During the 2014-2015 regular NBA betting season, the Atlanta Hawks won 60 games, earning the top seed going into the playoffs – before an ignominious sweep by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals. It’s easy to let that loss sully the great work that the Hawks did, as 60-win campaigns have proven rare – especially in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Teams that can do it twice in a row are particularly rare, thanks to a league that is full of talent and has defenders lurking on most rosters that can shut an opponent’s leading scorer down. As the current NBA Finals between Cleveland and Golden State are showing, even the best teams are making a slog of the game right now, and that kind of parity makes the dominance of a 60-win season difficult to produce – let alone reproduce. However, it has happened before. Boston won 66 games one year and came back to win 62. They won a title in 2008 and went to the Finals the other year. Cleveland won 66 games in 2008-09 and 61 games in 2009-10. However, they fell in the conference finals and semifinals those years, with LeBron James famously standing and watching as the Celtics eliminated his team in 2010. The next season, he and his talents were in South Beach.
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