Whether or not you are a fan of this coming season's iteration of the Miami Heat, it's more than likely that you'll agree they are going to be a good basketball team. Any team that can put Juwan Howard(notes), Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes) and Kenny Hasbrouck(notes) on the floor at the same time — plus those three other guys — is going to be able to rack up the wins. It might take the Heat a while to really click, but they'll be one of the better teams in the East from the jump. That's a pretty fair assessment, I'd say. Not over-the-moon optimistic, but definitely not ignorant to the amount of talent present in South Beach.
Basically, it's the opposite of what Jeff Van Gundy is predicting for the Heat. Judging by his remarks to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, he thinks they'll be decent.
"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.
"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.
"And with Erik Spoelstra coaching, they will be in the top three defensive teams in the league, as well. The other 29 teams better hope the lockout gets moved up a year."
Bold, Jeff Van Gundy. Very bold. A1 steak sauce bold. And not at all over-eager. Nope. Not a bit. It's totally reasonable to think that a team that has never played a single second together would become only the second team in 60 years to win more than 70 games.
Heck, that seems logical compared to the other things Van Gundy predicted:
• "LeBron James will average 95 million points per game, infinity rebounds per second and a number equivalent to all the grains of sand on South Beach combined assists per minute. And that's just in the first half of games. He'll also eat an entire custom cake every single night he spends in Miami. Banana flavored, probably."
• "Eddie House will grow at least 13 inches. He might even challenge Little Ricky Hamjackson for biggest growth spurt in a summer [18 inches in one month]. He'll also make every 3-pointer he takes, because why wouldn't he? He's on the Heat now."
• "Dwyane Wade will open a successful business."
• "Chris Bosh's head will keep getting smaller and smaller until one day it regenerates at its full size, just like Tony Shalhoub's did in 'Men in Black' when Agent K used that weird laser to interrogate him."
• "Juwan Howard will have a totally relaxed season where he doesn't make a crazy face in every single picture he's in. And with Pat Riley in the front office, he'll probably shave his goatee."
OK, so maybe those are just brain explosions I had, but are they any less ludicrous than predicting a record-setting season from a team no one's ever seen before? I didn't think so. Maybe we should take a bit of a wait-and-see approach before we bake the Heat custom cakes about their accomplishments. Then again, he's the one who millions of people see on television a few nights a week for nine months a year. Clearly that makes him the expert.