Denied star forward Billy Cunningham after a court ruled he was obligated to play in the ABA, the Sixers put together four separate losing streaks of at least 13 games while crafting the worst season in league history. Lacking in talent and savvy, the Sixers surrendered a league-worst 116.2 points per game.
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After struggling to win 22 games the season before, the Mavericks halved that the next year in seeing 13 different players start at various times. Equally impotent on both sides of the ball, Dallas gave up at least 120 points in 27 games.
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Bill Hanzlik made a living for the Nuggets as a player as a defensive specialist. Once he became Denver's coach, his Nuggets made a living as out of specializing in losing, which they did 23 consecutive times from Dec. 9-Jan. 23.
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Benoit Benjamin. Earl Cureton. Lancaster Gordon. Tim Kempton. Quintin Dailey. The stars just stumble off the tongue for the worst edition of a historically bad franchise that cruised into late March with 12 wins and never won again after that.
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Rewarded with Jamal Mashburn in the draft as a result of their 11-win 1992-93 season, the Mavericks got off to a relatively promising 1-3 start before dropping their next 20 games. The glow from a four-point win in Minnesota didn't last long, as the club quickly embarked on a 16-game losing streak that all but sealed Quinn Buckner's short-lived head-coaching career.
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Though possessed of talented players in Josh Smith, Josh Childress and Al Harrington, the young Hawks struggled at both ends as Mike Woodson received some hard lessons in his first season as a head coach. From Feb. 10 on, Atlanta won three times in its final 34 games.
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Replacing one of the 50 greatest players with Chuck Nevitt didn't work out so well for a franchise that had been to the NBA Finals only two seasons before. With Moses Malone in Philadelphia helping Dr. J win an NBA title, Houston sank into the NBA abyss quickly as the Rockets lost their first 10 games and didn't improve much thereafter.
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It's difficult to criticize a team one year removed from expansion status, but after scratching out 15 wins with the like of Blue Edwards and Chris King, the then-Vancouver Grizzlies fell a game short of that mark the following season with rookie Shareef Abdur-Rahim leading the way. Things wouldn't get much better for Abdur-Rahim, who made a single playoff appearance in 12 NBA seasons.
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