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Franchise Peaks and Valleys

Posted by Neil Paine on January 20, 2011

What was the best run ever for your favorite team? What was the worst stretch of seasons? Let's take a look at the raw numbers in terms of NBA winning percentage over an x-year span (including our regressed 2011 WPcts):

Best & Worst 2 Years

Team Best 2 Years Worst 2 Years
Atlanta Hawks 1986/1987 (.652) 2005/2006 (.238)
Boston Celtics 1985/1986 (.793) 1996/1997 (.293)
Charlotte Bobcats 2009/2010 (.482) 2005/2006 (.268)
Chicago Bulls 1996/1997 (.860) 2000/2001 (.195)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2009/2010 (.774) 1982/1983 (.232)
Dallas Mavericks 2006/2007 (.774) 1993/1994 (.146)
Denver Nuggets 2009/2010 (.652) 1998/1999 (.189)
Detroit Pistons 1989/1990 (.744) 1980/1981 (.226)
Golden State Warriors 1975/1976 (.652) 2000/2001 (.220)
Houston Rockets 1993/1994 (.689) 1983/1984 (.262)
Indiana Pacers 1998/1999 (.689) 1983/1984 (.280)
Los Angeles Clippers 1975/1976 (.579) 1987/1988 (.177)
Los Angeles Lakers 1972/1973 (.787) 1958/1959 (.361)
Memphis Grizzlies 2004/2005 (.579) 1996/1997 (.177)
Miami Heat 1997/1998 (.707) 1989/1990 (.201)
Team Best 2 Years Worst 2 Years
Milwaukee Bucks 1971/1972 (.787) 1993/1994 (.293)
Minnesota Timberwolves 2003/2004 (.665) 1992/1993 (.207)
New Jersey Nets 2002/2003 (.616) 2010/2011 (.216)
New Orleans Hornets 1997/1998 (.640) 1989/1990 (.238)
New York Knicks 1993/1994 (.713) 1963/1964 (.269)
Oklahoma City Thunder 1995/1996 (.738) 2008/2009 (.262)
Orlando Magic 2009/2010 (.720) 1990/1991 (.299)
Philadelphia 76ers 1967/1968 (.798) 1973/1974 (.207)
Phoenix Suns 1993/1994 (.720) 1969/1970 (.335)
Portland Trail Blazers 1990/1991 (.744) 1972/1973 (.238)
Sacramento Kings 2002/2003 (.732) 2009/2010 (.256)
San Antonio Spurs 2005/2006 (.744) 1988/1989 (.317)
Toronto Raptors 2000/2001 (.561) 1997/1998 (.280)
Utah Jazz 1997/1998 (.768) 1979/1980 (.305)
Washington Wizards 1975/1976 (.659) 1962/1963 (.269)

Best & Worst 3 Years

Team Best 3 Years Worst 3 Years
Atlanta Hawks 1987-1989 (.646) 2004-2006 (.272)
Boston Celtics 1984-1986 (.780) 1997-1999 (.327)
Charlotte Bobcats 2009-2011 (.458) 2005-2007 (.313)
Chicago Bulls 1996-1998 (.825) 1999-2001 (.210)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2008-2010 (.699) 1981-1983 (.268)
Dallas Mavericks 2005-2007 (.752) 1992-1994 (.187)
Denver Nuggets 2008-2010 (.638) 1997-1999 (.215)
Detroit Pistons 1988-1990 (.715) 1979-1981 (.272)
Golden State Warriors 1975-1977 (.622) 2000-2002 (.232)
Houston Rockets 2007-2009 (.650) 1968-1970 (.321)
Indiana Pacers 1998-2000 (.687) 1983-1985 (.276)
Los Angeles Clippers 1974-1976 (.557) 1998-2000 (.192)
Los Angeles Lakers 1985-1987 (.768) 1958-1960 (.352)
Memphis Grizzlies 2004-2006 (.585) 1997-1999 (.192)
Miami Heat 1997-1999 (.696) 1989-1991 (.232)
Team Best 3 Years Worst 3 Years
Milwaukee Bucks 1971-1973 (.768) 1992-1994 (.321)
Minnesota Timberwolves 2002-2004 (.646) 1992-1994 (.220)
New Jersey Nets 2002-2004 (.602) 1988-1990 (.252)
New Orleans Hornets 1997-1999 (.612) 1989-1991 (.264)
New York Knicks 1993-1995 (.699) 1985-1987 (.289)
Oklahoma City Thunder 1994-1996 (.748) 2007-2009 (.301)
Orlando Magic 2008-2010 (.691) 1990-1992 (.285)
Philadelphia 76ers 1966-1968 (.761) 1972-1974 (.260)
Phoenix Suns 1993-1995 (.720) 1986-1988 (.390)
Portland Trail Blazers 1990-1992 (.728) 1972-1974 (.268)
Sacramento Kings 2001-2003 (.711) 2009-2011 (.255)
San Antonio Spurs 2005-2007 (.732) 1987-1989 (.325)
Toronto Raptors 2000-2002 (.545) 1996-1998 (.272)
Utah Jazz 1997-1999 (.762) 1980-1982 (.313)
Washington Wizards 1973-1975 (.646) 1993-1995 (.272)

