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"The Heat 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."
I used to like Jeff Van Gundy. I liked how he made statements and was impressed with his overall knowledge of the game. However, over the years he has just started to annoy me and not just because his voice is almost as whiny as Fran Drescher. After the ridiculous statement above he has lost all credibility in my book. Sure, on paper Lebron, Wade, Bosh and their minions look to be world beaters.  But when you stop to think of the reality of the situation the picture changes.

Look, obviously I'm biased as are most of the readers on this site. We love the Celtics and are hoping the Heat  self combust.  However, I think in all honesty there is a good chance this whole experiment won't work out exactly according to plan.  First off, the chances of all 3 of these guys staying healthy all season is a reach at best.  Lebron is some kind of freak from another planet and probably on some steroid no one knows about, but Wade and Bosh have a history of injury problems. You take one of those guys out of the mix and it becomes a much easier team to guard. 

Speaking of Bosh, when did he suddenly become this superstar? He put up great numbers in Toronto, but he was their only option. Has he played in a meaningful game aside from the Olympics? When has he ever played in anything close to the spotlight he'll find himself next season? The guy can ball, no dobut about it.  But he seems to be more concerned with his Twitter status than anything else.

Also, do people really expect the Heat to gel right away? All are used to being "the guy". Not to mention Wade and Lebron are both the same type of player and their egos(especially Lebron) are through roof.  Who gets the last shot? You really think their 35 year old coach will be able to handle that decision? It's easy to say all the right things in the offseason, but totally different when play actually beings.

So now you might be thinking, " well the 2008 Celtics did it the first year." That comparison is always laughable to me.  The fact that so called "experts" can make that claim is amazing to me.  First off the Celtics Big 3 were if not even close to the prime of their careers.  Sure, they all were "the man" on their respective teams but not really by choice.  You think Ray and Garnett asked for the supporting cast they had? You think Paul Pierce relished the fact that the best player he ever played with was the now bankrupt Antoine Walker? 

Second, they are all different players that bring different skill sets to the table.  Remember, basketball isn't about having the best players, it's about having the best MIX of players.  That's what made the Bulls of the 90's so great. Everyone fit their role.  Garnett's a defenseive anchor and interior player(though lately he has become a jump shooter.) Ray is a three point shooter that likes to do most of his work without the ball. Lastly, the Captain is a slasher that likes to iso and either take the ball to the rack or pull up with his patented step back jumper.  They all brought something different to the table and developed great chemistry from the start.

Next is the supporting cast. Now, it's true that Rondo and Perkins were considered the weak links on the Celtics in 08, but I still think they were further along than Mario Chalmers and whoever they throw out their at center. Sorry, Joel Anthony and the corpse of Jamaal Magloire don't keep me up at night. Mike Miller was a good signing and I like Eddie House coming off the bench. Who do they have beside that? Big Z and Juwan Howard? Please. I've always liked Haslem's game, but he isn't getting any younger. Wade, Lebron, and Bosh are going to have to play big minutes for them to win.  Also, for those that think they don't need a point guard and center to win think again. I don't care who your wing men are you need to have dependable players and depth at both of those positions to win. Can Chalmers do it? Maybe. But I wouldn't put my money on it.

Next is coaching. Erik Spoelstra is not a bad coach by any means, but he's young and is going to have Riley breathing down his neck. Can he handle the pressure? Can he handle the egos on this team? I'm not convinced. Doc was the perfect fit for the Big 3 of the Celtics because he knew when to get on them and when to let them work things out themselves. I'm not sure if Spoelstra has the experience to do that yet. 

Most importantly are expectations. It's win it all or failure for the Heat. They are like the Yankees now. Everyone will be gunning for them. Road crowds will heckle them and especially Lebron like crazy. Speaking of Lebron, it should be interesting to see how he adjusts to being the most hated man this side of Kobe(maybe even more). The guy has been on top of the world probably his whole life. Will he wilt under the weight of expectations. Or will having the pressure of carrying a franchise lifted off his shoulders cause him to excel. Let's hope for the former.

