The Boston Celtics started out the year 0-2, but then rattled off an incredible 16-straight victories before falling to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
The long streak set the Celtics up with the best record in the NBA, and they currently lead the Eastern Conference by four games.
However, the Celtics can't afford to take their feet off the gas pedal now, so they need to start another winning streak on Friday night against the Orlando Magic.
A game in San Antonio against the Spurs looms large on the Celtics' schedule on Friday, Dec. 8, but before that are seven very winnable games, mostly against Eastern Conference squads.
If the Celtics can start a new long winning streak, they'll be in a good position to take a commanding lead in the East, even as the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers are starting to find their rhythm.
Here are three reasons the Celtics could enter their Dec. 8 matchup in San Antonio on a seven-game winning streak:
Six of their next seven are at home
After three-straight road games, the Celtics will return to Boston on Friday night. From there, they'll play six of their next seven games at home.
Following Friday's game against the Orlando Magic, the Celtics will play the Pacers in Indiana on Saturday night before hosting their next five games.
The Celtics are 7-1 at home this season, so some home cooking will be just what they need as they start working on their next winning streak.
They get started against a struggling Orlando squad
The Orlando Magic got off to a hot start this season, but they have not been playing good basketball lately.
In fact, after starting 8-4, the Magic have lost their last six games to fall out of the playoff picture heading into Friday's matchup against the Celtics in Boston.
A game against a struggling squad will be just what the doctor ordered for Boston after their loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
They play two Western Conference bottom-feeders
The only games the Celtics play against Western Conference opponents before their trip to San Antonio are against the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.
The Suns and Mavericks have a combined record of 11-27 and look like two candidates for the No. 1 overall pick.
That's not to say the Celtics won't have to play good basketball to beat them, but avoiding teams like the Warriors, Rockets and other top teams in the West will help them build up some more momentum as they try to keep their strong play going this season.