Best & Worst 4 Years

Team Best 4 Years Worst 4 Years
Atlanta Hawks 1986-1989 (.637) 2004-2007 (.296)
Boston Celtics 1984-1987 (.765) 1996-1999 (.348)
Charlotte Bobcats 2008-2011 (.441) 2005-2008 (.332)
Chicago Bulls 1995-1998 (.762) 1999-2002 (.223)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2007-2010 (.677) 1981-1984 (.287)
Dallas Mavericks 2004-2007 (.723) 1991-1994 (.226)
Denver Nuggets 2008-2011 (.623) 1996-1999 (.274)
Detroit Pistons 2005-2008 (.701) 1978-1981 (.320)
Golden State Warriors 1973-1976 (.604) 1998-2001 (.257)
Houston Rockets 1994-1997 (.640) 1968-1971 (.363)
Indiana Pacers 1998-2001 (.635) 1983-1986 (.287)
Los Angeles Clippers 1974-1977 (.509) 1998-2001 (.243)
Los Angeles Lakers 1985-1988 (.765) 1958-1961 (.379)
Memphis Grizzlies 2003-2006 (.524) 1996-1999 (.189)
Miami Heat 1997-2000 (.679) 1989-1992 (.290)
Team Best 4 Years Worst 4 Years
Milwaukee Bucks 1971-1974 (.756) 1993-1996 (.326)
Minnesota Timberwolves 2001-2004 (.628) 1992-1995 (.229)
New Jersey Nets 2002-2005 (.579) 1987-1990 (.262)
New Orleans Hornets 1997-2000 (.608) 1989-1992 (.293)
New York Knicks 1992-1995 (.680) 1961-1964 (.292)
Oklahoma City Thunder 1994-1997 (.735) 2006-2009 (.332)
Orlando Magic 2008-2011 (.676) 1990-1993 (.338)
Philadelphia 76ers 1980-1983 (.744) 1994-1997 (.271)
Phoenix Suns 2005-2008 (.707) 1985-1988 (.402)
Portland Trail Blazers 1990-1993 (.701) 1971-1974 (.290)
Sacramento Kings 2001-2004 (.701) 1988-1991 (.302)
San Antonio Spurs 2003-2006 (.729) 1986-1989 (.351)
Toronto Raptors 1999-2002 (.530) 1996-1999 (.304)
Utah Jazz 1996-1999 (.736) 1979-1982 (.314)
Washington Wizards 1973-1976 (.631) 1992-1995 (.280)

