Simmons has Blazer Fans Burning…But Why?

There is nothing like being away from technology for a couple hours and watching from afar as things starts brewing.

That’s what happened today when I was blindsided by this “uproar” surrounding Bill Simmons’ annual NBA preview. My UberTwitter was going nutty. I was tempted to just ignore this and take it for what it is. An entertaining columnist making a bold prediction in a pre-season article. I’ve done this before, I mean a few years back I swore up and down the Bobcats would make the playoffs for unknown reasons. Sometimes you just go with an angle. Of course Blazer Nation had…strong reactions when they saw Simmons’ comments. But he  had some valid points, especially on Andre Miller. He’s said some of the same things we have said on this very blog. Miller and Roy both need the ball. Miller works better in a more uptempo, free type offense whereas Coach Nate likes more control. If you’re a Blazer fan and you don’t understand the hell of a job that Coach Nate is going to have to do getting this team to buy in than you’re being a bit naive. I have no problem with him saying that this iteration of the Blazers is going to be “The “You Thought We’d Take Another Leap, But Instead We Went Backward Because Expectations Were Too High, We Tinkered With Our Chemistry And Our Young Guys Tuned Out Their Coach” Team.” That doesn’t mean it’s true, but it’s happened before — Chicago is the easy reference there. Nate’s only going to play the guys who buy in and I doubt Roy is going to let people get out of line like that. But I digress.

However, saying the Blazers, who return exactly the same team, plus Andre Miller (over Sergio Rodriguez), the return of Martell Webster and a ton of guys entering their second year are going to go 41-41…that’s where I draw the line. That’s just silly. I can understand doubting whether this team is going to get the chemistry together. If guys are going to accept their roles. If Roy/Miller are going to get things going in the right direction. I can get wondering if Roy and Aldridge can maintain their hunger now that they have their paychecks. I can see questioning if Nate McMillan can make this work. Going on a national platform and saying this team is going 41-41…that’s a bit much. I’m not sitting here taking it personally nor am I going to blow a gasket because it’s clearly not the most logical prediction. And if somehow Portland does go 41-41 I will apologize and then blame him for cursing us. I just don’t see it happening. Portland went 41-41 in 2007-08. That team featured the same Roy/Aldridge/Blake/Outlaw/Webster/Pryzbilla core. Surrounding by James Jones/Jarrett Jack/Raef LaFrentz/Sergio/Channing and Von Wafer. No Oden. No Miller. No Rudy. No Batum. And that was the year all 8 playoff teams in the Western Conference won 50+ games. Our talent has improved and the West just isn’t as good. Simple facts. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink the little things — particularly during preseason. Still, ridiculous prediction or not, it made part of your day more interesting, didn’t it?

Besides, if you really want to flame Simmons there are plenty of his Oden comments floating around the web. Some of them are quite thoughtful, some are quite ignorant. Season predictions just aren’t really much to get riled up about.

Topics: Andre Miller, Bill Simmons, Blazers, ESPN, Greg Oden, NBA General, Portland

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  • http://wwwbustabucket.com Sheed

    Agreed, good stuff. Anything to make this rainy Friday better.

  • http://www.couriernewculture.blogspot.com Travis

    oh to hell with anything simmons says. i’m so sick of his every word getting recycled all across the internet and radio. his prediction of 41-41 reveals, again, just how irrelevant he SHOULD be.

  • http://lucianogalasso.tumblr.com Lu Galasso

    Completely agree. The preview was a fantastic read, but he had a couple of absolutely ridiculous predictions, including this Portland one. That’s how Simmons goes – great writer, but he loves his cute theories and applies them to his actual predictions. No need to get riled up, just wait and he’ll be proven wrong.

  • Justin

    It is really very simple, kiddies.

    A.) Bill Simmons has no pull anywhere but the internet, even his ESPN the Mag column is insignificant in relation to the rest of the rag. So Bill’s bread and butter comes from putting eyeballs in front of online content.

    B.) Portland and Toronto have the most rabid online fans. There are more Blazer/Raptor tweets, blogs, fansites, and whatnot than all other teams in the league combined.

    C.) Saying inflammatory things always gets more eyeballs online than saying good or obvious things.

    So, A + B + C = Bill writing his column while making sure to tweak both of the franchises with the most online followers. Hence Portland is 41-41 (and zombie sonics 42-40? right…) and Hedo is going to have plantar fasciitis.

    A silly trick to make sure he gets more viewers, hence more ad money for the Empire. Why do I still read this guy?

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  • http://www.asternwarning.com mookie

    People still read Bill Simmons? I used to find him mildly amusing a few years back. Now, he only enters my mind when someone else mentions him…

  • tominhawaii

    I agree. He also was trolling Lakers fans by putting San Antonio ahead of LA.

  • digitalbeef

    did you see this everywhere:::: Bill Simmons is a columnist for ESPN.com. For every Simmons column, as well as podcasts, videos and more, check out Sports Guy’s World. His new book, “The Book of Basketball,” will be released Oct. 27.

    his “nba season preview” is just a tool for that tool to sell his book

    he says crazy thing so people will run out and read his books.

    he is the WORST espn has to offer

  • JCH

    It’s not unfair to call Miller “moody” and “selfish”? Is there anyone, anywhere in the NBA, who has ever described Miller that way? The guy who led the league in assists in Cleveland? Silently toiled a miserable year with LAC? Led Denver to the playoffs by feeding Carmelo non-stop? And singlehandedly turned Philly’s ’06-07 season around then led that mediocre bunch to the playoffs the next two years?

    Simmons is so distant and uninformed that his writing reads like parody of actual NBA insider analysis.

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