Monday, May 7, 2012

And today is the day I start to chip away at my backlog of Simmons crap

Probably going to take a number of short posts rather than one or two long ones, because in my old age I just don't have the time or energy for the latter.  This is from Bill's NBA playoffs preview.  Since the playoffs are more than a week old, I'll do my best not to spend too much time picking on him for predictions that turned out to be hideously incorrect.  Unless they were the kind of predictions I would have picked on even if I were writing this post ten days ago.  And let's be honest, I've never treated Bill with any semblance of respect or fairness, so I'll probably end up dumping on everything he said because of my 20/20 hindsight.

The Sports Guy's Most Interesting Stories of the Playoffs

IN TEN YEARS, HOW WILL WE LOOK BACK ON THE DAY WHEN THE C'S THREW THEIR HAT INTO THE CHAMPIONSHIP  RING?  And of course as soon as I ruthlessly (and correctly) mock him for his pathetic homerism, Derrick Rose bows out of the playoffs and the Hawks fail to show up in crunch time in a crucial game 2 against the Celtics.  At this point I have to admit that it looks like Boston is a good bet to make the conference finals, meaning that I will have to keep my word and post a public apology.  A small price to pay for watching Miami and their "not a real big three" big three demolish the Celtics.

25. Joe Johnson

Known for being totally overpaid and totally overrated, which, of course, now makes him underrated. 

Billck Klostimmons strikes again.  DO RADIOHEAD NEXT!!!

He's probably the league's fourth-best starting 2-guard behind Wade and Kobe (unless you wanted to talk me into Arron Afflalo, a much better defender); 

Too bad Bill has a well-documented stance against allowing himself to be edited.  Another pair of eyes might have caught that one.  And Bill still probably would have stetted it back.

he's extremely comfortable in crunch time and because of his size (right around 6-foot-7), he can shoot over any undersize defender (Avery Bradley, Randy Foye, 

Foye plays for the Clippers.  I've give you a shiny half dollar if he and Johnson cross paths this playoffs.

Lou Williams, whoever). Of course, it's difficult to concentrate on these things when Atlanta owes Johnson $107,333,589 over this season and the next four — repeat: one hundred and seven million, three hundred and thirty-three thousand, five hundred and eighty-nine dollars — and when you throw in Johnson's lack of charisma (I'm being kind), that's the biggest reason why Games 1 and 2 of the Atlanta-Boston series will have about 4,000 Celtics fans in the stands. 

The amount of money Johnson makes has absolutely zero to do with the facts that Atlanta is a terrible sports town and there are Boston bandwagoners all over the country.  Also, why can't he be more charismatic?  Just look at the way Tim Duncan puts butts in seats!  Bill thinks that because he enjoys watching KG yell like a Tourette's sufferer, everyone enjoys watching KG yell like a Tourette's sufferer.

Atlanta fans should appreciate Johnson a little more. He's really good.
(By the way, when I mentioned this to Atlanta's own Rembert Browne, he snickered and said, "Nah, Joe Johnson ruined professional basketball in Atlanta." Well, then.)

He was agreeing with you and speaking facetiously, you fucking dunderhead.

24. Steve Novak

Steve Novak is not the 24th most interesting story on his own team.

Random guarantee: A Novak/J.R. Smith shooting barrage will swing one of the Knicks-Heat games. And you know Carmelo is winning one (at least) by himself. That means the series is going six games … at least. 

God I wished Miami had finished that series off on Sunday.  This is still a pretty stupid guarantee that I would have mocked before the playoffs started.  Unsurprisingly Novak hasn't done jack shit in the series because Miami is a good perimeter (and help) defensive team.  Smith is a more useful player than Novak against a team like Miami since he can create his own shot, but he's shooting 5 for 24 from behind the arc so far.  Also, game 4 was presumably the game Melo wins on his own.  So stay tuned, Knicks fans.  Maybe Novak can get you to that game 6 just yet.

(We'll see if I have the balls to pick New York by the end of this column. Don't think I'm not considering it.) 