Best & Worst 5 Years

Team Best 5 Years Worst 5 Years
Atlanta Hawks 1994-1998 (.612) 2003-2007 (.322)
Boston Celtics 1982-1986 (.759) 1996-2000 (.365)
Charlotte Bobcats 2007-2011 (.434) 2005-2009 (.351)
Chicago Bulls 1994-1998 (.744) 1999-2003 (.254)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2006-2010 (.663) 1981-1985 (.317)
Dallas Mavericks 2003-2007 (.724) 1992-1996 (.263)
Denver Nuggets 2007-2011 (.608) 1996-2000 (.307)
Detroit Pistons 2004-2008 (.693) 1979-1983 (.349)
Golden State Warriors 1972-1976 (.607) 1998-2002 (.257)
Houston Rockets 1993-1997 (.646) 1968-1972 (.373)
Indiana Pacers 1996-2000 (.630) 1982-1986 (.315)
Los Angeles Clippers 1975-1979 (.476) 1987-1991 (.271)
Los Angeles Lakers 1986-1990 (.754) 1956-1960 (.397)
Memphis Grizzlies 2002-2006 (.476) 1996-2000 (.206)
Miami Heat 1997-2001 (.664) 1989-1993 (0.32)
Team Best 5 Years Worst 5 Years
Milwaukee Bucks 1970-1974 (.741) 1992-1996 (.337)
Minnesota Timberwolves 2000-2004 (.624) 1992-1996 (.246)
New Jersey Nets 2002-2006 (.583) 1987-1991 (.273)
New Orleans Hornets 1997-2001 (.598) 1989-1993 (.341)
New York Knicks 1993-1997 (.673) 1960-1964 (.305)
Oklahoma City Thunder 1994-1998 (.737) 2006-2010 (.388)
Orlando Magic 2007-2011 (.638) 1990-1994 (.393)
Philadelphia 76ers 1980-1984 (.722) 1993-1997 (.280)
Phoenix Suns 1991-1995 (.695) 1984-1988 (.422)
Portland Trail Blazers 1990-1994 (.676) 1971-1975 (.324)
Sacramento Kings 2001-2005 (.683) 1987-1991 (.312)
San Antonio Spurs 2002-2006 (.724) 1985-1989 (.380)
Toronto Raptors 1999-2003 (.479) 1996-2000 (.357)
Utah Jazz 1995-1999 (.735) 1979-1983 (.324)
Washington Wizards 1973-1977 (.622) 1991-1995 (.298)

Best & Worst 6 Years

Team Best 6 Years Worst 6 Years
Atlanta Hawks 1994-1999 (.613) 2001-2006 (.325)
Boston Celtics 1981-1986 (.758) 1994-1999 (.370)
Charlotte Bobcats 2006-2011 (.414) 2005-2010 (.382)
Chicago Bulls 1992-1997 (.746) 1999-2004 (.259)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2005-2010 (.638) 1981-1986 (.323)
Dallas Mavericks 2002-2007 (.720) 1993-1998 (.264)
Denver Nuggets 2005-2010 (.600) 1998-2003 (.313)
Detroit Pistons 2003-2008 (.679) 1964-1969 (.367)
Golden State Warriors 1972-1977 (.600) 1997-2002 (.276)
Houston Rockets 1992-1997 (.624) 1968-1973 (.378)
Indiana Pacers 1995-2000 (.630) 1982-1987 (.346)
Los Angeles Clippers 1974-1979 (.482) 1995-2000 (.267)
Los Angeles Lakers 1985-1990 (.754) 1956-1961 (.407)
Memphis Grizzlies 2001-2006 (.443) 1996-2001 (.220)
Miami Heat 1996-2001 (.637) 1989-1994 (.352)
Team Best 6 Years Worst 6 Years
Milwaukee Bucks 1970-1975 (.695) 1992-1997 (.348)
Minnesota Timberwolves 1999-2004 (.611) 1990-1995 (.256)
New Jersey Nets 2002-2007 (.569) 1986-1991 (.307)
New Orleans Hornets 1995-2000 (.589) 1989-1994 (.368)
New York Knicks 1992-1997 (.665) 1960-1965 (.319)
Oklahoma City Thunder 1993-1998 (.726) 2004-2009 (.402)
Orlando Magic 1994-1999 (.622) 1990-1995 (.443)
Philadelphia 76ers 1980-1985 (.720) 1993-1998 (.297)
Phoenix Suns 1990-1995 (.689) 1969-1974 (.447)
Portland Trail Blazers 1988-1993 (.654) 1971-1976 (.346)
Sacramento Kings 2000-2005 (.659) 1988-1993 (.311)
San Antonio Spurs 2001-2006 (.722) 1984-1989 (.392)
Toronto Raptors 1999-2004 (.465) 1996-2001 (.396)
Utah Jazz 1995-2000 (.724) 1978-1983 (.350)
Washington Wizards 1974-1979 (.612) 1990-1995 (.311)

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10 Responses to “Franchise Peaks and Valleys”

  1. AHL Says:

    This is a pretty depressing post.

  2. Don Says:

    The Bulls really define both peak and valley for most periods.

  3. Neil Paine Says:

    Something that jumped out at me: the Clippers have never had a 5-year stretch where they were .500. Of course, neither have the Raptors, Bobcats, or Grizzlies, but at least they have the "semi-recent expansion" excuse. The Clippers have been an NBA franchise since 1971.

  4. AYC Says:

    The sorting function is a little screwy....

  5. Neil Paine Says:

    Yeah, it's not going to be able to sort by wpct. Sorry about that.

