Friday, October 31, 2003

Bulls and THAT'S Scary! Happy Halloween everyone! one of the top holidays for a college student. Bill Simmons, aka "the Sports Guy", finished up his 3-part NBA preview today with a look at the East. I guess he doesn't beleve in saving the best for last. I looooove reading his columns, they're so damned funny, but I oftentimes disagree with his prognostications. Here's his rankings:
15. Hawks 14. Bucks 13. Knicks 12. Heat 11. Bulls 10. Raptors 9. Sixers 8. Magic 7. Cavs 6. Pistons 5. Hornets 4. Wizards 3. Celtics 2. Nets 1. Pacers
Now you can see why this miffed me a little bit. I'll grant him this though, in this year's East, its hard to predict who's gonna do what. His reasoning for the Bulls being so low is that he has a sixth sense when it comes to picking a team that everyone thinks will be good but isn't that good, and this year its the Bulls. Hard to get worked up about that though, difference of opinion. And this is obviously his opinion driving the rankings, his preferences in players and teams. For instance, he's a huge Celtics fan, so him putting the Celts at #3, seems as crazy to me as me putting the Bulls at #6 are to him. But come on...the Celtics? Also he put the Pistons very low, cause he still can't believe that they chose Darko over Carmelo
And then there's Carmelo. There are few sure things in life, but this is one of them: Joe Dumars will regret taking Darko over Carmelo. Maybe it won't hit him this season. It might not even hit him until 2007 or 2008. But it's going to happen. This is "Bowie over MJ" all over again. You can't pass up on someone who ... A) Had the best college season in 15 years B) Like Bernard King, was practically created by God to play small forward in the NBA C) Could be the most engaging, likable rookie since MJ ... just because Tayshaun Freaking Prince looked good in the Philly series. Hey, I like Tayshaun -- I could see him being an above-average scorer off the bench for the next eight years. And I'm sure Darko will be fine, even if I can't imagine him being any better than Raef LaFrentz five years from now. But you can't pass up Carmelo Anthony. That's ridiculous. Every Piston fan should have a sick, queasy feeling right now, like the way you feel when you realize you left your bank card in an ATM machine ... only you'll be feeling that way for the next 12 years. Just prepare yourself now. He's that good. I feel very strongly about this.
Although this time last year he said this about Yao Ming:
One more thing: Years from now, we will remember "Yao Ming over Jay Williams" the same way we remember "Bowie over Jordan," "Traylor for Nowitzki," "Carroll for McHale and Parish," "Aguirre over Thomas" and every other great draft day blunder in NBA history. I'm not just predicting it, I'm guaranteeing it. Think about it. At best, Ming develops into a bigger, more athletic Rik Smits. Fine. But then you throw in Yao's adjustment problems (going from China to the United States -- yikes), his laid-back demeanor (what happens when NBA players start pushing him around, elbowing him and intimidating him?), his inability to play in the low post, and the way he'll struggle fitting in with his teammates, as well as lofty expectations, inevitable problems adjusting to a higher level of competition, the fact that NBA players will go out of their way to dunk on him (just like they did with Shawn Bradley -- and they ruined his confidence, too), the isolation of playing here, the meddling Chinese government ... I mean, did Smits have to deal with any of those things? Can't you picture Shaq rubbing his hands together and saying, "I'm going to dunk on that Chinese guy as much as humanly possible next season"? This is a disaster waiting to happen. Repeat: This is a disaster waiting to happen. I feel very strongly about this.
So basically...I won't take his Darko-hatin for shit. How could one be so wrong about Yao Ming. ugh. Which reminds me of this:
Last year on TNT: Kenny: "Houston's gonna need to learn that Yao will be their best player." Charles: "Kenny, Steve Francis is their best player" (and we all know later how he bet that Yao would never score 20 points in a game) This year EJ: "There's a look at the Franchise" (while the camera shows Steve Francis during warmups) Charles: "Yao Ming is the franchise"
So what's the point? I just don't understand how everyone is doubting Darko already, saying he should never be picked over an established college star, when Yao proved that theory false JUST LAST YEAR. I just didn't know it'd be such a long-winded point. Isn't there a Bulls game to talk about? Oh, right. the Hawks are in town, and Jerry Krause's banner will be raised to the UC rafters. Scottie's already said that he doesn't even want to watch it. (damn...grow up). But what's on my mind is how the fans will react. I predict this: the fans that are gonna show up to a game against *the Hawks* will be real Bulls fans. And while they may not all like Krause, they will respect him. So there could be some boos, but I expect a lot of cheers, and some nice signs and such. But, not a love fest. Then again...boos can perpetuate once a few start goin. We'll see. I hope the fans show a little respect though. The Hawks this offseason dealt away Glenn Robinson and signed Stephen Jackson. They still have their 'big 3' (hehe) of Abdur-Rahim, Terry, and Ratliff. The key per usual will be up front, and seeing if Eddy can get his offense goin against a top-notch shot blocker like Ratliff. Jamal should turn in a good game tonight against Atlanta's backcourt of Terry and rookie Boris Diaw (who I'm anxious to see actually), and Chandler should be playing tonight, so that's good news. Summary: the Hawks suck, but hopefully the Bulls don't play as bad as they did on wednesday, cause they can lose to anybody.