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Jeff Van Gundy says the Heat will break Bulls' record of 72 wins

Aug 8, 2010, 12:25 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Jvangundy.jpgOh, good. This should go over well.

Jeff Van Gundy, in an interview with the Miami Herald, thinks the Heat will break the ’96 Bulls’ record of 72 wins, and will challenge the ’72 Lakers’ record for consecutive wins of 33. No, seriously. He went out and said what a lot of people are thinking:

`They will break the single-season win record [of 72],” Jeff Van Gundy
said. “And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers’ 33-game
[winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a
remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose
two games in a row this year.

Oh, okay, then. Tell us how you really feel, Jeffster. Well, I’m sure the normally pessimistic Van Gundy had some reservations about how this team will come together, the same way everyone else has questioned them, somehow glossing over the ridiculous amount of talent they have. Right?

“They have put together a much better roster than anybody
could ever have expected,” Van Gundy added. “There is now no good way
to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are
just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that
they will score at will.”

I’m sure these comments will be received rationally and without overreaction from both commenters on this blog, and pundits and fans worldwide.

The fact is that this kind of talent combination has rarely been seen in the NBA over the past 30 years. Expansion, the salary cap, and the market have all conspired to prevent such an uneven distribution of talent. For all the worries about chemistry, their lack of size, their egos, and everything else, this is a ridiculous amount of talent. We’re talking about some of the top players in the NBA, arguably three of the top five, all suiting up in the same color jerseys for 82 games (well, okay, they’re likely to coast and sit at the end, but you get what I’m tossing out there).

Van Gundy’s remarks should be well regarded. He’s been around the NBA for quite a while. He’s seen greatness first hand, and isn’t one to throw out that kinds of lofty praise.

That said, I’m sure the Heat would rather Van Gundy hadn’t made that kind of statement. More expectations? Just what they need.

110 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David R - Aug 24, 2010 at 6:30 AM

    The Miami Heat could win 82 games and they still wouldn’t be a great as that Chicago team. The only reason these guys are together is because individually they couldn’t win CRAP.
    I hope the me mentality of this team shines through and all them want the last shot. And when one misses the other two chime in on how they would have made that shot.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:27 AM

    lakers will win it all as someone else said this is Phil’s last year, he has to go out GOAT…maybe next year Heat.
    undefeated. yall sleeping on OKC and Chitown.
    Rondo? ooo boy.
    they will have a winning record, granted no injuries happen.

  3. Brian Sanipe - Aug 25, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    The Bulls were playing in a league that wasn’t as competitive as this one is right now. They had better players too. Here’s a breakdown
    Jordan has the better offense and defensive skills compared to Lebron
    Pippen is better at the offensive end(playmaking, cutting, shooting) vs. Wade
    is way better on the defensive end of the floor
    Rodman is way behing on the offensive end but makes up for it with
    a huge edge on the defensive end vs. Bosh.
    As for rebounding, I’ll take the bulls big 3 vs. the heat.

  4. Common Sense - Aug 31, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    This is stupid everyone has an argument on how they will lose but no one can say how someone will beat them. Every reason for losing has been internal (chemistry, 1 ball ets.) Please tell me who will beat them and how they will do it. Boston has no freakin chance, Orlando is depending on Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter and the Lakers need Bynum who is never healthy. I understand you dont like them but reality is THEY ARE BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE. Face it

  5. me - Sep 3, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    WADE+LEBRON+BOSH > ANYTHING

  6. G_lish61 - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    WTF!!! First, Van Gundy you are a DOUCHE. Everytime you came on I had to turn the sound off. ASS. Second, last year everyone was crowning LeBron and his minions and they didn’t even make it to the Finals. Guess what here we go again and same results for the upcoming season. Celtics will kick the asses of King James and his minions and LAKERS will rule once again! Only way King James reigns with a championship is if KOBE decides he’s done competing or if his body decides it for him. I for one am looking forward to watching the Heat and every game they lose!!!

