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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. Filipe - Aug 8, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    JVG is aware that Bulls got 72 after the league just add 2 new teams (while Minessota was still a recent expansion one), right? The bad teams in 96 were really bad. There’s a reason only one team won more than 60 last year, the current doormats are actually pretty decent. There were 7 awful teams in 96. I’d argue only Wolves are reall that bad right now and that makes going for 70 much more harder.

  2. Phil Freeman - Aug 8, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Jordan + Pippen + Grant > Wade + Lebron + Bosh

  3. Easy E - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    I think that’s a very legitimate comment Filipe. I can’t
    disagree with the fact that the league did have more doormats
    back in 96, and that the ones today are better. I was a huge
    fan of Jordan and the Bulls growing up in that era, seeing
    games live when they came to town, and watching wgn, the local
    Chicago affiliate which we could watch on cable where we lived.
    I feel like I saw every game of Micheal Jordan’s career. Anyway,
    what I point to about the Jordan are teams, even with Rodman, was
    the business like professionalism, and focus every single night.
    Basically overcoming everything they faced by maximizing their
    talent with efficiency. I’m not sure the Heat have the current
    personal makeup to make a run like that, on the other hand, maybe
    they have enough talent to overcome it. I’d like to find out.

  4. Easy E - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    I think that’s a very legitimate comment Filipe. I can’t
    disagree with the fact that the league did have more doormats
    back in 96, and that the ones today are better. I was a huge
    fan of Jordan and the Bulls growing up in that era, seeing
    games live when they came to town, and watching wgn, the local
    Chicago affiliate which we could watch on cable where we lived.
    I feel like I saw every game of Micheal Jordan’s career. Anyway,
    what I point to about the Jordan are teams, even with Rodman, was
    the business like professionalism, and focus every single night.
    Basically overcoming everything they faced by maximizing their
    talent with efficiency. I’m not sure the Heat have the current
    personal makeup to make a run like that, on the other hand, maybe
    they have enough talent to overcome it. I’d like to find out.

  5. Easy E - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    I think that’s a very legitimate comment Filipe. I can’t
    disagree with the fact that the league did have more doormats
    back in 96, and that the ones today are better. I was a huge
    fan of Jordan and the Bulls growing up in that era, seeing
    games live when they came to town, and watching wgn, the local
    Chicago affiliate which we could watch on cable where we lived.
    I feel like I saw every game of Micheal Jordan’s career. Anyway,
    what I point to about the Jordan are teams, even with Rodman, was
    the business like professionalism, and focus every single night.
    Basically overcoming everything they faced by maximizing their
    talent with efficiency. I’m not sure the Heat have the current
    personal makeup to make a run like that, on the other hand, maybe
    they have enough talent to overcome it. I’d like to find out.

  6. Easy E - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    I think that’s a very legitimate comment Filipe. I can’t
    disagree with the fact that the league did have more doormats
    back in 96, and that the ones today are better. I was a huge
    fan of Jordan and the Bulls growing up in that era, seeing
    games live when they came to town, and watching wgn, the local
    Chicago affiliate which we could watch on cable where we lived.
    I feel like I saw every game of Micheal Jordan’s career. Anyway,
    what I point to about the Jordan are teams, even with Rodman, was
    the business like professionalism, and focus every single night.
    Basically overcoming everything they faced by maximizing their
    talent with efficiency. I’m not sure the Heat have the current
    personal makeup to make a run like that, on the other hand, maybe
    they have enough talent to overcome it. I’d like to find out.

  7. GreekFreek - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Two Words – Team Chemistry
    How do you think these entitled players will feel when they start losing, or worse yet, not win a title.
    Careful what you wish for Lebron.

  8. jon - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    if the 08-09 cavs could get 66 then miami or lebron for that matter better hope that they get over 70

  9. Jeremy Auster - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    I simply don’t understand why Chris Bosh continues to be mentioned in the same tier as Lebron and Wade. Chris bosh is by no means a top 5 player in this league, arguably not even a top 10 player. He has accomplished nothing in his NBA career besides putting up impressive numbers on awful teams for seven years. He comprises a third of Miami’s big three, but there was no “big three” in free agency. There was Lebron, Wade and everyone else. Bosh stated at the beginning of free agency that he saw himself as the type of player who could be a franchise cornerstone and lead a team to a championship. I never thought that was true and he has essentially confirmed my belief. All-star? Yes. Superstar? No. Top five player in the league? Not even close

  10. Jeremy - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I simply don’t understand why Chris Bosh continues to be mentioned in the same tier as Lebron and Wade. Chris bosh is by no means a top 5 player in this league, arguably not even a top 10 player. He has accomplished nothing in his NBA career besides putting up impressive numbers on awful teams for seven years. He comprises a third of Miami’s big three, but there was no “big three” in free agency. There was Lebron, Wade and everyone else. Bosh stated at the beginning of free agency that he saw himself as the type of player who could be a franchise cornerstone and lead a team to a championship. I never thought that was true and he has essentially confirmed my belief. All-star? Yes. Superstar? No. Top five player in the league? Not even close

  11. the shark - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    I think JVG have been doing doing drug of some sort when he said that. WTF is he talking about. Just someone said in the statistics. IN 96 there were 2 expansion team at that time that terrible. Plus there wasn’t many @ that time. JVG shut the hell up.

