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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. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    if the Heat have to settle for 71-11 I think they can live with that. LeBron took his team to the finals a few years ago with 11 scrubs on this team. Think how good Miami will do when we plays with 2 other superstars and a strong supporting cast. (sorry guys Bosh is a stud. you don’t get picked to play on the dream team in 08 and be just an average player)

  2. AAL - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Teams having star power is something that must be had to win Championships. Jordan/Pippen/Rodman, Robinson/Duncan, Duncan/Parker/Ginobili, O’Neal/Bryant, O’Neal/Wade, Allen/Pierce/Garnett. The Heat had a HUGE offseason and picked up 3 of the top players in the game. They added some good pieces to fill the roles, and they have to be considered one of two or three teams that can compete this year. Yes, 3. Nobody can take anything away from the Lakers. They’re a NIGHTMARE to match up with. Bosh can’t handle a 7-footer in the post, and the Lakers have 2. Artest is still one of the best defensive players in the league, and Kobe is still the best player in the league. Also, the Celtics had an amazing offseason that can’t be forgotten. Lebron/Wade/Bosh can be matched up one-on-one with Pierce/Allen/Garnett. The Heat 3 will outplay the Celtics 3 a little bit, but not enough to guarantee victory every game. Beyond that, Rondo/Robinson/Shaq/Jermaine will beat House/Chalmers/Z/Haslem.
    Miami might come out ahead in a series against the Lakers or the Celtics, but we’re talking about only losing 9 games this season? They play (presumably) Boston 4 times, LA twice, San Antonio twice, Orlando 4 times, Chicago 4 times.
    If Lebron learns how to close out a game ala MJ, it may be different. If Lebron realizes he is D-Wade’s Scottie Pippen, it may be different. Only time will tell, but they will NOT win 73

  3. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    I think a lot of people will be surprised as the season goes on that this will be LeBrons team. yeah, D-Wade was there first, but LeBron is the best in the game. when the Heat are in a jam and Miami needs points in a hurry we will see another Lebron at Milwaukee, ala 16 points in 2 minutes. if Miami goes on to win 6 out of 7 years I bet LeBron will tell you that you can call that team whosever you want. Kobe wasn’t the best in LA for the 3peat in 00-02, ala shaq 3 finals mvps.

  4. tdot11 - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    There is a reason why that team was called the ‘redeem team’. Bosh’s stats are overrated his soft character will be on full display, he will be getting destroyed in the paint on a regular basis and teams will play big against them to slow the tempo. They will not reach 70 wins.

  5. Daniel - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    People are going to be very disappointed when Bosh shows that he’s not a max player. Bigs control the defense. Good luck with Z, Joel Anthony, Juwan Howard and Chris Bosh.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    name as many players in the NBA last year as you can who averaged 24.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 0.520 FG%, and 0.797 FT% (Chris Bosh)
    I’d say he’s a little better than soft.

  7. trueballs - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    @Terry: “I…would NEVER go to see these people or any NBA team play. Enough is enough. I won’t even WATCH them.”
    You lie! Everybody who is on this blog will watch this team at some point this season.

  8. willmose - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    The Heat will be lucky to win 50 games this year. By the third game the Heat will have lost two in a row. Whenever you have three players on the court that want to take 50% of the shots you have a problem. The Heat will never figure out it is about winning, not personal stats. It will be an ugly year in Miami.

  9. Theone - Aug 8, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Horace Grant wasn’t on the Bulls when they won 72 games. Rodman was the power forward.

  10. Cordae - Aug 8, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Everyones opinion here is just as valid as JVG’s because…..slap me if I’m wrong but, the sason hant started yet! So all of you basketball illiterate retards who think you know whats gonna happen, you dont. They may not get any chemistry and have a bad year. Hell they might even gel and get their roles down. I’m pretty sure they’ve discussed this and have no problem sharing the ball. Do you honestly think two GROWN ASS men (Wade and James) are gonna cry about who should take what shot? NO! And they only took 50% of the shots on their teams before because they HAD to. It’s a whole new ball game now. I’m pretty sure they know their stats aren’t gonna be as good as they once were, but they obviously dont care about that, they just want rings duhhhhhh..

  11. tom - Aug 8, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    the heat might win 65 games….they will not win 33 in a row…that’s for sure and they will not win 72 nor the title….i don’t think they can get by boston or orlando….jvg..if he is such a prophet, why hasn’t anyone brought him in?…..think about it…..

  12. kglad - Aug 8, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    if all 3 of the heat’s big guns miss no games, winning 72 is a very slim possibility. but they’re going to miss games because (even if they’re fortunate and there are no significant injuries) they’re either
    a. not going to enter the last 2weeks of the season on a pace to win 73+ or
    b. they will be on a pace to win 73+.
    if a., chances are negligible they’ll win 73+ and if b., those guys are going to sit because they’ll have the number 1 seed locked up and the bulls record isn’t as important as the playoffs.

