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Stan Van Gundy: Heat roster better than any of Jordan's Bulls rosters

Aug 18, 2010, 2:59 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for SVan_Gundy.jpgNo doubt the Heat are going to be good. Very good. But expectations some comparisons and expectations are getting a little ridiculous.

Stan Van Gundy is happy to feed the mania, as he did with Dan LeBatard on 790 the Ticket in Miami:

“If I look at what the Bulls did winning 72 games and I look at the Heat roster, I am going to tell you that the Heat roster is better than any roster that Michael Jordan played with the Bulls. I don’t think that people predicting them breaking the win total and being in the 70s and the whole thing, I don’t think those are expectations that are out of line based on their roster… Dwyane Wade is certainly, in my opinion anyway, as good as he was, is better than Scottie Pippen. Chris Bosh is better than Toni Kukoc. Mike Miller is every bit as good a shooter as (John) Paxson or (Steve) Kerr or anybody they put there. Plus, he’s 6′8″. If you start going down the list, I don’t think there is any question that the roster the Heat have is as talented a roster if not more so as any roster there has ever been in the NBA.”

Van Gundy is a pretty straight shooter, he says what he thinks.

But he also gets the game. The Heat are a top rival for Van Gundy’s Magic in the East and one way to knock them down a peg is to set the expectations for them so unrealistically high that even a very good season is perceived as a failure. Saying they will win 72 their first season together is way too high a bar (remember how long those Bulls had been together when they did it, and it was the second year after a diluting league expansion).

This is one way to start injecting some doubt into a team — have everyone around them saying they are not as good as they should be.

It may not work, but it’s a smart strategy for Van Gundy to try.

  1. doc - Aug 18, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    This article is valid in many respects, but the 1995-96 Bulls had been together only for Jordan’s 17-game comeback the year before.
    The only two players left over from the 1992-93 championship season (the year before Jordan’s first retirement) were Jordan and Pippen.

  2. TParris - Aug 18, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    there is no way in Gods green earth that the Heat team is better than the bulls were at full peak. This hasnt gottem out of hand.
    Lebron cant shot, Bosh is over-rated and I do like D Wade.
    Mike Miller is not a better shooter than Paxson and Scottie Pippen was the man.

  3. Mike - Aug 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    They can’t be better, or even as good, because they don’t have MJ a proven closer who was one of only a handfull of players who could flat out win a game on his own.

  4. Tparris - Aug 18, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    and yes the MJ factor makes it impossible for them to be better. Due to the fact that none of the people on the heat are anywhere near as good as MJ.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    And Rodman was brand new to the roster that season. This website constantly states that that Bulls “core” had been together for years. No, they hadn’t. Stop writing it.

  6. BEF - Aug 18, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    The Bulls had more than just basketball talent. They had the “man factor” which the likes of James & Bosh have yet to discover.

  7. SFWA - Aug 18, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    How does Van Gundy keep his job anyway? The guy is a terrible game day coach. His timeouts are a joke. All the players are looking anywhere but at him and his high-pitched scratchy voice is a real distraction. You don’t really hear what he says because the presentation sucks so much. Plus the guy can’t make X’s and O’s adjustments to save his life.
    His opinion of how good the Heat will be is pretty stupid. MJ was the ultimate game closer. The only current player anywhere near his level is Kobe. D-Wade is as good as Michael? SHUT THE HELL UP DUDE. NO WAY.

  8. Colin Zvosec - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Jordan and Scottie > Wade and LeBron (and this is not close)
    Rodman is one of the greatest defenders and rebounders EVER. Bosh is a borderline top 10 PF in the game today.
    Kukoc, Harper, Longley, Kerr are better than Miller, Chalmers, Anthony, whoever else Miami throws out there.
    Actually, the statement that is the biggest farce is saying Miller is every bit as good a shooter as Kerr. Steve is one of the best shooters EVER. In addition to being the only member of the 50-50-90 club (FG%-3PT%-FT%), he also has career averages of: 48-45-86. Mike Miller’s career averages: 46-40-77. That’s not even close. Plus, Steve Kerr has hit several clutch shots in his career.
    I know Stan Van is playing mind games right now, but this is just ludicrous.

  9. Colin Zvosec - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    My comment on Bosh should have said “borderline top-5 PF.” He’s obviously in the top-10…
    For the record, here are any of the 5 guys that could be considered better (again, my opinion):
    Dirk
    Amare
    Pau Gasol
    Lee
    Boozer
    (You could also make cases for Duncan, Jefferson, Garnett, Randolph, J-Smoove…)

  10. jgc711 - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    what going on with the van gundy’s…are they drinking from the same fountain as lebron, dwayne and chris? no way is this heat team better than mj’s bulls…this heat team has only three legits…and besides, what have they done? nothing yet…

  11. BallerIQ - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    No doubt, if you base it off talent wise individually, they possibly could be as good or even better, with the exception of MJ of course. But what nobody is accounting for is the chemistry that Bulls team had, the great leadership and coaching, those intangibles are what make a good team great. And Colin, the fact that Tim Duncan did not even make your top 5 list, makes that list void.

  12. john - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    pippen better that wade—a joke. look at the stats; wade has never been stopped and doubles the average of pippen, higher assists and similar rebounds. look at the 35 points per game average in the nba finals. pippens has never led anything. put him on other teams and he barely averaged 12 points a game at houston or portland. james has never been stopped in this league and even jordan is too small to stop him—he’d have to out score him—close. bosh averaged 24/11 a game, no play on chicago ever match that but jordan.
    the season has to be played. wade has shown his heart. james and bosh will have to show their’s. we’ll see.

