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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. Josh - Aug 8, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Also, unless Riley wants to get off the pot and COMMIT to coming back and coaching this so-called “dream team”, then the Lakers have an immense, basically insurmountable, edge in coaching. The fact that Riley is being coy about it means that he himself isn’t yet sure how this team will “gel” in the first year. If it was a surefire NBA finalist team then he would place himself as coach right away — instead of planning for a mid-season slump when he could jump in and grab the reigns. But if there is no Riley as coach, then Miami realistically has no shot. Lebron and Wade obviously can’t coach themselves… and if the coach can’t tell them what to do and is on extremely thin ice already, then that is basically what will happen. If those guys are unhappy with anything, ANYTHING, then the coach will change it. Period. Contrast that to the Lakers, who have the true “win one for the Gipper” scenario with the most legendary coach in all of sports coming back for one final season with the team and player that he loves the most. Offhand I don’t even remember the name of Miami’s coach, but I’m sure we’ll see some exciting footage of him trying to coach or something.

  2. The Truth - Aug 8, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    I love all the hate the Heat get. People hate on them because they KNOW deep down that the Heat are going to be unstoppable. Bulls, Knicks, Cavs fans are just mad because he didn’t sign with THEIR team. Have fun watching Miami whip your teams up this year you pathetic losers!!!

  3. The Truth - Aug 8, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    and you are a complete D-Bag for saying how bad basketball sucks yet you take the time to read the article and post, talk about a loser. I wish I had free time to read stuff I was completely uninterested in, than again I don’t work 15 hours a week like you do wearing a mouse costume at Chuck – E – Cheese

  4. sunman - Aug 8, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Folks, he’s simply playing mind games. He’s trying to set up ridiculous expectations in the media, which could possibly impact these guys if they start to believe they have to live up to it. More expectations = more pressure for this young team. Not Heat or LeBron fan, just telling you what Mr. Van Gundy is up to. He’s a very smart man.

  5. Drew - Aug 8, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    Someone’s in denial. The Heat can win 50 games with bad chemistry. With good chemistry, they will win 70+.
    There is a lot of resentment and bitterness about the Heat. But, put your personal emotions aside and objectively the Heat are lethal. I would rather see Boston win, but I’m an honest observer. Miami is the team to beat. They’re going to have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, which will make them even tougher to beat.

  6. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Aug 8, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    the thing about basketball is…great players make great coaches…notice how phil wasnt such a great coach(for a couple of years) until he got gasol and then some other pieces around kobe which turned the lakers around after kobe has his hissy fit about wanting to get traded for not having enough help
    i know, i know…its amusing how everyone forgets that part
    and BTW, erik spoelestra grew up through the miami system and earned his job…if anything…he is riley’s mouthpiece and does as he says…so im sure that he has everything control in the same way you never see a riley cowlick in that slicked back hair
    this team has alot of veterans who have been through the wars before and there enough rings in the organization for the players to know how to do their job…and that should scare the crap out of the rest of the nba…especially being that no NBA team has the centers capable of abusing miami while taking care of lebron, wade and bosh…yeah…good luck with that

  7. Sawma - Aug 8, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    absoulutely, there are dozens of players that I would pick before Bosh. He maybe int the top 20,,but still maybe.

  8. Phil Freeman - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    Both Lebron and Wade averaged more blocks per game than Bosh.
    He’s soft.

  9. Kirk - Aug 9, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    Filipe, you’re smarter than the average bear !
    It’s amazing how little the average fan knows about sports. It also highlights a comment Wilt Chamberlain made about those who proclaim Jordan GOAT. The team record and Jordan’s personal records were against a watered down league that went out of it’s way to enhance Jordan’s career. We all know the famous game winning shot against Utah that no one can argue was a flagrant offense foul by Jordan. Not only did Chamberlain not get calls, the league did everything it could to stop him. “Kids” don’t remember that the NBA outlawed dunking because of Chamberlain ! Jordan wouldn’t even get GOAT among guards from anyone who has seen Oscar Robertson in his prime !

  10. bill - Aug 9, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    im gonna hate all of da heat lovers now i mean i can honestly say i was a heat fan as long as i watch basketball i love wade and im from ohio and im a heat fan so lebron ok but i hate him when him and wade went at it i mean i loved the heat when they were bad so im gonna love them even more when they win 65-70 games

  11. K Factor - Aug 9, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Pippen better than Wade Lmao, Jordan better than Lebron Ok Rodman better than Bosh Rebounding and Defense yes Offensively NO WAY lol U said Pippens better than

  12. luffy - Aug 9, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    Yes they could win more than 70 games, 72, 73 or 74, whatever, it’s just REGULAR SEASON GAMES… They won’t get in the finals, Heat won’t get a ring til Kobe is still in the league…
    It’s Celtics vs. Lakers round 3, Lakers 3peat in 6 games…

  13. Anonymous - Aug 9, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    Grant was in Orlando in ’96

  14. Johnny - Aug 9, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    True, maybe, but we should note here that Grant didn’t play on the 96 Bulls. He was part of their first three-peat, 91-93. Rodman was on the 96 Bulls.

