Win Streaks: How Important Are They?

Nov 20, 2017

by Chase Gage


BOSTON — The NBA Regular Season is notorious for not really mattering. In the end, there are only a handful of teams that are legitimate contenders and it doesn’t really matter which playoff seed they get as long as they make it to the postseason.

This has me thinking about the Boston Celtics and the amazing start they have had to the 2017-18 season. Of course, the Warriors, Rockets, Cavaliers, etc. will still be considered strong favorites no matter their regular season records. Boston will also be in that conversation despite how long their winning streak lasts.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and entertain a few possibilities, right?

Longest Single-Season Win Streaks in NBA History

How does Boston stack up to the legends?


72 lakers
The 1972 Lakers won 33-consecutive games, which still stands as an NBA record.


Win Streak Team Finish
33 1972 Los Angeles Lakers 69-13, NBA Champions (4-1)
27 2013 Miami Heat 66-16, NBA Champions (4-3)
24 2016 Golden State Warriors 73-9, Lost Finals (3-4)
22 2008 Houston Rockets 55-27, Lost First Round (2-4)
20 1971 Milwaukee Bucks 66-16, NBA Champions (4-0)
19 2000 Los Angeles Lakers 67-15, NBA Champions (4-2)
19 2009 Boston Celtics 62-20, Lost Second Round (3-4)
19 2014 San Antonio Spurs 62-20, NBA Champions (4-1)
19 2015 Atlanta Hawks 60-22, Lost ECF (0-4)
18 1970 New York Knicks 60-22, NBA Champions (4-3)
18 1982 Boston Celtics 63-19, Lost ECF (3-4)
18 1996 Chicago Bulls 72-10, NBA Champions (4-2)
17 1947 Washington Capitols 49-11, Lost Second Round (2-4)
17 1960 Boston Celtics 57-22, NBA Champions (4-1)
17 1996 Phoenix Suns 41-41, Lost First Round (1-3)
17 2007 Phoenix Suns 61-21, Lost Second Round (2-4)
17 2007 Dallas Mavericks 67-15, Lost First Round (2-4)
17 2013 Los Angeles Clippers 56-26, Lost First Round (2-4)
16 1991 Los Angeles Lakers 58-24, Lost Finals (1-4)
16 1991 Portland Trail Blazers 63-19, Lost WCF (2-4)
16 2000 Los Angeles Lakers 67-15, NBA Champions (4-2)
16 2015 Golden State Warriors 67-15, NBA Champions (4-2)
15 2018 Boston Celtics ???


Boston has a chance to extend their streak to 16 tonight against the Mavericks.

Out of the 22 Teams to Have a 16+ Game Win Streak:
  • 10 NBA Championships
  • 20 55+ Win Teams
  • 16 60+ Win Teams
  • 9 65+ Win Teams
  • 2 70+ Win Teams
  • 22 Playoff Appearances
  • 18 Second Round Appearances
  • 15 Conference Finals Appearances
  • 12 Finals Appearances

So, again, just for fun, let’s look at the upcoming schedule for the Celtics and see how long this thing can really go. To break the all-time record for consecutive wins, they have to win all of the following:

Team Record/Standings
@ Dallas Mavericks 3-14, 15th East
@ Miami Heat 7-9, 11th East
Orlando Magic 8-8, 10th East
@ Indiana Pacers 9-8, 9th East
Detroit Pistons 11-5, 2nd East
Philadelphia 76ers 8-7, 6th East
Milwaukee Bucks 8-7, 7th East
Dallas Mavericks 3-14, 15th East
@ San Antonio Spurs 10-6, 4th West
@ Detroit Pistons 11-5, 2nd East
@ Chicago Bulls 3-11, 14th East
Denver Nuggets 9-7, 6th West
Utah Jazz 7-10, 10th West
@ Memphis Grizzlies 7-8, 8th West
@ Indiana Pacers 9-8, 9th East
Miami Heat 7-9, 11th East
@ New York Knicks 8-7, 8th East
Chicago Bulls 3-11, 14th East
Washington Wizards 9-7, 5th East
Games to Look Out For

Any team can lose any game at any time, so this is more speculation than anything. Just because the Celtics will be heavily favored on the road tonight against the last-place Mavericks doesn’t mean they will win.

However, with that being said, here are a few games that should make Boston fans a bit nervous if they hope to keep this win streak alive.

heat win
Can the Celtics challenge the 2013 Miami Heat and their 27-game streak? Photo via


  • Detroit Pistons
    • If the Celtics win out until this game, the streak will sit at 19 games. The Pistons are one of the most underrated teams in the NBA. They play great defense (Avery Bradley is in Detroit now) and Andre Drummond is asserting himself into the highest ranks of big men in the league. This game is at home, which may give Boston a bit of an edge, but this is a very tough game.
  • Philadelphia 76ers
    • Winning streaks are a peculiar thing. The 76ers were the Celtics first victim of the season after an 0-2 start. Since then, they have reeled off 15 straight, all starting in Philly. If the win streak reaches 20, it seems like a fitting end of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the Sixers ended the streak they started.
  • Milwaukee Bucks
    • Remember what I just said about how streaks often work? The last team to beat the Celtics was the Milwaukee Bucks. This game is in Boston, just like it was for the second game of the year. The Bucks know they can beat the Celtics on their home floor, and they could end the streak at 21 if they can do so again.
  • At San Antonio Spurs
    • It’s hard to beat Greg Popovich. It’s even harder to beat him twice. Now imagine trying to beat him twice with a 23-game win streak intact and you’re playing on the road. Doesn’t seem like a likely victory for anyone in that scenario. I didn’t think Boston would get past Golden State, and I was wrong, but I don’t think they escape this one
  • at Detroit Pistons
    • Even if they win the first matchup, then they have to go on the road and win again if they want to reach the 25-win mark.
  • At Memphis Grizzlies
    • Hopefully, I can go to this game. So, if they’re at 28 in a row and lose, I will be very upset.
  • Chicago Bulls
    • If they can somehow manage to keep the streak alive long enough to see the Bulls on their home floor on Christmas Eve-Eve, they can tie the all-time record with a win.
  • Washington Wizards
    • How perfectly has it lined up that if the Celtics keep winning, they will break the all-time win streak record at home on Christmas Day? Don’t count on the streak lasting this long, but that is an awesome thing to hope for.



-Featured Image via

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