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Old 10-24-09, 01:46 AM
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Bill Simmons' NBA Predictions

Bill Simmons' NBA season preview and 33 most intriguing NBA people - ESPN

2. Tim Duncan
Healthy, happy, rested, in shape. He's already the greatest power forward ever. He already has four rings. But you know what he doesn't have? When he's 60 years old, or 70, or 75, or whatever, and one of his grandkids says, "Grandpa, what was the best team you ever played on?" … he doesn't have an answer. He never played for a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, dominant team. Kareem had the '87 Lakers and '71 Bucks. Magic had the '87 Lakers. Wilt had the '67 Sixers and '72 Lakers. Bird had the '86 Celtics. Shaq and Kobe had the '01 Lakers (playoff edition). West had the '72 Lakers. Oscar had the '71 Bucks. Moses had the '83 Sixers. Duncan has nothing.

Now, you could argue that the league is too diluted at this point. (And maybe it is. The '01 Lakers were our last kick-ass team.) Or, you could argue that Duncan never had a season in which everything fell into place. In my basketball book (coming Tuesday!!!), I wrote a chapter about the specific set of dynamics that separate championship teams from memorable championship teams. It's complicated and I won't spoil it here. Just know the 2009-10 Spurs qualify for "memorable" status. They have the talent, they have the "Eff You" edge (a term I explain in the book), and they have something that Gregg Popovich likes to call "appropriate fear." Here's how he explained that phrase in 2005:

It gets more difficult after a win to come back and understand how that subconscious sort of complacency can set in. You can't allow that to happen. You have to keep an appropriate fear of your opponent so that complacency will dissipate as soon as possible.

This particular Spurs team has the right level of appropriate fear: fear of aging and complacency coupled with an appreciation for how fast things can fall apart (thanks to Manu's ankle the past two seasons), and beyond that, the reality that their best player might only have one great season left in him. I am a Spurs junkie. I love reading about them. I love the way they put their rosters together and value chemistry so deeply. I love the way they interact during games (as I've written many times). I just get a kick out of them. And the truth is, this might be their last chance for a dominant season with Tim Duncan leading the way.

I think it happens. If only because great basketball players have a habit of somehow finding that one great team. They are my pick to win in 2010. Convincingly.
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Old 10-24-09, 01:55 AM
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I like Simmons, although a lot here don't seem to like him. Or they tend to be off on him when he says a negative thing..
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Old 10-24-09, 02:10 AM
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33. Manu Ginobili
The last time Ginobili played a pain-free professional basketball game, Hillary Clinton was the odds-on favorite to win the 2008 presidential election, Vince Vaughn weighed less than Jon Favreau, nobody knew what the words "Twitter" and "tweeted" meant, NBC was still considered a major network, and a painfully thin Lindsay Lohan was making a complete mess of herself in public every few weeks. Whoops, that last one is still happening. But it's been a looooooooooooong time since Manu was Manu. Hungry and rested from getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs this past season, the Spurs hit the summer mother lode by adding Antonio McDyess, Richard Jefferson and DeJuan Blair. If Manu can't be Manu again? It won't matter.
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Old 10-24-09, 02:21 AM
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(
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We did learn a lesson from the troubles of Beasley, Delonte West and Stephon Marbury: Neck tattoos are to pro athletes what nape-of-the-back tattoos are to women. In other words, they're a red flag. A big one. For an athlete, it seems to mean, "I am going to do some really strange things -- you know, like putting a painful tattoo on my neck." For a woman, it seems to mean either, "I'm easy" or "I needed to figure out a way to fit in with the other women at the strip joint." Either way, red flag.)
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Old 10-24-09, 04:15 AM
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I love the convincingly!
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Old 10-24-09, 08:54 AM
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great article... thanks for posting. I like reading simmons' stuff. He's witty and makes valid points--in other words, he's not a complete hack like the rest of his colleagues.
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Old 10-24-09, 09:18 AM
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Pretty crazy that he picks the Spurs to win it.
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Old 10-24-09, 10:20 AM
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Simmons is ok to me for the most part but in this day and age, he is wrong on the account TD has never played for the type of team he mentions.