  6. AHL Says:

    Separate the year and wpct into different columns?

    Also jumped out: the 2, 3, 5, and 6 year best spans for the Suns revolve around the 1993 season, but the 4 year best span is the 2005-08 stretch. Also, how the Suns have never really had a low stretch, and yet, no rings.

    Sigh.

  7. Max Says:

    Hard to imagine there's been a worse era for the Knicks than the last decade.

  8. Nathan Says:

    The two best 4-, 5-, and 6-year teamswer the 1980s Celtics and Lakers. Makes you realize just how epic those matchups were.

  9. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #6 - Here's the table with the years and WPct's separate:

    Tm Best 2 WPct Worst 2 WPct Best 3 WPct Worst 3 WPct Best 4 WPct Worst 4 WPct Best 5 WPct Worst 5 WPct Best 6 Wpct Worst 6 WPct
    ATL 1986/1987 0.652 2005/2006 0.238 1987-1989 0.646 2004-2006 0.272 1986-1989 0.637 2004-2007 0.296 1994-1998 0.612 2003-2007 0.322 1994-1999 0.613 2001-2006 0.325
    BOS 1985/1986 0.793 1996/1997 0.293 1984-1986 0.780 1997-1999 0.327 1984-1987 0.765 1996-1999 0.348 1982-1986 0.759 1996-2000 0.365 1981-1986 0.758 1994-1999 0.370
    CHA 2009/2010 0.482 2005/2006 0.268 2009-2011 0.458 2005-2007 0.313 2008-2011 0.441 2005-2008 0.332 2007-2011 0.434 2005-2009 0.351 2006-2011 0.414 2005-2010 0.382
    CHI 1996/1997 0.860 2000/2001 0.195 1996-1998 0.825 1999-2001 0.210 1995-1998 0.762 1999-2002 0.223 1994-1998 0.744 1999-2003 0.254 1992-1997 0.746 1999-2004 0.259
    CLE 2009/2010 0.774 1982/1983 0.232 2008-2010 0.699 1981-1983 0.268 2007-2010 0.677 1981-1984 0.287 2006-2010 0.663 1981-1985 0.317 2005-2010 0.638 1981-1986 0.323
    DAL 2006/2007 0.774 1993/1994 0.146 2005-2007 0.752 1992-1994 0.187 2004-2007 0.723 1991-1994 0.226 2003-2007 0.724 1992-1996 0.263 2002-2007 0.720 1993-1998 0.264
    DEN 2009/2010 0.652 1998/1999 0.189 2008-2010 0.638 1997-1999 0.215 2008-2011 0.623 1996-1999 0.274 2007-2011 0.608 1996-2000 0.307 2005-2010 0.600 1998-2003 0.313
    DET 1989/1990 0.744 1980/1981 0.226 1988-1990 0.715 1979-1981 0.272 2005-2008 0.701 1978-1981 0.320 2004-2008 0.693 1979-1983 0.349 2003-2008 0.679 1964-1969 0.367
    GSW 1975/1976 0.652 2000/2001 0.220 1975-1977 0.622 2000-2002 0.232 1973-1976 0.604 1998-2001 0.257 1972-1976 0.607 1998-2002 0.257 1972-1977 0.600 1997-2002 0.276
    HOU 1993/1994 0.689 1983/1984 0.262 2007-2009 0.650 1968-1970 0.321 1994-1997 0.640 1968-1971 0.363 1993-1997 0.646 1968-1972 0.373 1992-1997 0.624 1968-1973 0.378
    IND 1998/1999 0.689 1983/1984 0.280 1998-2000 0.687 1983-1985 0.276 1998-2001 0.635 1983-1986 0.287 1996-2000 0.630 1982-1986 0.315 1995-2000 0.630 1982-1987 0.346
    LAC 1975/1976 0.579 1987/1988 0.177 1974-1976 0.557 1998-2000 0.192 1974-1977 0.509 1998-2001 0.243 1975-1979 0.476 1987-1991 0.271 1974-1979 0.482 1995-2000 0.267
    LAL 1972/1973 0.787 1958/1959 0.361 1985-1987 0.768 1958-1960 0.352 1985-1988 0.765 1958-1961 0.379 1986-1990 0.754 1956-1960 0.397 1985-1990 0.754 1956-1961 0.407
