So recently jeff van gundy says that the heat will break the bulls regular season record for wins and also surpass the 33 game win streak the lakers posted way back when. The 33 game win streak will never happen with anyone EVER. Lets just get that straight. The competition then was awful whereas now there are plenty of teams capable of sneaking up on anyone. But i thought i'd post all the stats etc from the bulls historic 96 season just so people know what miami is up against:
Regular Season Record: 72-10
Road record: 33-8 (best all-time)
Home record: 39-2 (1 shy of best all time)
They swept everyone on their way to the finals and in the finals they lost 2 games to seattle when they were already up 3-0
Michael Jordan: 31 ppg, 6 reb, 5 assists 50% from the field (while he attempted the most field goals in the league that year. Thats called efficiency) to go with 2.2 steals per game and a 43% 3 point percentage (wow)
He won regular season MVP, All star MVP, Finals MVP, broke wilt chamberlains record for scoring titles witht that season (8) AND he was all nba first team as well as all nba first team defense
MJ, Pippen, and Rodman were all first team defenders, the first time that any one team had 3 guys on first team defense, and both pippen and jordan were both first team overall as well as first team defense
Dennis rodman led the league in rebounds with 14 boards a game
Toni kukoc was 6th man of the year
Also keep in mind that the formula for success had been the same for virtually the entire decade. Before jordan retired and played baseball, they had a PG that could play defense and hit open shots (in the early 90s it was BJ armstrong and in 96 it was ron harper who was also no slouch on defense) jordan, pippen, a banger at the 4 spot (early 90s it was horace grant, 96 it was rodman) and a big man that was a banger and could score in the post every so often (early 90s it was bill cartwright and in 96 it was luc longley) then they still had the 3 point specialist in steve kerr who at the time had the best shooting percentage from 3 all time at 53% (now held by kyle korver at 57%) And of course they had phil jackson who had implemented the triangle offense into this team and it obviously worked. Their chemistry was also evident in team defense as they were hardly ever out of position on defense.
So now that its clear what miami is up against, does it still seem realistic (especially next season) that they could surpass what is stated above? Theres no way. What it will come down to is that they dont have the defenders chicago did and also, outside of mike miler, eddie house, and MAYBE Big Z they dont have role/support players and the big thing is up front they are very soft. Chris bosh is as gifted a scoring 4 in the league but hes light and isnt a stalwart defensively, ilgauskas is slow and old, joel anthony is undersized and dexter pittman is... dexter pittman. They dont have anyone you could even vaguely consider for 6th man of the year and they havent even figured out whether theyll be able to coincide with one another whereas the bulls meshed in every way shape and form.
i dont think they will do it. The bulls had a great defensive team that just loocked in on teams and they had a great passing team where they moved the ball and got tons of easy baskets. They just ran over the league that year. I think the heat will also have a tougher time becasue i think the league is stronger right now. Especially when the heat go out west where there are about 12 teams capable of winning 40 games.
On the other hand, lebron did lead the cavs to 66 wins so it cant be put out of the discussion entirely. Im thinking about 65 wins .
I forgot to mention that michael jordan had a chip on his shoulder coming in because the season before in the conference finals against the magic in the elimination game michael jordan wasnt paying attention and nick anderson ran up behind him and stole the ball and converted a break away lay up, and knowing mj and his superbly competitive spirit you could only imagine how infuriated he was when that was how his season had ended. And to llperez lebron did lead the cavs to a 66 win season a couple seasons ago but it was a lebron only led team where he called all the shots whereas now he'll have to figure out how to be able to coincide with bosh and wade because on those cleveland teams there was no one he absolutely had to get the ball to, he gave it to who he chose when he chose and now he'll have to if everyone is to stay happy
1. The NBA is much stronger and more balanced today then they were during the Michael Jordan era.
2. Michael Jordan was the star and everyone else, including Scottie Pippen, were role players. With Miami, you will almost certainly see both Dwayne Wade and LeBron fighting for the ball in the 4th quarter.
Note: I'm not saying LeBron or Wade are unselfish because they aren't. However, you need one guy who is the team leader and runs the show during crunch time.
Miami will be very good but I don't think they will be great.
The more I hear people talk about it: The more I think it will happen.
The reason? 3 of the top 15 players in the NBA. 3 legit shooters, easy east, easy schudule and not one real bad road strecth throughout the whole season.
I think they have only 2 somewhat tough months in thier schedule ( Jan, Feb)
Overall, I predict 66-16 but 70-12? 72-10? 73-9? I can see it.
Just because you have 3 of the best guys in the league on the same team doesnt mean it equates to wins. Based purely off of talent theyll be able to beat a good amount of teams (the lower end to mediocre teams) but look at it like this; they would have to lose no more than 6-8 games to the top tier teams (boston, orlando, lakers, dallas) then theres the threat that they lose a road game to a home team that is hitting all their shots uncharacteristically and also consider that they'll come out flat in some games at some point. It wont happen this year for sure and i dont think ever. Also consider if someone goes down with injury and also if they are locked into a spot in the end of the season there will be no need to play the big 3. Its not going to happen unfortunately
The Heat will win at least 70 games in one of the upcoming seasons. Carlos Arroyo's talents cannot be dismissed.