The 99 team was that team.
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Old 10-24-09, 10:36 AM
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i would agree that 99 playoff edition was pretty damn dominate hell they called us sweep city for a sec
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Old 10-24-09, 11:35 AM
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2007 sweep of the cavs means nothing?
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Old 10-24-09, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izriel View Post
2007 sweep of the cavs means nothing?
Naw, because the Cavs just weren't very good then.
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Old 10-24-09, 12:41 PM
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I love Simmons, this was a pretty good piece. People on here rip him constantly, but for a Celtics fan he manages to at least make smart and fairly well thought out arguments. And when his biases come out and when he makes off the wall arguments, the comic in him comes out and it's still fun to read.

And agreed, sweeping the 07 Cavs doesn't say much. It was SA versus a young LeBron, that was about it. I thought Timmy's 05 team was pretty strong, but he's not been on a team that is just stacked-dominant across the board. The addition of Jefferson, Dyess, and Blair bring our team closer to that point, Manu staying healthy is still pretty critical to that though.
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Old 10-24-09, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izriel View Post
2007 sweep of the cavs means nothing?
If I remember correctly, the Spurs had gone through 6 game series in the first 2 rounds, then 5 in the WCF. Cleveland was overmatched from the beginning, and it showed. But it wasn't a dominant playoff run.

In '99, they lost a game in the first round and in the Finals. That was it.
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Old 10-24-09, 01:46 PM
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More Simmons:

PREDICTIONS
Eastern Conference
1. Boston, 62-20
2. Orlando, 60-22
3. Cleveland, 59-23
4. Chicago, 49-33
5. Atlanta, 44-38
6. Washington, 43-39
7. Miami, 42-40
8. Philly, 40-42
9. Charlotte, 39-43
10. Toronto, 39-43
11. New York, 32-50
12. Detroit, 31-51
13. Indiana, 26-56
14. New Jersey, 25-57
15. Milwaukee, 19-63

Western Conference
1. San Antonio, 64-18
2. L.A. Lakers, 63-19
3. Utah, 51-31
4. New Orleans, 48-34
5. Dallas, 46-36
6. L.A. Clippers, 45-37
7. Houston, 44-38
8. Denver, 44-38
9. Phoenix, 43-39
10. Zombies, 42-40
11. Portland, 41-41
12. Golden State, 28-54
13. Memphis, 24-58
14. Minnesota, 22-60
15. Sacramento, 15-67

Final Four: Boston over Cleveland, San Antonio over Lakers
Champion: San Antonio over Boston in 6

MVP: LeBron
ROY: Griffin
Coach: Gregg Popovich
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Old 10-24-09, 02:59 PM
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I would agree with those who point to the '99 team. That team was NASTY. They took no prisoners on defense, and by halfway through the 4th quarter, Duncan and Robinson had every post player on the other team with four or more fouls every single game.

The 2003 team was also great-- more stacked than the '99 team with Tp, Manu, Sjax, DRob, and TD. Problem was TP's inconsistency that kept them from being epochal.
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Old 10-24-09, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly_bexar View Post
I would agree with those who point to the '99 team. That team was NASTY. They took no prisoners on defense, and by halfway through the 4th quarter, Duncan and Robinson had every post player on the other team with four or more fouls every single game.