    MEM 2004/2005 0.579 1996/1997 0.177 2004-2006 0.585 1997-1999 0.192 2003-2006 0.524 1996-1999 0.189 2002-2006 0.476 1996-2000 0.206 2001-2006 0.443 1996-2001 0.220
    MIA 1997/1998 0.707 1989/1990 0.201 1997-1999 0.696 1989-1991 0.232 1997-2000 0.679 1989-1992 0.290 1997-2001 0.664 1989-1993 0.320 1996-2001 0.637 1989-1994 0.352
    MIL 1971/1972 0.787 1993/1994 0.293 1971-1973 0.768 1992-1994 0.321 1971-1974 0.756 1993-1996 0.326 1970-1974 0.741 1992-1996 0.337 1970-1975 0.695 1992-1997 0.348
    MIN 2003/2004 0.665 1992/1993 0.207 2002-2004 0.646 1992-1994 0.220 2001-2004 0.628 1992-1995 0.229 2000-2004 0.624 1992-1996 0.246 1999-2004 0.611 1990-1995 0.256
    NJN 2002/2003 0.616 2010/2011 0.216 2002-2004 0.602 1988-1990 0.252 2002-2005 0.579 1987-1990 0.262 2002-2006 0.583 1987-1991 0.273 2002-2007 0.569 1986-1991 0.307
    NOH 1997/1998 0.640 1989/1990 0.238 1997-1999 0.612 1989-1991 0.264 1997-2000 0.608 1989-1992 0.293 1997-2001 0.598 1989-1993 0.341 1995-2000 0.589 1989-1994 0.368
    NYK 1993/1994 0.713 1963/1964 0.269 1993-1995 0.699 1985-1987 0.289 1992-1995 0.680 1961-1964 0.292 1993-1997 0.673 1960-1964 0.305 1992-1997 0.665 1960-1965 0.319
    OKC 1995/1996 0.738 2008/2009 0.262 1994-1996 0.748 2007-2009 0.301 1994-1997 0.735 2006-2009 0.332 1994-1998 0.737 2006-2010 0.388 1993-1998 0.726 2004-2009 0.402
    ORL 2009/2010 0.720 1990/1991 0.299 2008-2010 0.691 1990-1992 0.285 2008-2011 0.676 1990-1993 0.338 2007-2011 0.638 1990-1994 0.393 1994-1999 0.622 1990-1995 0.443
    PHI 1967/1968 0.798 1973/1974 0.207 1966-1968 0.761 1972-1974 0.260 1980-1983 0.744 1994-1997 0.271 1980-1984 0.722 1993-1997 0.280 1980-1985 0.720 1993-1998 0.297
    PHO 1993/1994 0.720 1969/1970 0.335 1993-1995 0.720 1986-1988 0.390 2005-2008 0.707 1985-1988 0.402 1991-1995 0.695 1984-1988 0.422 1990-1995 0.689 1969-1974 0.447
    POR 1990/1991 0.744 1972/1973 0.238 1990-1992 0.728 1972-1974 0.268 1990-1993 0.701 1971-1974 0.290 1990-1994 0.676 1971-1975 0.324 1988-1993 0.654 1971-1976 0.346
    SAC 2002/2003 0.732 2009/2010 0.256 2001-2003 0.711 2009-2011 0.255 2001-2004 0.701 1988-1991 0.302 2001-2005 0.683 1987-1991 0.312 2000-2005 0.659 1988-1993 0.311
    SAS 2005/2006 0.744 1988/1989 0.317 2005-2007 0.732 1987-1989 0.325 2003-2006 0.729 1986-1989 0.351 2002-2006 0.724 1985-1989 0.380 2001-2006 0.722 1984-1989 0.392
    TOR 2000/2001 0.561 1997/1998 0.280 2000-2002 0.545 1996-1998 0.272 1999-2002 0.530 1996-1999 0.304 1999-2003 0.479 1996-2000 0.357 1999-2004 0.465 1996-2001 0.396
    UTA 1997/1998 0.768 1979/1980 0.305 1997-1999 0.762 1980-1982 0.313 1996-1999 0.736 1979-1982 0.314 1995-1999 0.735 1979-1983 0.324 1995-2000 0.724 1978-1983 0.350
    WAS 1975/1976 0.659 1962/1963 0.269 1973-1975 0.646 1993-1995 0.272 1973-1976 0.631 1992-1995 0.280 1973-1977 0.622 1991-1995 0.298 1974-1979 0.612 1990-1995 0.311
  10. jkidd Says:

    NJ Nets best was the Jason Kidd era! :)