There’s no doubt that the Atlanta Hawks have done something truly special during the current franchise-long 17-game winning streak.
But if they can win their next game, they’ll truly be into rarified air.
In the history of the NBA, a winning streak of 18 games or more has only been achieved 10 times, according to LandofBasketball.com. If the Hawks can beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, they’ll become Team No. 11.
Here’s why that’s so important. Of the six other teams that have achieved a 17-game winning streak, only one went on to win a championship in that season.
But the 10 teams with at least 18 consecutive wins? Seven of those teams won a ring.
(Also read: The Hawks make Atlanta sports history)
That’s a pretty good success rate, and it would bode well for Hawks fans who have suddenly upped their expectations for this team. While I would be happy with an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, which has never happened before, some fans believe this season is championship-or-bust. I see where they’re coming from – after all, making franchise history means this team should be expected to achieve more than a solid regular-season winning streak.
And if the Hawks can keep the streak alive for a few more games, they’ll move quickly up the top-10 list of the longest winning streaks in league history. Win No. 18 would put them in a tie for eighth, Win No. 19 would rank them in a tie for fifth and Win No. 20 would tie them for the fourth-longest winning streak of all-time.
It’ll be a while, however, before they approach the 33 consecutive victories by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, the longest winning streak in league history.
Of course, it’s not all good news for the Hawks. Their Twitter account has officially run out of room for extra “W’s,” but the Trail Blazers seem to think they have a solution: ending the streak Friday night.
Image: AP/John Amis