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More reasons to hate Bill Simmons
So while reading Bill Simmons' post-lottery column with relative satisfaction, his smarminess and dislike-ability took a turn for the worse:

"You can't even fathom the pain. Everyone believes Celtics fans get a free pass with this stuff because we won 16 titles in 30 years. Actually, it's the opposite. Long-suffering fans of perennial losers don't know what they're missing. After all, how would they know? You can't miss steak if you've never eaten steak, right? But if you're fortunate enough to follow a perennially successful franchise, then that same franchise starts decomposing right in front of you ... what then? The Celtics used to mean something; now they don't. Anyone who remembers the good old days -- when the Garden was rocking, when we were always in the hunt, when you honestly believed that we'd win every close game because someone was looking out for us, when everyone else feared us -- can't come to grips with what's happened. We're like one of those child actors who peaked at 15, made a ton of money, had everyone kissing their ass for a few years and then everything went to crap."

You're right Bill. You're more entitled to be upset than anyone else when their team doesn't come out on top. Add Simmons to the constant whining of "Red Sox nation" and other Boston sports fans; the ubiquitous coverage of "the Curse," "the idiots," and the bloody sock; "The Tuck"; and Bill Belichick's refusal to accurately list his injured players and screwing our fantasy teams, and Boston now vaults past New York to #2 on the list of sports cities which I root to lose.

#1: Philadelphia, because (a) they're the only four-sport city that hasn't won a title longer than my D.C. teams, (b) it was so much fun watching the entire city root for Smarty Jones to win the Triple Crown only to be disappointed when he lost the Belmont, and (c) without the futility, Howard Eskin might be out of a job.

Posted by Bret Cohen at 5/23/2007 4:39:00 PM

Comments (9)

Could the Blazers pass on Oden?
Probably not, but it's clear that Durant would be the better fit. LaMarcus Aldridge (pending health issues) showed flashes of being a legit NBA center last year (averaged 14.7 pts, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in March). When healthy, Aldridge and Zach Randolph could form one of the better frontcourts in the West. I'm not arguing that Aldridge has a higher ceiling than Oden (he doesn't), but Ime Udoke and Travis Outlaw aren't the answer at small forward. Durant could step in and immediately start and contribute at small forward. A starting five of Aldridge/Randolph/Durant/Roy and Jack or Rodriguez would make the Blazers playoff contenders again.

Posted by Eric Johnson at 5/23/2007 6:28:00 AM
Comments (8)

Eat it, Simmons
That'll teach the Grizzlies and the Celtics to tank!

Posted by Bret Cohen at 5/22/2007 5:50:00 PM
Comments (4)

2007 draft prospects vs 2006
With the NBA draft lottery tomorrow night, I've started thinking about this year's prospect. This draft is being hyped as the best one in years, so I wanted to look more closely at it. I started with the question: if you remove Oden and Durant, how do the remaining top prospects match up with the top 10 picks from last year? This is what we came up with:

1) Andrea Bargnani vs. Yi Jianlian. Both 7-0, perimeter-oriented international players with good stats in their overseas leagues. Bargs probably played against tougher competition, but Yi's agility on-film looks more impressive. Bargs panned out...will Yi? Advantage: push

2) Lamarcus Aldridge vs. Brandan Wright. Aldridge is a little taller, but Wright looks to measure out almost as long. The "experts" seem to believe Wright has more upside than Aldridge did, but both had/have some question marks. Advantage: push

3) Adam Morrison vs. Jeff Green. Morrison had the college numbers and hype, but Green has better physical attributes and a more well-rounded game that is more likely to translate. Advantage: Green

4) Tyrus Thomas vs. Joakim Noah. Similar styles (defensive disrupters/shot-blockers/rebounders with raw offensive games that used to be point guards before major growth spurts), though Thomas does it with more athleticism and Noah with more height. Last year both got on the map with big NCAA runs, but Noah's was more impressive and with his extra height he gets the nod. Advantage: Noah

5) Shelden Williams vs. Al Horford. I liked Williams a lot, but Horford has better physical tools and more potential. Advantage: Horford

6) Brandon Roy vs. Corey Brewer. Different styles here. Roy was more polished, a 4-year product that was the focal point of a less successful team. Brewer is taller and more athletic, and was one of the key cogs on one of the better teams in generations. Roy has the grown up offensive game, but Brewer has more defensive potential. Even though Roy went on to win ROY this year, Brewer compares well with him as a prospect entering the NBA. Advantage: push

7) Randy Foye vs. Mike Conley Jr. Again, different styles. Foye is a ball-handling scorer that is still trying to make the transition to a scoring PG. Conley is a pure distributor that scores when he needs to. Both have the clutch history. Foye is stronger whereas Conley quicker. But Foye was a 22-year old 4-year product whereas Conley is a teenaged freshman with still untapped potential. Advantage: Conley Jr.

8) Rudy Gay vs. Julian Wright. Both super-athletic, do-everything SFs that left after their sophomore years as unfinished players with a lot of untapped potential that have some work to do. Advantage: push

9) Patrick O'Bryant vs. Roy Hibbert. Both got on the national map with a strong performance in the 2006 NCAAs, but Hibbert came back for another year while O'Bryant jumped. Both would have been considered big projects last year, but while O'Bryant spent the year in the D-league Hibbert went back and made another big leap at Georgetown. Hibbert is now, IMO, a clearly better propect than O'Bryant was. Advantage: Hibbert

10) Saer Sene vs. Spencer Hawes. Entirely different types of centers, with Sene being a purely physical, raw, defensive project and Hawes as a more polished, offensively skilled low-post option. Sene has the physical gifts but we don't even know yet if he can play, whereas Hawes has question marks on his athletic ability but looks like he can at least play. Advantage: Hawes

Out of the top 10: Not a lot of potential impact guys in 2006, though folks like Rondo, Marcus Williams, Paul Millsap, and Craig Smith looked interesting as rookies. For this draft, though, guys like Acie Law, Al Thornton, Tiaggo Splitter (if he comes) or Thad Young could easily end up supplanting some of those listed above as prospects.

Overall, I'd say that this draft is IMO clearly stronger than last year's even without Oden and Durant. Of course last year's draft was pretty underwhelming, but still, I'd say that in this draft most of the top 10-15 prospects all have at least some level of impact-potential with folks well into the second round looking like at least solid/maybe eventual NBA starter-caliber prospect.

Posted by Andre' Snellings at 5/21/2007 9:19:00 AM
Comments (8)

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