At any rate it should be quite an interesting season. Look, I'm not going to lie and say I'm not afraid of what this Heat team could be capable of. If all goes perfect they probably will win the title. By the way, for anyone who doesn't know who they'd root for in a Heat-Lakers final please allow me to make a choice for you. A Celtic fan never under any circumstance roots for the Lakers.  Anyway, the season can't start soon enough. I think the Celtics can still win it all depending on their health and am as excited about this upcoming season as any in recent memory. 50 more days!

Karl Dillinger 9/06/2010 02:26:00 PM Edit
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20 Responses so far.

  1. Good analysis. There's also a question of whether they can build the kind of chemistry on the court needed to win a championship. Yes, PP, KG and RA were able to do it, but they were older and none were the prima donna that Lebron is. Can he really take a back seat to wade on the team? I'm not so sure he can.

  2. Tim says:

    The Van Gundy brothers are obviously doing this to put more pressure on the Heat, atleast thats the only thing I find logical for them going out and saying that. The Celtics are strongest at the Heats weakest points, Kevin Garnett on Bosh watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYqCMN8dVAU

    Bosh only put up numbers who says he can play under pressure in a series or play with any pressure. Spolestra is not a bad coach but I don't think he can be used in the same sentence as Doc or Phill Jackson, the perfect coach for them would be Alvin Gentry but I don't mind the Philippine man. Lets not forget the Celtics signed Shaq and Delonte who were very close with LeBron and even sleeping with his mom. I think we all know what happened when those rumors happened. And Jermaine O'neal who was teammates with Wade. I honestly think the Celtics will win the East this year and honestly never trust these ESPN " Experts "

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2010/matchup/_/teams/celtics-cavaliers

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2010/matchup/_/teams/celtics-magic

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/series?series=lalbos

  3. Anonymous says:

    Its been awhile but this topic brought me back. First off your bias is sickening. You want to know the difference between "the big 3" and the "better 3"? Coming into their first year only one of the 3 already had a ring. Lebron is PP on another level. Bosh is a younger KG with a little less D ability but deadly range for his size (and a lefty)and Wade is everything Rayray was in He Got Game. People say Wade bron and bosh cant play together, they are all good friends who knows each others game and gelled ten games ago. Mario is everything Rondo was coming in, he is a very solid, smart player and a much better shooter. Perkins and Haslem are similar, do the dirty work.
    I know the hatred in your article only stems from the fact the celtics are too old now and get no credit so dont hate on van gundy for knowing the game. you know hes the best commentator in the game and just cause hes not saying the celtics are #1 you gotta hate.
    wade bosh and lebron have already played together and won a gold medal(all starting). so chemistry is there. just because this is now the big 3 stop hating. you all should be the old 3 cause your run is done. only team that can contend in the east and will give the heat a scare is the magic. Dhow will do whatever he wants but no one on the magic can guard wade and bron. jj on wade? carter on lebron? over! so stop hating and sit back and watch history because they do have a legit shot at 73 wins. so stop hating and instead of hate just root for the magic cause thats your only chance at stopping them in the east and i know as a celtic its sacrilegious to root for the lakers so just hop on the wagon while you can or root for magic.

  4. Anonymous says:

    and watch out for delonte banging one of your mothers b/c thats what F'd up lebron in the playoffs. he lost all confidence when that came out. i love shaq and think hes one of the best ever but hes as banged up as KG, dude can barely dunk now. dont count on them taking you far because heat will just run and gun on you old folks. sweep

  5. Anonymous says:

    and one more thing while im on here, lebron, prima dona? how can you almost average a triple double and not be a team player. wade and lebron wouldnt mind seeing the other one go for 30 because they know with one of them getting 30 the other with have over 10 dimes. their mentality is winning thats why the joined forces. if you know the game you can see lebron is just as happy with 15 dimes than 40 pts. but either dont matter if the result is an L. lebron might be 24 but he plays like a VET he doesnt need to be the guy. lebron at his age already found out he cant do it on his own, not like kobe who tried and failed and threatened to leave until they stole Pau away, lebron knows he needs help and why not play with friends/some of the best in the L. give him some credit for making such a move. the move could get him 4+ rings.

