A 15-game winning streak is pretty impressive regardless of the sport you’re playing in, but when that sport is the NBA, it’s even more impressive. The NBA has become so star-driven to the point where you only need one or two superstars to change the course of your fortunes as a franchise, but since a number of teams have used this tactic in recent years, there are plenty of opportunities for almost any team to be able to take you out on any given night. It is for this and other reasons that the Miami Heat‘s 15-game winning streak is more impressive than the Chicago Blackhawks‘ current twenty-two-game undefeated point streak.
We’ll get the obvious point out of the way with and remind readers that the Heat have won all 15 games in question here. The Blackhawks have not won all 22 of their games (they have lost three times), so Miami has the upper hand in this argument right from the start. The Blackhawks are currently on a nine-game winning streak, which is no small feat in the NHL, but the Heat are proving to be the bigger winner because they are actually winning all of their matchups.
It’s also worth noting the NBA is an all-or-nothing league where you either win or lose; there are no pity points for teams who make it into overtime like it is some sort of consolation prize. In a compacted season like the one NHL teams are currently going through, where teams are playing so many games in such a small time frame and where absolutely every point counts, there are nights where teams will play just hard enough to get to overtime in order to get one point out of the deal even if they lose.
Consider this point: The Heat have gone to overtime once during their streak, while the Blackhawks have done this ten times. The Blackhawks might be working their system well, but some of these overtime games have come against squads like the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets–teams they should have been able to beat soundly without any need for overtime–so their streak is somewhat dubious as a result.
The Heat have also faced stiffer competition. While the Blackhawks have played the four worst teams in their conference–the Blue Jackets, Oilers, Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche–five times and won each game, they needed overtime to win three of those matchups. They have also played five times against the three teams just below them in the standings–the Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes–and have lost twice.
Compare this with the Heat, who have played four of the other top six teams in the league besides them–the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and the New York Knicks–and defeated them soundly, and you see how the Heat have risen to the occasion in more impressive fashion.
Both of these feats are undoubtedly noteworthy, but given the constraints of the systems these teams operate in, and the competition each team has faced, the Miami Heat have been more impressive during their streak.