/watches Ray Allen limp through the playoffs and towards retirement

By the way, the dorkiest moment in NBA history is a 75-way tie between every big Novak 3 when he gave himself the Aaron Rodgers belt this season.

Bill such a homer he won't even admit how incredibly awkward former Celtic great Brian Scalabrine looks anytime he's on the court.

23. Zach Randolph
Remember when Z-Bo improbably became one of the six dominant players in last year's playoffs and torched double teams for a solid month, accompanied by a slew of, (Jim Ross voice) "Good God, what the hell is that? My God, that's Zach Randolph's music!!!!!" 

If there's one thing that's true about sportswriting, it's that everyone in the year 2012 loves a severely overdone pro wrestling bit.

stories? This spring, those headlines became, "Can Memphis reintegrate Randolph in time?," and, "Good news: Randolph played in practice without a knee brace today."
Here's the problem: Z-Bo's low-post brilliance was the biggest reason Memphis nearly made the Finals last year. Unfortunately, their best lineup this season has been Gasol-Gay-Mayo-Allen-Conley, a vicious small-ball group that defends the perimeter like pit bulls defending some rich guy's fence. 

There's a juicy analogy.  They guard the perimeter like dogs guarding something!  They play defense like a hockey team that's good at defense!

Now here's where you say, "They can go big with Z-Bo AND small with the other lineup! I'm so excited, I wish I could give Roger Goodell a six-second full-body hug!" 


Not exactly. See, Z-Bo would have to buy into that idea … and I'm not sure he's that much of a team player. Z-Bo wants to be The Man. Z-Bo loved what happened last year. Z-Bo loved banging bodies with Gasol and dominating the paint. Still, that's what makes the Grizzlies so freaking interesting — if they can ever juggle those two mind-sets (small and big), they're suddenly the best team in either conference. 

Much as I hate both the Heat and the Thunder, no.  That is simply not true.

You heard me. To be continued.

22. Vinny Del Negro

Here's the best-case scenario for a Vinny-Popovich matchup in Round 2.

[Video of the checkers scene from Bad Santa, because if anything at all on the internet is funny, it's taking scenes from movies and substituting them for original analysis or jokes.  HEY THIS THING IS JUST LIKE THAT OTHER THING NOW WATCH]

21. Kenneth Faried, Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson

Look, it's not like you had to talk me into the nickname "The Manimal."  But I couldn't be happier that it went to a legitimate NBA player — in this case, Faried, who was billed as a relentless rebounder/energy guy heading into last year's draft and exceeded that tag. He's Ben Wallace 2.0. If you're thinking about picking a Denver upset in Round 1, your three best reasons are Lawson (twice as fast as any Laker, and playing really well right now), 

As a Nuggets fan it pains me to admit that Lawson more or less didn't show up for the series.

Afflalo (the best two-way 2-guard right now other than Wade and Kobe) 

A label he hasn't really earned and should not be allowed to keep after his complete and total disappearing act this past week.

and the Manimal (a scary matchup for L.A.'s sometimes-lethargic frontline).

Faried and Javale McGee have been huge pains in the ass for the Lakers at times.  Unfortunately, it turns out that the fact that Gasol and Bynum are both WAY more talented than either of their Nuggets counterparts has pretty much shut down Denver's chances.

In theory, Lawson runs the Slowtime Lakers into the ground; Afflalo locks down Kobe; the Manimal eats up L.A.'s frontline; Denver's perimeter guys hit their 3s; the Nuggets' depth combined with the altitude wears down the Lakers; and suddenly we're looking at a first-round shocker (which is exactly what Barkley picked last night). 

I love Chuck.  Most basketball fans love Chuck.  His prognostication abilities have absolutely nothing to do with that love and this was a dumb pick the second he made it.

Even if this looks good on paper, I can't see it happening — the Lakers dug out too many tight games and HTFDTWTO games this season. This has all the makings of one of those "Denver loses in six even though they led all six games in the fourth quarter" series. God, I hate the Lakers.

Wish it weren't the case (and I wouldn't have thought this would happen had I written this earlier) but Bill has actually overstated Denver's chances.  If they win game 5 tomorrow night my jaw will be on the floor.  The Lakers and their fans can eat a bag of dicks.  

