Alleyhoops wrote:There is one huge difference between the streaks. In 1972 the NBA consisted of 17 teams as opposed to the current 30 teams. During the Lakers' record setting streak, they played against highly talented teams night in and night out. There were very few soft parts of schedules, if at all.
Think of it in these terms: Remove the very best players from 13 of today's worst teams, delete those 13 worst teams and add those best players to the 17 best existing teams. Now go out and win 33 in a row against that.
That being said, what the Heat is accomplishing is phenomenal and they deserve all the accolades they're getting. Well, most of them, anyhow.
Did you forget the ABA? In the early 70's they were picking off some of the best talent and depleting the NBA. They had 11 teams in 72.
For example they had Rick Barry, Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, Mel Daniels and Dr J in the ABA that year. All Hall of famers. Name one player that caliber on the Bottom 13 teams in today's league....much less 5 all time greats in their prime.
In these days the two leagues played a series of exhibition games and the ABA won more of these games over the 71-73 time frame than the NBA did. These were much more intense games than even the playoffs as each league was fighting for its very existence.
This is why I've never liked the quality of competition and dilution arguments when comparing the players today with tat era. The ABA was getting most of the top talent in the early 70's and diluting the NBA more than expansion does now. There were many fewer top caliber players to start with in those days and 28 pro teams in the two leagues combined.