The 2003 team was also great-- more stacked than the '99 team with Tp, Manu, Sjax, DRob, and TD. Problem was TP's inconsistency that kept them from being epochal.
99 was solid, but I still don't think qualifies as "that" team for Duncan that Simmons talks about. It probably comes the closest though. The 05/06 team was the best TD/Manu/Parker team.
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Old 10-24-09, 05:04 PM
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NVM

Last edited by Izriel; 10-24-09 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Nvm i guess by elimination there the thunder.
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Old 10-24-09, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego View Post
99 was solid, but I still don't think qualifies as "that" team for Duncan that Simmons talks about. It probably comes the closest though. The 05/06 team was the best TD/Manu/Parker team.
The 99 team was handicapped through no fault of their own with the lockout. I agree that they should be recognized in a playoff edition, but what he's looking for is one of those things that is hard to do like win every home game or beat all the other contenders convincingly or just plain be dominant in ever sense of the word.

Oh and the Zombies are The Oklahoma City Thunder, but I don't know why he calls them that.
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Old 10-24-09, 05:51 PM
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Keep in mind that the 99 and 03 teams may be seen that way by Spurs fans, but not nationally. Simmons obviously has high standards for "that team" and I'd agree that the '99 team is the closest but the lockout takes away from them on the national level.

Now, here's the part I love most about his predictions...they do not toe the company line. Not just the Spurs 1 Lakers 2. In fact that is not that far off from the other ESPN picks (Lakers 1, Spurs 2). I'm talking about Nuggets 8, Blazers 11 among other picks. This guy actually sat down and put his own mind to work to come up with his predictions. Nice change of pace Bill.
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Old 10-24-09, 10:39 PM
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The 99 was extremely dominant, they went 15:2 and there were some strange things in MSG, when the clock stopped working and the Spurs couldn't see how much time was left on offense. The Spurs would have certainly swept the Knicks too, but the Knicks made it sure to cash in with an extra game at MSG.

However, the backcourt of the 99 team wasn't so good. Pop wanted to have players able to drive, not only to shot, hence they got DA, then S-Jax and then Manu, also that's why Parker got drafted.

Still, the 15:2 record is the second best all time, so it should be considered one of the best teams. The Spurs swept some remarkably good teams like the Lakers and Blazers that year.
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Old 10-25-09, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TodTango View Post
Oh and the Zombies are The Oklahoma City Thunder, but I don't know why he calls them that.
He has some deal about the Sonics and won't refer to OKC or the Thunder.
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Old 10-26-09, 08:27 AM
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He refuse to call them th Thunder because they were stolen from Seattle, so he calls them zombies

Quote:
Originally Posted by TodTango View Post
The 99 team was handicapped through no fault of their own with the lockout. I agree that they should be recognized in a playoff edition, but what he's looking for is one of those things that is hard to do like win every home game or beat all the other contenders convincingly or just plain be dominant in ever sense of the word.

Oh and the Zombies are The Oklahoma City Thunder, but I don't know why he calls them that.
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Old 10-26-09, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by maurice13 View Post
Keep in mind that the 99 and 03 teams may be seen that way by Spurs fans, but not nationally. Simmons obviously has high standards for "that team" and I'd agree that the '99 team is the closest but the lockout takes away from them on the national level.

Now, here's the part I love most about his predictions...they do not toe the company line. Not just the Spurs 1 Lakers 2. In fact that is not that far off from the other ESPN picks (Lakers 1, Spurs 2). I'm talking about Nuggets 8, Blazers 11 among other picks. This guy actually sat down and put his own mind to work to come up with his predictions. Nice change of pace Bill.
Yeah, I was also very surprised to see Portland #11 at a 41-41 record. I can't see that happening unless injuries hit them hard. He also has only three teams in the West over the 50 win mark and a great gap between Spurs/Lakers and the rest of the West.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:19 AM
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Great column...soooooo excited about the season. You know Simmons will be in Texas during All Star Break, promoting his new book. Can't wait!
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Old 10-26-09, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TodTango View Post
Bill Simmons' NBA season preview and 33 most intriguing NBA people - ESPN

2. Tim Duncan
Healthy, happy, rested, in shape. He's already the greatest power forward ever. He already has four rings. But you know what he doesn't have? When he's 60 years old, or 70, or 75, or whatever, and one of his grandkids says, "Grandpa, what was the best team you ever played on?" … he doesn't have an answer. He never played for a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, dominant team. Kareem had the '87 Lakers and '71 Bucks. Magic had the '87 Lakers. Wilt had the '67 Sixers and '72 Lakers. Bird had the '86 Celtics. Shaq and Kobe had the '01 Lakers (playoff edition). West had the '72 Lakers. Oscar had the '71 Bucks. Moses had the '83 Sixers. Duncan has nothing.

