(Dick Raphael/NBAE/Getty Images Sport)
The 1969-70 Knicks rocketed to a 19-1 start behind a stellar cast led by Dave DeBusschere (driving).
See how Boston's pace matches up with the '95-96 Bulls.

Dec. 14, 2007 -- Only one team in NBA history, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, has ever won 70 games in a single season, but you've got to play 20 to get to 82. By kicking off the 2007-08 season with 18 wins against only two losses, the Boston Celtics have jumped out to a 20-game start that ranks among the best in NBA history, and they're doing it emphatically.

On pace to win 74 games, Boston has scored 2,022 points this season, and allowed only 1,745 -- good for an average point differential of 13.9 per game. Among teams to win at least 18 of their first twenty games, that figure ranks third all-time, trailing the 1969-70 New York Knicks (15.5) and the 1993-94 Seattle Supersonics (14.4). They are comfortably ahead of the 9.6 differential posted by the 72-win Bulls, though their competition has been limited to all but three games against Eastern Conference opponents. Stiffer competition lies ahead for Boston, and time will tell if the team can continue to dominate.

Even so, the Celtics are in strong company: five of the 12 other teams won the NBA championship, while two more lost in the NBA Finals. Only the Supersonics failed to advance to their Conference Final, and while the '57-58 Celtics were the only team not to reach 50 wins, it was because the League played a 72-game schedule back then; their .681 winning percentage remains lofty.

Take a look at how this year's elite squad of Celtics stacks up against those quick-starting teams of years past:


SEASON TEAM RECORD DIFF FINAL
RECORD
FINISH
1969-70 Knicks 19-1 15.5 60-22 Won NBA title
1990-91 Trail Blazers 19-1 12.6 63-19 Lost Conf. finals
1993-94 Rockets 19-1 7.5 58-24 Won NBA title
1993-94 SuperSonics 18-2 14.4 63-19 Lost First Round
2007-08 Celtics 18-2 13.9 ? ?
1963-64 Celtics 18-2 13.5 59-21 Won NBA title
1966-67 76ers 18-2 13.1 68-13 Won NBA title
2002-03 Mavericks 18-2 12.2 60-22 Lost Conf. finals
1984-85 Celtics 18-2 12.1 63-19 Lost NBA finals
1985-86 Lakers 18-2 11.3 62-20 Lost Conf. finals
1957-58 Celtics 18-2 10.0 49-23 Lost NBA finals
1995-96 Bulls 18-2 9.6 72-10 Won NBA title
1996-97 Rockets 18-2 7.7 57-25 Lost Conf. finals

DIFF: The team's average point differential. (Points Scored - Points Allowed / Number of Games Played)
* All statistics provided by Stats LLC.