  6. tb727 says:

    Good review Karl. I'm not going to say Miami won't be good and I do think they have an excellent chance to win it all. Plus I much rather they win it than LA.

    Don't sleep on Haslem- he can play. He'll be out there during crunch time with LeBron, Wade, Bosh and either Mike Miller or House. Celtics are deeper thank god.

    And no the corpses of Magloire or Big Z don't keep me up either haha.

  7. GMAC says:

    Hey washed up cunts, get over yourselves. You choked this yr against Kobe the business partner of BBM. All the best with the O'Neal corpses this yr!

  8. I thought this would stir up some hate and it did! Good comments everyone. Heat will be scary if they all come together. Should be interesting.

  9. tb727 says:

    Nice comment Gmac- that really adds to the discussion. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Gotta love it! Ya, I like Haslem's game a lot. If the Heat come together and stay healthy it's going to be hard to stop the Dwade and Lebron combo late in games but you gotta believe.

  11. I actually just found out Anonymous is one of my best friends from home. He's got a man crush on Lebron.

  12. JR says:

    I loved karl's response to GMAC. Lol. No idea what BBM is. It's nice that a hater finally left some sort of name. Lol. Personally I think the Heat are going to be VERY good. Not unbeatable, but I don't take them lightly. Thye also might make a run at the Lakers in terms of bandwagon fans. At least if Lebron went to the Knicks those fans would have always been fans, but I never heard of a Heat fan until the "Decision"

  13. Bohemian says:

    I really liked reading this article, great job Karl!

    I don't think the Heat will advance beyond the second round, honestly. Teams like Orlando or even Chicago look more solid in my opinion.

  14. Chicago worries me more than Miami. Get ready for the bandwagon fans coming out of the woodwork. People who have to use offensive language to make a point are sad people indeed.

  15. tb727 says:

    Bohemian and FL- Chicago worries you more than Miami? Really?

    This should probably go in the thread for the post I just made but can you expound on why you think this way? I'm befuddled...

  16. ducksawce says:

    This is to anonymous....

    Rooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooofl...

    Seriously?..."Bosh is a younger KG with a LITTLE less D". Oh my god, just hillllllllllllllarious there. You must be joking. Bosh is a joke on defense. Have you actually seen KG play Bosh one on one? Just look at last year. Bosh's idol is KG. The man fears him like no other...and for good reason. Bosh will NOT be posting anywhere near 25 pts. per game like he did on a god-awful Raptors team. In addition, KG is going to OWN him defensively. Bosh is talented on offense, but against KG that won't amount to much more than 15 pts. per game (especially with Lebron and Wade needing their ball-fixezzz).

    Another classic one..."Mario is everything Rondo was coming in, he is a very solid, smart player and a much better shooter." Again, somebody clearly doesn't know how to evaluate point guards. Even in 2008, Rondo was recognized as someone with rare talent. Chalmers is a decent shooter but horrible point guard. On a team with great scorers, this is just about the last thing you'd want. You'd want somebody more like Rondo (a rare creature these days...a pass-first point guard) to distribute the offense. In addition, Chalmers is basically a non-entity on defense. Rondo has ALWAYS been a freak on the defensive end, and on the boards. Good luck to Mario in trying to contain that guy.

    We would be open to discuss the intricacies of these two teams and their rivalry coming into this year...but your two stellar comments really put a poop-stained taste in our mouths. Nice "insight" there...really? I still can't believe you said those two things about the Celtics...somebody has obviously never even watched the team...must be a jilted Cavs fan, or a Lequeen ball-licker.

  17. Anonymous says:

    GMAC, you are disgusting.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Boston Will Defeat the Heat then Defeat tHe Lakers To Win THe Championship Enough Said

  19. GreenBlood says:

    To Anonymous Heat band-wagoner, yeah those 3 has winning mentality, they also have the choking up during important games such as the playoffs mentality. Just ask LeQueen ;) Found a site bout those 3 Heat players, check out www.mrslebronwade.com

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