Van Gundy Playing Chess With Miami Heat

From the moment Jeff Van Gundy uttered the phrase “shot at 73” my head started spinning. True, Miami is probably more talented than the Bulls team that Jordan plays on, but isn’t the league a lot different as well? When Stan came out and said the same thing it really got me thinking: what is going on with these two? Why are they going out of their way to praise the Heat. Then it hit me:

This is a ploy. A trick.

Why else would Stan, of all people, come out and praise a division rival? As history has shown, Stan is a pretty straight shooting guy. He often gets killed with fines when he stands up for his team. Sometimes though, his words do a lot more than they should. During the great “Superman” debate of a few years ago, Howard was getting slammed by Shaq in the press. After a game between Howard’s Magic and Shaq’s Suns, Van Gundy came out and called O’Neal a “flopper” for trying to draw a charge on Dwight Howard. Needless to say, Shaq jumped right into action calling him a “master of panic” and a “frontrunner”. What people don’t give SVG a lot of credit on was how he defended Howard without actually saying the words. By drawing O’Neal’s criticisms away from Howard he was able to save his young center’s psyche without making him appear weak. When Van Gundy was done with Shaq, he just let him talk to himself through the press.

After Bosh announced he would be signing with the Heat Van Gundy came out with my favorite quote of the offseason, “well, he’s been following him around for two weeks like his lapdog. So that doesn’t really surprise me.” The timing of this was perfect. He was insulting Bosh’s ability to lead and his competitiveness in one fell swoop. He not only zinged him, but gave people a lot to think about in regards to Mr. Bosh.

Since the formation of the current Heat roster, Van Gundy knew he couldn’t use the same tactic. Had he done so, he would have just been discarded as another “hater” (like everyone who didn’t appreciate the move totally is). Instead he decided to try to smother his opponent with kindness. What better way to disarm a team who acquired two players who didn’t fulfill their expectations than by adding more of them? As previous years have shown with Bosh and James, pressure always breaks pipes.

Van Gundy is one of the better coaches in terms of preperation. Regardless of talent, his team will always come out and execute a game plan to the best of its abilities. I’m pretty sure he and the Magic haven’t appreciated the crowning of Miami as the East’s best team when the Magic have gotten to at least the conference finals the past two years. So instead of sitting idly by or being a negative voice, he added more fuel to the fire.

Will it work? No one knows for sure. One thing is for certain:

The Magic will be in good hands as long as SVG is around.


~ by Prodigy on August 26, 2010.

One Response to “Van Gundy Playing Chess With Miami Heat”

  1. Well it’s quite true things have changed a lot since the bulls era, but who knows, with their all star crew I think it is possible.

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