With 11 wins already behind them, the Milwaukee Bucks now face an opportunity to compile a streak that could live on in the record books forever.
Having defeated the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night at Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks are now the outright holders of the NBA’s longest active winning streak.
The Bucks have won 11 consecutive games, a feat that is by no means easily achieved in a league with the rigors that the NBA schedule possesses.
If any further clarity on just how impressive this run from the Bucks is, a closer look at the franchise’s own wider history provides the context.
Not only did the Bucks fail to put together a streak of this length en route to 60 wins last year, but they didn’t manage to put together such a run back in 2000-01 either. Nor did the Bucks manage 11 straight wins at any point in the 1990s. In fact, to find their last streak of this length, it’s necessary to go all the way back to February 1985.
At this point, the team can only afford to take each game as it comes, but considering their recent strength in simply taking care of business, from the outside it’s impossible not to look a little further ahead and consider what could be possible for this team over the next few weeks.
If the Bucks can beat the Knicks at home on Monday, and the Pistons on the road on Wednesday, they’ll have won 13 games in a row for the first time since November 1973. If the Bucks can get there, then the three best streaks the franchise has ever seen will all quickly come into focus.
The Bucks’ three best runs in franchise history all came between 1970 and 1973, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was at the peak of his powers. The Bucks have won 16 straight on two occasions, while the franchise record streak of 20 games also stands out as the fifth longest streak in NBA history.
If the Bucks are to come close to any of those games, they’ll face a major challenge against the Clippers in what could be the 14th game of this run. If Milwaukee can come out on top against LA, though, a run of four games against sub .500 opponents such as Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans, and Cleveland would then follow.
If the Bucks are to find a way to do what still seems somewhat unthinkable, and match or surpass the 20-game mark set in 1971, they would also need to beat the Mavericks and the Lakers. Based on the outstanding play of both of these teams of late, that would be difficult, but there’s reason to believe that task isn’t completely beyond Milwaukee.
If Mike Budenholzer’s team can get their fair share of luck, maintain their recent high standards, and really set out on chasing history over the next month, a home-heavy schedule provides some real hope. If the Bucks win the games they’d expect to win, those tougher challenges would come at home.
In fact, there are only two road games standing between the Bucks and the 20th game of this stretch. With those trips coming in Detroit and Memphis there’s no real need for them to strike fear either.
Of course, any number of factors could bring the streak to an end on any given night. Perhaps the Bucks will be upset by the Knicks and it will simply end at 11. Still, we’ve reached a point where looking ahead, and at least being aware of the history that’s on the horizon for the Bucks is necessary.
Paired with a 17-3 start, and Giannis Antetokounmpo improving on his MVP play from last year, what a great time it is to be a Bucks fan.