The other 5 teams in the top 6 of the East can all beat the Heat at least once, and the Magic and Hawks are both in their division. The East isn't as horrible as it used to be
Eddie House is a streak shooter at best IMO. If he's hot he's deadly, plus he's a bit of a nut. Mike Miller is a great shooter, one problem, he has to want to shoot. Miller hasn't averaged over 8 shot attempts for the last 2 years. James Jones is a great bench guy who IMO doesn't play enough. They also have a liability at center because Z is just about done and outside of him they don't have too much height to even contest a big body like a Dwight Howard.
With that said I can see them winning over 60 games, but they won't break too many records. They still have to contend with the Magic, Bulls (who have gotten a lot better), Celtics, and the teams in the West like the Lakers, Jazz, and I think Houston might be able to steal a couple, depending on how Yao looks.
First of all, and this is no offense to you, but if Jeff Van Gundy says it, its instantly more valid than anything you can say. The dude coached against Jordan, Magic, Kareem and Bird so he knows talent at the most intimate levels of the game. But never say never. The last time that a team had three players this talented were either Jordan-Pippen-Rodman or Magic-Kareem-Worthy. You have two future hall of famers and an extremely talented power forward. You have maybe the best point guard in the league (wait till the season to see what I mean. I will be shocked if he doesnt average 10 assists.) You have definitely a top 2 closer in the game. And you have a mismatch at all time in Bosh. At one point or another, youwill have to have single coverage on one or both of these guys, with wide open teammates. My question is how in gods name are you going to guard them? Seriously.
Lastly, shoutouts to Carlos Arroyo for getting all the Rican chicas open in the clubs.
mkadoza, i think saying becasue van gundy said it it is instantly more valid then someone else's opinion is dumb. I hear people in the league say stuff all the time i disagree with. ANd how about all the people who have played/coached/covered the nba for years that disagree with him?
If they are going to break the record, it won't be this season. Growing pains will be too much of a factor to prevent them from dropping less than 10 games. Plus every team in the League will be circling that game on their calendar and getting ready for it. Also keep in mind the Bulls had Phil Jackson and the Heat have Spoelstra, no comparison there.
Also, don't forget that the Heat drafted Butler and if he can recover from injury he could get minutes at the 1-3 spot backing up LeBron, Wade or Arroyo/Chalmers.
However, they won't be breaking that record just yet, especially if LeBron rests before the playoffs like he did last year.
Its pretty easily, you opinion, that of an internet fan, or Van Gundy, an NBA analyst and coach. Its not dumb, its logical. Hes forgot more about basketball than most people on this site have ever known, and if you really think your or anyones insight is greater, you truly overestimate your fandom, or you clearly underestimate how much work these guys do. I'm saying an NBA coach with decades of experience and years of analysis from the sidelines and conversations with hall of famers knows more than a poster on this sight. Thats a pretty safe bet.
Second, you still havent answered my question. How do you guard those players? They have at least 5 years to break the record, and unless several other collections of elite of the elite mesh, I don't see much competition barring the two time defending champions. I'm mean, its 2 of of the 3 best players in the NBA on the same team. Only Magic and Kareem can say that. Maybe Kobe and Shaq or Jordan and Pippen, or Russell- Pick a Celtic Legend. But over the last 7 years, Lebron and Wade have established themselves as the cream of the crop in terms of individual talent.
makadoza, i never discussed your question so not sure why you expect me to answer it. ANd when isiah thomas said that he would never trade eddy curry for kobe bryant, i just the normal internet fan, should accept that as more valid then my opinoin because he is a great player? What if i find former coaches players that agrre with me over van gundy, do i still have to accpet his opinion is always greater then mine? You can doubt your knowledge all you want. I know what im talking about and i dont need to bow my head every time someone with more credentials then me dissagrees.
Thats fine for you to feel how you feel. This is childish and stupid. Consider this deaded.
I think its far fetched because no one has seen them play a game the comparison is to the most winning team in NBA history. If they are tearing through the league come December then let the comparisons begin, but they haven't earned anything yet.
That brings up an interesting point JoeWolf1, Jordan faced the pressure of getting 70 several times earlier in his career during his first three-peat and the pressure caused the team to fracture on occasion and lose games they should have won. I'm not sure if LeBron has the mental toughness to handle that sort of expectation and pressure given that he left Cleveland to take a back-seat to a championship and has a history of failing to live up to expectations of success.
I believe the Heat will lose a few games early but then rip through the League for awhile, only for comments like Van Gundy's to become more prevalent and the pressure will become too much for the Heat. That said, give it 3-4 years for the team to really gel and maybe they will have that mental toughness.
It's going to be an interesting balance in Miami, I believe you are right when it comes to Lebron's lack of mental toughness and focus ( at least right now ) however, I think Dwayne Wade has that focus and can carry a team when Lebron cannot. It will be interesting to see how the team dynamic will be, one thing that Bulls team had as a major advantage when the pressure was building and egos were colliding, was Phil Jackson. Eric Spoelstra is a good enough coach to guide that team to 63-66 or so wins, but to me he is another Mike Brown. He is a good NBA coach, but I just don't feel he's good enough to balance a team like that for 82 games and a playoff run. I also think Pat Riley is too old to pull a 2006, for that reason too I think the Heat will drop a few games they shouldn't when the pressure is building down the stretch, and when the team is just having an off night.