  13. ron - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    van gundy is an idiot. the roster cant be better yet . they did not win anything yet, bulls have 6 rings and 72 wins. the guy just wants his 15 minutes all the time. short man syndrome.

  14. hnirobert - Aug 18, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    I’ll give you Dirk, though if I had to build a team today I’d take Bosh over him based on age alone, but Pau is a Center player PF (kind of like Bosh was a PF player the 5), but Amar’e? David Lee? Carlos Boozer? No way.

  15. JoeSixPack - Aug 18, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    Comparing different teams in different eras is apples to oranges… it’s even tough to compare the Celtics and Lakers of the 80s with the Bulls of the 90s.
    If one wants to compare them however it’s worth noting that 4 of 5 of the Celtics starters in the 1980s are now in the Hall of Fame… and the 5th starter, Danny Ainge was no slouch.

  16. Len BIAS - Aug 18, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    I seem to agree with JOHN.For the past couple of years– here is my NBA top 3 LIST:(1) Lebron James,(2)Kobe Bryant,(3) D-Wade and you fill the blank.
    With that said, how in the world will you stop D-Wade-James combo?
    I am a proud HEAT Fan FYI.

  17. Somedude - Aug 18, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    When Pippen went to the Rockets and Blazers, he was passed his prime, and Pippen wasn’t a flat out scorer like Wade is, he’s an all around player. Saying that MJ is too small to guard Lebron is one thing, but you obviously do not know how good of a player MJ was on defense. Man to man, MJ was capable of shutting down the best offensive threat on the opposing team, Pippen could do the same, if not better. Granted on the break though, Lebron and Wade on the wings are unstoppable.

  18. Bizzle - Aug 18, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Don’t ever compare Lebron to Michael again.

  19. banner18 - Aug 18, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Seconded.
    And the Magic of the mid 1990’s (Shaq, Horace Grant, Penny Hardaway) also had more talent. But the Bulls blew their doors off in the ECF in 1996 anyway.
    Those Bulls would absolutely win a seven game series with this edition of the Heat. With Jordan guarding Wade, Pippen on LeBron, and Dennis Rodman on Bosh, the Bulls would be able to win the key matchups on both ends. In fact, such a series might be a Chicago sweep.

  20. no1budme - Aug 18, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    The heat team is loaded, but as stated, they’ve yet to test the compotishion, and no wade could not out do Jordan, because is using almost everymove MJ did, and the bulls bence had less other talent, and still did what they did, and we know that they would have got a lot more wins, had Pippin been weak to the ruff play of Detroit, until two yrs passed, and we had to deal with N.Y and Patrick, and they had a bunch of guys on there team as well, the bulls knew how to get it down, and they may do so after another yr. or so, that goal is too high to reach, for almost any team, and they will wear down eventually. Hats off to the Bulls, and I think stronly if Melo comes to Chicago, they will give them a run for there money.

  21. tidmouth - Aug 18, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Absolutely agree with banner18. People forgot that Pippen is an excellent defensive player.

  22. bobby from the job - Aug 18, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    having watched those Bulls teams extensively through the years, there is no way in hell you can say this unproven Heat team is better! On paper they look good but, Wade definitely has a Jordan skillset, the most fiery baller this side of Staples. Where the comparisons begin to pale is with Wades sidekick, James is still a beast, regardless if you love/hate him, but Scotty played both ends equally hard, dude guarded the best players every night and locked them down. Lebron is a good help defender but 1 on 1, c’mon seriously? To compare Bosh to the Waiter (Kukoc) is ridiculous they played to varying styles, Tony was more like Magic than Bosh, who by the way will be the first to be traded from the Heat. Those Van Dummys must be hitting the booze hard this summer. If the old Bulls team faced the new Heat, I’m riding with Mike all day, watch how Scotty would shut Lebron down, how Horace or Rodman would lock Bosh down, MJ & Wade would cancel each other out, and Phil would outcoach even you Pat Riley, let alone Spolstra.
    Van Gundys have always been loud mouths so you can’t really take what they spew as truth.

  23. The Truth - Aug 18, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    Man if this many people are hating now I wonder how bad it’s going to be when the Heat when the title this year. Have fun watching the Heat spank your teams this year, it’s going to be great! HAHAHAHAHAHA

  24. Zed - Aug 18, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    The Heat will go undefeated this season and win the championship against the Lakers. Pat Riley knows what he’s doing in assembling these players together. Every basketball person knows or should know that before “The Decision” the Lakers were destined to repeat. Today, only a rabid Lakers fan would bet his house on the Lakers winning the next championship. Keep in mind that the Lakers proved themselves more than capable of defeating all the known NBA teams, but showed real weakness against the Thunder – young, fearless and fast. But, they lacked experience. This is precisely what this revised Heat team will seek to capitalize on. Pat Riley, of course, still smarting over the many loses he suffered at the hand of Phil Jackson and his Jordan lead Chicago Bulls won’t again make the mistake of going to war without overwhelming force (aka Wade/LeBron/Bosh). I’m curious to see what defensive schemes Heat opponents will try to employ, but the outcome will be the same – The Heat will go undefeated and silence all the critics.

  25. Iceman - Aug 18, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    The biggest thing i haven’t seen is the Bulls had class. I’m a Spur’s fan and they have always had class. The Heat are just a spectacle right now, and unless they manhandle everyone this season they’ll be a failure. Thats a pretty high bar to set for yourself before you’vo done anything. I hope all other teams use this for motivation to kick a$$ and make a point that money can’t buy heart. Play it for the game, not JUST the paycheck.(Hear that Brett Favre?)

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