer… and for Los Angeles Lakers fans, it’s not pretty.
With a 3-10 record (as of November 21) and the 14th seed (out of 15) in the Western Conference, the Lakers, unless they can find a way to climb over some very good teams ahead of them, will be at home when the playoffs begin in late April, 2015. Missing a second consecutive playoffs would be a first for the Lakers since 1975-76 when they missed the post-season in two consecutive years. Only the San Antonio Spurs have the longest stretch in which they did not make the playoffs in two straight years, and that has never happened to the San Antonio franchise.
Here’s a look at the last time each NBA franchise missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons.
Last time franchise missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons
Never: San Antonio
1975-76: L.A. Lakers
2002-03: Denver, Miami
2006-07: Atlanta, Boston
2008-09: Oklahoma City
2009-10: Indiana, Memphis, N.Y. Knicks
2010-11: L.A. Clippers
2011-12: Brooklyn, Golden State, Houston, Milwaukee
2012-13: Charlotte, Portland, Toronto, Washington
2013-14: Detroit, Cleveland, Minnesota, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Utah
What may be even more historic for the Lakers, however, is having a season-ending winning percentage under .400, which is where they were last year when they finished 27-55 (a .329 winning percentage). The Lakers franchise has never had back-to-back seasons where their winning percentage was under .400. They are the only current NBA franchise that can make that claim.
To avoid this historic feat, the Lakers will need to win 33 games this year; 33-49 would give them a winning percentage of .402. With a 3-10 record to this point, the Lakers will need to figure out a way to go 30-39 the remainder of the season.
Here’s a snapshot look at the last time each franchise finished with a winning percentage under .400 in back-to-back seasons.
Never: L.A. Lakers
1988-89: San Antonio
2006-07: Atlanta, Portland
2008-09: Memphis, Oklahoma City
2009-10: Golden State, N.Y. Knicks
2010-11: L.A. Clippers
2011-12: Brooklyn, Toronto
2012-13: Charlotte, Cleveland, Minnesota, New Orleans, Washington
2013-14: Detroit, Orlando, Sacramento
Last season eight teams finished the season under .400: Boston, Detroit, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Utah. Only two of those eight are currently over .500 for this season… Milwaukee and Sacramento.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp