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This question may seem absolutely ridiculous, but allow me to pose it. Is 73 wins even feasible? Considering that the Celtics won 66 games last season (just seven off from the NBA record) and had an incredible 29-3 start, it’s possible.
It’s going to take a miraculous set of circumstances for the Celtics to reach the historic 73-win plateau. But, before we proceed with how they can do it, we must look back at the team that caused this question to be posed in the first place: the Chicago Bulls.
Michael Jordan’s Bulls, of course, set an NBA record in the 1995-96 season with a 72-10 record. Imagine that…an .878 winning percentage. They only lost to one team more than once all season (the Indiana Pacers beat them twice).
Jordan averaged over 30 ppg that season, and his counterpart Scottie Pippen averaged nearly 20 ppg. Dennis Rodman hauled in almost 15 rebounds per game during the regular season, and for the most part stayed out of trouble.
Tony Kukoc was the team’s sixth man, and he did have a nice ability to score, shoot threes, and play enough defense to get by. The team itself was just too good offensively to have to worry as much as other teams about defense.
Jordan though was still a fierce defender, averaging 2.2 steals per game and a block every other game (.5 per). So does winning 72 games take an amazing effort from one of the greatest players in NBA history? Maybe.
While the Bulls had Superman (Jordan), Batman (Pippen), and Rodman (Dennis Rodman), the Celtics have the new Big Three, fresh off their first NBA title. If there’s any year to win 73 games, this has to be the year for the Celtics.
Last year, they were in their first seasons together, so there had to be time allowed for the players to get used to each other. Eventually, the Big Three become one and soared through the rest of the regular season. This season will be their second full season together, so they should be a cohesive unit from the get-go.
Their ages are just right. They have enough experience to know how to win, and they’re young enough to still get it done on a consistent basis. Their window of opportunity is closing fast, however, as this may be their last year as a dominant team. The timing is right for something special.
So many things. Like I said before, the pieces need to fall in place perfectly.
1. The East has to be especially weak
2. Everyone has to stay healthy
3. The Celtics need to remember what happened to the Patriots
Highly unlikely. I’ll go out on a limb and say no way, not this year, not next year. It takes a dominant team in a weak conference to win that many games. Last year was the perfect recipe for the Celtics, but they were playing in their first season together and could only muster 66 wins.
I will say if the Celtics had a year under their belts last season instead of this season, they may have made a run at 73 wins…but I still highly doubt it.