  15. bobby from the job - Aug 9, 2010 at 3:01 AM

    no, no, and no and if you missed that, No! in your scenario Wade is MJ, cmon dude! Wade is a great player probably the best behind Kobe, but he’s no MJ! Lebron couldn’t hold a match to Pippen on either end of the floor! Sure he’s a beast on the offensive end (when not facing Boston) but Pip is the overall better player. Personally, I would draft Horace Grant before Bosh. They both are good players but neither can carry a team and if they are only destined to be role players, it makes more sense to go with the bigger Grant. Miami will definitely get a ring but not before L.A, Boston or Orlando!

  16. bobby from the job - Aug 9, 2010 at 3:09 AM

    thank you dude, most of the guys know nothing about the league and believe whatever the “sportswriters” scribble down. Bosh knew he had to attach himself to one or both of the superstars to have a chance. Wade is the only guy with heart of the 3, will that be enough, maybe (works for Kobe) but I’m not sold on the hype just yet! Good observation!

  17. bobby from the job - Aug 9, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    dude u sound insane! How can you or Wilt say that MJ isn’t the GOAT when he elevated the league to global success, made people that otherwise were aloof about sports tune in, not to mention during his era he faced the Barkleys, Ewings, Drexlers, Hakeem, Magic, Bird, the Pistons etc, all in their prime! Wilt towered over his opponents night in night out only facing stiff comp in the playoffs for the most part! To try and discredit MJ is ridiculous, it’s expected from Wilt because thats the nature of the game for the older generation to trash the new guys, like how MJ and Magic etc, slam the current NBA players, but there’s absolutely no way you can honestly say MJ is not the goat. In fact his Jumpman logo should actually be the NBA logo instead of Jerry West, as he’s recognized more so as the face of the game than West ever was!

  18. t - Aug 9, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    I am a cavs fan. That out of the way He is right about the 72 games the 33 is a maybe, but I think that Boston will stop them. It will be Boston / LA again with LA taking it again. Also for everyone that keeps talking about the expansion teams that year ( Raptors and Grizzleis) That was a total of 6 games played and the raptors actually beat them once. Also both expansion teams had a better record then the nets or Timberwolves had this year. Also the bottom for teams in the east combined for 94 wins that year verses 92 wins this year and the bottom 4 in the west combined for 96 wins verses 95 this year. The Bulls won 72 games because they were a very good team that played hard every night. In the regular season the Heat will be the best team no doubt can they finish off Boston or LA in the playoffs, not the first year.

  19. t - Aug 9, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    I am a cavs fan. That out of the way He is right about the 72 games the 33 is a maybe, but I think that Boston will stop them. It will be Boston / LA again with LA taking it again. Also for everyone that keeps talking about the expansion teams that year ( Raptors and Grizzleis) That was a total of 6 games played and the raptors actually beat them once. Also both expansion teams had a better record then the nets or Timberwolves had this year. Also the bottom for teams in the east combined for 94 wins that year verses 92 wins this year and the bottom 4 in the west combined for 96 wins verses 95 this year. The Bulls won 72 games because they were a very good team that played hard every night. In the regular season the Heat will be the best team no doubt can they finish off Boston or LA in the playoffs, not the first year.

  20. DMan - Aug 9, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Jeff VanGundy is DREAMING! He must be Totally enamored by the 3 MyEGOS!

  21. Chris - Aug 9, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    You could have said the exact same thing for Kevin Garnett putting up superb numbers for a T-Wolves team that did basically nothing in the many years he was there. It all comes down to cast. If Bosh is your 3rd best option on a team, then your team is pretty damn good. The only way I see the Heat challenging the Bulls record is this year, when they all have something to prove and everyone plays with an intensity and focus not seen since those Bulls teams of the 90s. Nowadays, most teams start to coast once they have locked up their home playoff seeding. If this team can gel and play like 15 men possessed, then yes, they have a liegitimate shot. Anyone saying different either doesn’t know basketball or is too blinded by childish hate to see otherwise.

  22. terry - Aug 9, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    wanna bet?

  23. JD - Aug 9, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Lebron and Bosh couldnt do it themself in clevland or toronto ? so they went to south beach.. will see if winning a championship is the same as buying one..attn: pat riley

  24. thorsif - Aug 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    There’s no way that the Heat won’t have the best regular season record. Especially with playing in the Eastern Conference. That said, they cannot beat the Lakers. The Lakers have the drive , the size, the been there, done that mentality, plus the biggest factor of all: winnining one for PJ on his way out.

  25. thorsif - Aug 9, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    By playing in the Eastern Conference, the Heat will have the best regular season record. But the Lakers will win the Championship. They have the best player with the best mindset in Kobe, they have way too much size, they have the big game experience and the x-factor is that they want to win it for Phil’s last hurrah.

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