Losing Streaks (02/23/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
When will the Warriors or Spurs have a losing streak?

You probably know that the Warriors just became the fastest team to win 50 games in NBA history. Golden State did it one game quicker than the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls who started 50-6 and finished with a record 72 wins in the regular season. The Warriors don't just win; they destroy teams as 32 of the 50 wins came by double digits.

The Spurs aren't bad either. San Antonio has its best record through 56 games in franchise history at 47-9. The Spurs have a plus-697 point differential (better than Golden State), among the highest in NBA history through 56 games.

What you might not know is that both Golden State and San Antonio are still in the hunt to become the first team to go an entire season without losing at least two games in a row. The current record holder is the 1984-85 Boston Celtics who went 74 games without a losing streak.

So when will the Warriors or Spurs drop two games in a row?

Of Golden State's 27 remaining games, the Warriors are the projected favorite in all but two. For San Antonio, the Spurs are the projected favorite in all but one of their remaining 26 games. The Western Conference giants play each other three more times this season; each is an underdog on the road to the other team.

If the defending champions lose two games in a row it will most likely occur on their back-to-back against Dallas and San Antonio in mid-March. The Warriors have a 10.9 percent chance of losing consecutive games that Friday and Saturday night. There is a 9.2 percent chance Curry and the Warriors would falter against the Spurs and Timberwolves.

The Spurs are more likely to lose two in a row. San Antonio could suffer its first losing streak with just a hand full of games remaining. In early April, Greg Popovich's team goes on a three-game road trip. There is a 13.5 percent chance that the Spurs lose both games against Utah and Golden State. If the team doesn't stumble on the road they could get tripped up at home in the last week of the regular season. There is a 12.8 percent chance of a losing streak occurring when the Spurs square off against the Warriors and Thunder in consecutive games.

The Warriors and the Spurs are the two best teams in the NBA. They are the only squads that are top three in both offensive and defensive efficiency and they are the only teams the other would be an underdog to on the road. Golden State and San Antonio might not endure a losing streak until a potential conference finals showdown.

Golden State's Schedule

Date Opponent Chance of Losing Chance of Losing Back-to-Back
24-Feb at Heat 19.3% -
25-Feb at Magic 14.9% 2.9%
27-Feb at Thunder 44.3% 6.6%
1-Mar vs. Hawks 15.1% 6.7%
3-Mar vs. Thunder 31.7% 4.8%
6-Mar at Lakers 8.5% 2.7%
7-Mar vs. Magic 10.2% 0.9%
9-Mar vs. Jazz 13.1% 1.3%
11-Mar vs. Trail Blazers 12.7% 1.7%
12-Mar vs. Suns 6.6% 0.8%
14-Mar vs. Pelicans 11.6% 0.8%
16-Mar vs. Knicks 10.6% 1.2%
18-Mar at Mavericks 19.7% 2.1%
19-Mar at Spurs 0.554 10.9%
21-Mar at Timberwolves 16.6% 9.2%
23-Mar vs. Clippers 18.5% 3.1%
25-Mar vs. Mavericks 13.9% 2.6%
27-Mar vs. 76ers 4.1% 0.6%
29-Mar vs. Wizards 11.9% 0.5%
30-Mar at Jazz 21.4% 2.5%
1-Apr vs. Celtics 17.7% 3.8%
3-Apr vs. Trail Blazers 12.7% 2.2%
5-Apr vs. Timberwolves 9.8% 1.2%
7-Apr vs. Spurs 37.4% 3.7%
9-Apr at Grizzlies 14.7% 5.5%
10-Apr at Spurs 55.4% 8.1%
13-Apr vs. Grizzlies 9.6% 5.3%

San Antonio's Schedule

Date Opponent Chance of Losing Chance of Losing Back-to-Back
24-Feb at Kings 17.0% -
25-Feb at Jazz 22.8% 3.9%
27-Feb at Rockets 17.4% 4.0%
2-Mar vs. Pistons 12.2% 2.1%
3-Mar at Pelicans 16.4% 2.0%
5-Mar vs. Kings 11.7% 1.9%
7-Mar at Pacers 24.9% 2.9%
8-Mar at Timberwolves 15.7% 3.9%
10-Mar vs. Bulls 13.2% 2.1%
12-Mar vs. Thunder 28.0% 3.7%
15-Mar vs. Clippers 18.1% 5.1%
17-Mar vs. Trail Blazers 12.5% 2.3%
19-Mar vs. Warriors 44.6% 5.6%
21-Mar at Hornets 19.1% 8.5%
23-Mar vs. Heat 13.3% 2.5%
25-Mar vs. Grizzlies 9.8% 1.3%
26-Mar at Thunder 44.1% 4.3%
28-Mar at Grizzlies 15.8% 7.0%
30-Mar vs. Pelicans 9.1% 1.4%
2-Apr vs. Raptors 17.2% 1.6%
5-Apr at Jazz 21.6% 3.7%
7-Apr at Warriors 62.5% 13.5%
8-Apr at Nuggets 13.9% 8.7%
10-Apr vs. Warriors 44.6% 6.2%
12-Apr vs. Thunder 28.8% 12.8%
13-Apr at Mavericks 18.3% 5.3%