To put into perspective just where the Celtics stand, they won 62 games last year without Kevin Garnett for a significant portion of their schedule. And Rasheed Wallace was still playing for the Pistons.
The talent and depth on the current Celtics roster is unparalleled by any of the other 29 teams in the league. The Lakers, Cavaliers, Magic and Spurs appear to be the only teams capable of dismantling the Celtics in the postseason, but there aren’t enough good teams to prevent Boston from surpassing the 72-10 1995-96 Chicago Bulls on the all-time single-season wins list.
The Celtics play the other four elites a combined 12 times, and they are already 1-0 thanks to their season-opening win against the Cavs. Thanks to the cupcake Atlantic Division that features the Knicks, Heat, Raptors, Nets and 76ers, the C’s have 20 games against some of the East's weakest teams.
If the Celtics are to achieve immortality by surpassing the 72-win mark, they are going to need a series of long winning streaks and avoid even the slightest of losing streaks. Both of those tasks are pretty obvious.
The '95-96 Bulls had winning streaks of 18 and 13 and lost back-to-back games just once all season, before walking through the playoffs with a 15-3 record (back then the first round was best-of-five).
The Celtics are still 67 wins from tying Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson's record, and 68 wins from eclipsing the historic total. They are 77 wins from finishing off what would be deemed a perfect regular season of basketball.
No one would complain if the Celtics managed to win a championship, while falling short of the wins record. But with a chance to complete both goals — something the Patriots came so close to achieving — why not think big?
Right now, the Celtics are just 5-0, but it feels like they might never lose. And it certainly feels like 73 wins is a possibility, no matter how impossible that might seem.