  13. davidly - Aug 8, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Ach. Van Bundy is a tool who happens to hate the coach with the record; mocked him as “Big Chief Triangle” but could never beat him.
    Jordan/Pip/Worm were a steam roller nobody was ready for. Miami is a target everybody is after. After Orlando embarrassed him, Jordan in his first complete season back, was back in game shape and ready and hungry for another title. As was Pippen. As was Rodman.
    Plus it was an expansion year. Give it up Goondy; your worse (and more annoying) as an analyst than you were as a coach.

  14. Luis - Aug 8, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    I am sorry but I just don’t see it. They have no inside presence whatsoever and will be shooting jumpshots all day long against teams with good defenses. I still can see the Celtics and the magic shutting them down. No way they win 70 games. I guess time will tell.

  15. davidly - Aug 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Plus, even if you elevate Wade/James to the level of greatest two of all time, who’s on the Heat is as good an interior denfender and all-around menace that was Rodman?
    And Steve Kerr is still today the statistical three point king. Who is the Heat’s Ron Harper?
    BTW: the Bulls sixth man was Toni Kukoc. Does Miami really have a team that “talented”? Are they really deep enough to avoid losing ten games all season?
    And now to correct the last sentence in my last entry: Give it up Goondy; you’re a worse (and more annoying) analyst than you were as a coach.

  16. Lakerfan - Aug 8, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Gelling and sharing the ball will not be a problem for the Heat. Their big 3 has already shown that they can share the ball (Olympic Dream Team 2008) and put their egos aside when the goal is great enough. I believe that they have a legitimate shot of winning 73 games, however 33 in a row may be outside of their scope. The top 4 teams in the East are no slouch. If there is a breakdown, it might occur in the Final, if they can stay healthy and get past Chicago, Boston and Orlando.

  17. yoyoma - Aug 8, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    JVG is an idiot. period. shave your head you look dumb.

  18. sherman2009 - Aug 8, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Remember the 96 Bulls started out 10-2 and then ripped off a 31-1 run. So they got to a record of 41-3. They lost 2 games in a row once all season and they lost 2 games to only one team, the Pacers who incidentally were the team who beat them during that 31-1 streak. Lets talk when the Heat are 41-3 and then I’ll talk about 73 wins.

  19. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    i agree looks he looks like a new york fag

  20. dreadlocsamurai - Aug 8, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    lebron and a bunch of scrubs were able to get 66wins…you all don’t think miami will be able to at least match that plus a couple of games…Is anderson verajo better than chris bosh now or something?
    JVG is correct. The only teams that will be challenging miami are LA and boston (yeah i know he didn’t mention boston).
    kobe and wade will exhaust each other out. bosh and gasol will exhaust each other out. artest will be killed by lebron, so bynum better step it up.

  21. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    you know your history. The Pacers beat them 100-99 at home on the second to last game of the season, with all of the Bulls startes playing 30 minutes or less. They were trying to go 41-0 at home, but lost the 40th game to the Hornets and already had broken the Lakers record of 69 wins in a season. so they had nothing to play for. overall 3 of the bulls 10 losses were by 1 point. They could have easly gone 75-7

  22. kels - Aug 8, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    The heat will win because they r better it will be hard to beat celts in a series but lakers size wont bother dwade and lebron. Bosh is not on their level but he will help with athleticism

  23. Drew - Aug 8, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    That’s a lot of Jeff Van Gundy hate just for having an opinion. I’m in the camp that Miami will win at least 70 games. I think their inside presence is good enough. As I’ve said before, I think this team will actually be one of the better rebounding teams in the league. Wade and Lebron are excellent rebounders for their positions, while Bosh is a 10-board a night guy. Haslem is a workhorse. The centres-by-committeee will only be asked to rebound and defend, that’s it.
    I think you can chalk up 3-4 losses to fatigue/not showing up, another 3-4 losses attributed to every team in the league getting up to play them, and then a couple of buzzer beater losses just based on the law of averages.

  24. Josh - Aug 8, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I agree with Van Gundy that the Heat will be a great team, but I’m not yet sure HOW great they will be. I really don’t think they will be as good as the Showtime Lakers, 72 Win Bulls or 3Peat Lakers, at least not right off. I don’t think that’s possible. However it’s interesting that Van Gundy seems to think so. Personally I think the Lakers, as well as Boston, will have their number in the playoffs next season. But I guess now we’ll see how good Wade and Lebron REALLY are. Obviously they are so hyped and people who’ve never even seen them play in person will tell you that those guys are the best players in the league. But now we will see just how good they really are, or do they wind up looking like just another couple of All Stars on a fair-to-good team (Utah, Atlanta, Orlando, Sacramento, Portland, San Antonio, etc etc). The HYPE itself isn’t going to win games or differentiate them from the pack. So we’ll see. We’ll just have to see it, no sense getting all lathered up about it ala Van Gundy. Anyhow, I’m picking the Lakers big time.

  25. Vic - Aug 8, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read in my life.
    People are getting so stupid nowadays.
    The NBA is one of the stupidest things on the planet, the way the media, refs & announcers lie and cheat.
    The Heat will win 50-62 games, no chance at 70, no chance at 33.
    They have 1 big guy inside Bosh, the rest of the guys stink.
    They have no size, Big Z is a waste. Mike Miller stinks.
    What a stupid article, Van gundy is worthless

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