  7. G_lish61 - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Blah,bablah,bablah………so what! They still didn’t win and until they win the Championship it’s just yada,yada,yada.

  8. Anonymous - Sep 12, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    OKC and Kevin Durant can shut the out. No way lakers in the east.

  9. Irish Bulls Fan - Sep 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    First of all the fact that Wade, James and Bosh decided to accept considerable paycuts to play together must be considered in this so called “chemistry” that has everyone cribbing about. If the men agreed to take pay cuts I believe sharing the ball shold not be an issue as most egos are built over exuberant salaries. I believe these men have only one intention, and thats not to boast personal stats but to win rings. Michael Jordan needed a good cast (Pippen & Grant) before he was able to seriously contend for a ring, and it was after his few years of putting up extraordinary stats that he realised this. Lebron and James also realise that putting up big numbers doesn’t win you rings alone and invariably you are only as strong as your weakest link come playoff time. Thats why they have decided to team up together to give themselves an excellent chance of not only winning a ring (obviously a 2nd for Wade)but dominating for many seasons to come. Lebron, one of the best passers ever in the league should thrive now with two legitimate presences in his side (compared to an above average cavs team who put up 66 wins). Wade should also thrive now that he has a a player with him who is willing to win at all costs. Thats enough about chemistry and stats as I believe that won’t be an issue with this team as wade and lebron will both thrive from each others presence, freeing up more oppurtunities along with sharing the scoring burden. As for breaking the bulls 72-10 I believe its up to the mentality of the entire team and management. No one can say whether the heat will break the bulls record only the heat themselves. If they set their target out to break the bulls record then I thouroghly believe they can. Its all down to whether they will be content with being the top team in the league with 66 wins or whether thats not enough. injuries will have a big say on this aswell running into the business and of the year. Now for the critics complaining about the heats “lack of size”. The great bulls of the 90s beat teams with great big men (knicks ewing, sonics kemp, orlando shaq, rockets olajuwan, piston bad boys) along with teams with exceptional outside range (pacers miller, magic hardaway scott, knicks starks houston, sonics payton and lakers) and I believe this heat team can and will do the same. If you compare the big three for bulls (jordan, pippen, grant (first 3peat) jordan, pippen, rodman (2nd 3peat) you can see huge simarlarities. Firstly the bulls main scoring average was Jordan and Pippen. The same will occur with the heat wade and james. Jordan and Pippen never had a free scoring big man to play with yet dominated the league for many years. while i believe rodman was one of the greatest rebounders, he contributed very little to the scoring stats. Bosh on the hand will definitley contribute alot of rebounds but i believe its his scoring presence that will make worth so much more to the heat and in particular wad and james. With these men on the perimeter, bosh will be allowed more space inside and should profit,particulary down the stretch when teams will have to play alot more perimeter defense on the heat. What im trying to say is, “chemistry” and “lack of size” should not be an issue with the heat. Great teams previously have overcame both these issues and have prsopered and the heat are too experienced to suffer from this. If lebron can win 66 with cleveland (who in my opinion would be a 30 win team w/o him) they I believe he can certainly will 73 with the heat, as long as the heat WANT to and are not content with just being the top seed with 66 wins. Injuries are key also and an unhealthy wade or james will see a disinterest in breaking the bulls record. the bulls wanted to break the lakers 69 and as long as the drive is there by the heat then they have the abitity to. As for a championship win, I have no reservations they will win at least 1(probably 3). I say this because the celtics are ageing, Lakers have only one go to man (Bryant) and magic are crippled when howard is beat. Heat on the otherhand have two superstars and an all star who should flourish into one the league leaders in his position due to his cast. Bulls of 90s are still the greatest team and will be for a long time. but this heat team can dominate this era, and possibly become one of the best there ever was.

  10. Anonymous - Sep 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    good point

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