  12. the shark - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    I think JVG have been doing doing drug of some sort when he said that. WTF is he talking about. Just someone said in the statistics. IN 96 there were 2 expansion team at that time that terrible. Plus there wasn’t many @ that time. JVG shut the hell up.

  13. Johnnyharvard - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    @Phil Freeman: Actually it was Jordan/Pippen/Rodman. I think its pretty obvious the Bulls big three was better. Jordan better than LeBron, Pippen better than Wade, & Rodman better than soft ass Bosh.

  14. the shark - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    I’m not taking anything from the Legend Micheal Jordon. He was marvelous. This maybe an understatement to describe him. Back in the 90′s Chicago dominated in their days. I just think that the Heats are missing some element in the line to swallow the nba. There is some teams out there that are still pretty good. As matter of fact, the eastern teams just rose to another level of competition getting new players. So, it would be harder to break that record of 72 games as a Heat team. Remember, they are the target.

  15. Sal - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Jeff Van Gundy, has a sick way of motivating his brother or he’s suffering from Heat Dementia!

  16. Laszlo Vilsay - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    This idiocy reminds me why I watch basketball on ESPN/ABC with the mute button on. With the exception of Jon Barry or perhaps Michael Wilbon, the analysts on that network are lightweights.
    I think the Heat will come together quickly with excellent chemistry and win a lot of games. I recall how quickly the Celtics came together with Garnet-Pierce-Allen, shared the ball well and dominated everyone that first season.
    Benchwarmers like Mike Miller and Eddie House are going to have games where they look like All Stars. Justin Timberlake could put on his sneakers and knock down open shots playing with those other guys.
    But the ability to “score at will” is not what makes a squad dominant. It’s defense. It’s not clear to me how keyed in the Heat will be on defense. I’m curious to see how their lack of size is going to play out against those big boys in Boston, Dwight Howard or the three 7-footers on the Lakers front line. Those are teams that can also “score at will” if there’s nobody big enough to guard them.
    The Heat have a target on their backs, thanks to commentators like Van Gundy. Teams that won’t care about playing the Indiana Pacers or New Orleans Hornets will give the Heat their A-games, especially if they’re visiting other teams’ gyms or those games are nationally televised.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    last season there were 9 teams in the NBA that didn’t even win 30 games. in 1996 there were 7 teams that didn’t win 30 games. you see where i’m going. there are more bad teams in the nba now than 14 years ago. i’m not sure about winning 33+ in a row, but if they push themselves every night I think 73-9 could be possible. in the past few years cleveland and boston each won 66 games so why can’t a team with the talent of Miami do that plus 7 more.

  18. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    Wade+ Lebron+ Bosh > your opinion

  19. Roley33 - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Wow u should for NBA front office cuz apperantly theres something u know that the rest of the NBA doesnt know. It seems to me like every team in the league was chomping at the bits to land Bosh.

  20. yeah rt - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Pipe dreams. ur thinking like a crackhead, Bosh is soft, lebron is soft, i like d wade, but this team lacks depth, and jvg, thats why u aint coaching.

  21. Big L - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    I mean can people honestly say he is lying tho? im not so sure about breaking that lakers record but i do agree that they will never lose more than 2 in a row. Look Bosh isnt a top 5 player… BUT he is 1 of the tip 5 PF’s in the the game.. arguably top 3.. and if i hear 1 more person tell me that they will lose becuz of ” chemistry” i dnt kno wat ill do… Do u people realize that everything people are saying now is the same thing that was being said about the celtics but every body says they were different becuz they were older? So taking less money doesnt let u kno that they are all about winning? Hate all u want People, Come Up with ur Excuses , Bitch about theyre not having a 7 footer to start but this team WILL dominate… anybody watching the Nba will tell u Artest Never looked comfortable in that system didnt really stop them did they? Everybody keeps bringing up the pistons team that won becuz of chemistry but that team had talent and they faced a team who was old and Very disfunctional inside and outside the locker room as we all found out later. This is not football, Talent wins Championships Lakers,Spurs,Celtics,and the Heat all teams who won championships the last few years all had 1 thing in common… Top Star Players on their team and Defense.. Check the Stats.. the Heat were a very good defensive team and will be even better next year .. and they now have 3 guys who are the best or within the top 5 of their respective positions… JVG is rite .. if not the Lakers( and maybe the Spurs)… No Team Will Stop the Heat

  22. terry - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Save this column for the day the heat lose their 11th game.

  23. terry - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    the opening game for the heat is in Boston. That should be interesting. I just think (hope) the heat implode. Personally they’re probably nice guys but this whole thing has been pathetic and I who used to go to Celtics games regularly many moons ago would NEVER go to see these people or any NBA team play. Enough is enough. I won’t even WATCH them

  24. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    if the Heat have to settle for 71-11, I think they can live with that. LeBron took Cleveland to the Finals with 11 scrubs on his team. Think what he will do with two superstars and a strong supporting cast.

  25. Hoog - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    You also realize that free agents, at least the top ones, didn’t move around then as they do now. I’m also sure you realize that there are crappy teams every year, last year being Nets and Minnesota, with probably ten teams under 30 wins. That doesn’t suggest strong teams, that suggests parity to me.
    And you do realize that the big three won’t average what they did last year, when they were all the big gun on their teams. Only one ball. They’re obviously a favorite, but its going to be interesting to see how they fair, knowing that every team is going to be giving them their best game each and every night.
    And Johnnyvharvard…it was Grant for the first three, and they still trumped the Heat big three back in the day.

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