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According to Rasheed Wallace, the Celtics can win 72 games this season, which would match Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best mark in NBA history.
“Oh definitely,” Wallace told the Connecticut Post’s Thomas Halzack. “Definitely, playing with those three other guys, also combining that with the guys we have on the bench, I think we can definitely can. Me personally, I think we can get that Bulls record. You know we have the talent for it. We have the will for it and…I think we have the defense for it.”
Is it really possible? The Celtics won 66 games their first year with the Big Three, and won 62 games last year while without Kevin Garnett for much of the year. Can the team somehow go an entire season with just 10 losses?
Lately, the Celtics have set quite a pace as they pushed for the best record in league history the last two seasons. In 2007-08, the Celts began the season a ridiculous 29-3 (and were a few plays from starting 32-0). In 2008-09, the team ran off a team-record 19-game winning streak and were 27-2 before a Christmas Day match-up with the Lakers.
So, the Celtics will need a start at least that hot to have a chance at 72+ wins. After that, they then need to avoid any prolonged slumps. A three-game losing streak may put the push for the record in jeopardy, so the team will need to play like the 2007 Patriots (who of course went 16-0 in the regular season), which could cause the team to lose gas and tire during the playoffs.
Most important of all, the Celtics need to stay healthy all season, meaning they’ll need at least 75 games played from Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, and most of the bench. If the Celts have their health, and a white hot start to the season (something like 30-3), then the team certainly has a shot at history. I’d settle for Banner No. 18, though.