By winning their 12th straight game over the Raptors Sunday, the Celtics moved into a tie for the 86th-longest winning streak in NBA history.
(Along with two dozen other teams, including the 1973-74 Celtics, the 1980-81 Celtics, and the 2008-2009 Celtics. You can enjoy the full table at Basketball Reference.)
One more win will move the C’s into a tie for 58th place at a baker’s dozen 13.
This developing-defensive-dozen group is also tied for the 10th longest win-streak in the storied history of the Boston Celtics themselves.
No one wants to put the whammy on a no-hitter, so we’re not going to go too far with this. And of course, it’s worth noting that many of the teams with much longer streaks did not go on to hang any banners.
Getting to 13
On the other hand, the Celtic mini-run has taken place with both Al Horford and Kyrie Irving missing at least two games apiece.
The only analogy we can think of for these C’s would be the 2008 Houston Rockets. That team reeled off 22 straight without the services of Yao Ming for much of the run.
Of course, 22 wins is a long ways off. But we like to remember the NBA’s 2008 season and the Banner 17 Boogie.
As those Rockets — who didn’t even make the finals — suggest, a streak is just a streak.
And with an average-age-per starter somewhere around 26, these Celtics are also close to setting some records for precocity.
Quality of opposition
True, the Celtics haven’t played Golden State, Houston, or Detroit during the streak.
But of the 12 wins, six have come against teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today. (The 76ers, Knicks, Magic, Raptors, Bucks, and Spurs — several of these, on the road.)
The combined record of Celtic opponents against teams other than Boston, during the 12 wins, is 69-69.
So enjoy the run, however long it lasts. And don’t overlook the up-and-coming Nets — yes we said the Nets — who, in their own way, made such a contribution to it.
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