Now, you could argue that the league is too diluted at this point. (And maybe it is. The '01 Lakers were our last kick-ass team.) Or, you could argue that Duncan never had a season in which everything fell into place. In my basketball book (coming Tuesday!!!), I wrote a chapter about the specific set of dynamics that separate championship teams from memorable championship teams. It's complicated and I won't spoil it here. Just know the 2009-10 Spurs qualify for "memorable" status. They have the talent, they have the "Eff You" edge (a term I explain in the book), and they have something that Gregg Popovich likes to call "appropriate fear." Here's how he explained that phrase in 2005:.
He forgot to mention MJ's 92/93 Bulls. The year they won 72 games.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly_bexar View Post
I would agree with those who point to the '99 team. That team was NASTY. They took no prisoners on defense, and by halfway through the 4th quarter, Duncan and Robinson had every post player on the other team with four or more fouls every single game.

The 2003 team was also great-- more stacked than the '99 team with Tp, Manu, Sjax, DRob, and TD. Problem was TP's inconsistency that kept them from being epochal.
I agree on all of this here.
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You could let it pick your brain for weeks and months, just replay it over and over, won't do you any good at all. When someone loses a loved one and they do that it only brings forth anguish. I feel acceptance is sometimes the key, it happened, now you have to react to it. Giving up is not an option.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dunkman View Post
The 99 was extremely dominant, they went 15:2 and there were some strange things in MSG, when the clock stopped working and the Spurs couldn't see how much time was left on offense. The Spurs would have certainly swept the Knicks too, but the Knicks made it sure to cash in with an extra game at MSG.

However, the backcourt of the 99 team wasn't so good. Pop wanted to have players able to drive, not only to shot, hence they got DA, then S-Jax and then Manu, also that's why Parker got drafted.

Still, the 15:2 record is the second best all time, so it should be considered one of the best teams. The Spurs swept some remarkably good teams like the Lakers and Blazers that year.
^^^^^^^^^ This, so very very true they did sweep some VERY TALENTED TEAMS, that has to count for something lockout or not.
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You could let it pick your brain for weeks and months, just replay it over and over, won't do you any good at all. When someone loses a loved one and they do that it only brings forth anguish. I feel acceptance is sometimes the key, it happened, now you have to react to it. Giving up is not an option.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:30 PM
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^^^^^^^^^ This, so very very true they did sweep some VERY TALENTED TEAMS, that has to count for something lockout or not.
We swept the Kobe and Shaq Lakers and closed them down in the fabled 'Showtime' Forum. It counts a lot. The lockout is just a excuse by losers.
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Old 10-27-09, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TodTango View Post
The 99 team was handicapped through no fault of their own with the lockout. I agree that they should be recognized in a playoff edition, but what he's looking for is one of those things that is hard to do like win every home game or beat all the other contenders convincingly or just plain be dominant in ever sense of the word.
On the defensive end, but the offensive balance was not there. I'm not trying to say style over substance, but the team was only semi-athletic. This is why it took the team a while to get back to the promise land.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:01 PM
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Simmons has already changed his Finals picks. On PTI he says "San Antonio-Orlando"
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Old 10-27-09, 05:03 PM
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Wilbon - "Kobe-Lebron. Every team should be afraid of the Spurs, they look like they could be champions again."
Tony - "Cleveland and San Antonio"
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Old 10-27-09, 06:37 PM
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He forgot to mention MJ's 92/93 Bulls. The year they won 72 games.
you mean the 95-96 offering
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