20. Dirk Nowitzki

"OK, Dirk, here's the plan."

"I'm listening."

"We're throwing away our title defense. We're just going to put it in a Dumpster and smear it with dog feces. By the end of the regular season, Delonte West will be our third-best player, we'll be relying on an overweight Vince Carter, we'll have turned Tyson Chandler into a three-headed dose of mediocrity called Brendian Haywonimight, and unless Jason Terry is feeling it, you'll have to shoot every single time in the fourth quarter of every playoff game."

"Got it."

"We might win one game against Oklahoma City, that's it. Then you'll have the spring and summer off."

"Sounds good. One question: Why would we do this?"

"Because we want to sign Deron Williams this summer. This was the only way."

"Deron Williams … the guy who acted like such a dick in Utah that they flipped him into two top-three lottery picks and never looked back and since then he's been playing for a lottery team?"

"Yeah, that Deron Williams. Also, we have a 2.2 percent chance of getting Dwight Howard, too."

"Dwight Howard … the guy who's three months away from quitting on his team and needs season-ending back surgery?"

"Seriously? That's going to happen? How do you know this?"

"I just do."


"Any chance we can come up with another plan?"

(Dead silence.)

Just in case you needed another demonstration of all the talent that turned Bill into a not TV writer.  Christ, even Easterbrook does better fake scripts in his columns than this.

19. Andrew Bynum

For the Lakers to make the Finals, Bynum needs to rip through JaVale McGee and Kosta Koufos in Round 1 (a mortal lock), 


the Kendrick Perkins–Serge Ibaka–Nick Collison troika in Round 2 (much tougher), 

Perkins is such a cheap shot artist.  I hate both the Lakers and the Thunder, but I sincerely hope Bynum dunks Perkins into the third row and then taunts him at some point during that series.  

then either Marc Gasol (tough) or Tim Duncan–Tiago Splitter–Boris Diaw (easy) in Round 3. Does he have it in him? Shouldn't it mean something that he's shooting an astonishing 82 percent in crunch time this season? Eighty-two percent???? 

Back to the "What does it MEAN??  How will we look back on this???" faux-introspective nonsense.  Of course it means something: it means that during crunch time he gets a lot of great looks and rarely makes mistakes.  

Why does it seem like he can get five-footers more easily than any center in recent memory? 

Because he's huge, has great footwork, and plays on the same team as Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol?

Why don't I totally trust him?

Because you're stupid and think KG belongs on the Olympic team?

Quick tangent: More than any postseason in recent memory, these specific NBA playoffs have an inordinate number of legacies at stake. 

Fuck you.  No, they do not.  Fuck your brain.  These playoffs are no different than last year's playoffs or next year's playoffs from that perspective.  Stop trying to blow everyone's mind by making up new levels of meaningfulnessnessity for everything.  It's shameful.  Please stop.

In other words, we'll feel differently about various players and teams by the end of June than we do now. 

Yeah, no one feels differently about Dirk now than they did 12 months ago.

Not that this doesn't happen every spring, 

/slamming head into wall

but this time around, there's legitimate historical implications 

TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN USUAL!  I hear they're putting the results of this year's playoffs in record books of some kind!

for Kobe and the Lakers, 

/game show buzzer

the Popovich-Duncan era, 

/game show buzzer

the KG-Pierce-Allen era, 

/game show buzzer

LeBron and Wade … 

Closest you've been to being right, except the stakes for these two are exactly the fucking same as they were last year, so /game show buzzer

it just keeps going and going. 

/nuclear bomb test footage

In Bynum's case, he's the most logical piece for a Dwight Howard trade (and has been for some time). He can end those rumors by leading the Lakers to the Finals and making it impossible to trade him. Does he like Los Angeles? Does he realize that playing for a forgettable Orlando team would suck? How much does he care? (See, it's intriguing.)


More of this ridiculous bullshit later in the week.


Anonymous said...

Ok, so I randomly found this blog for some reason. After reading your article, I have one thing to tell you:
There's a reason people shouldn't use profanity. While you do have an argument against Simmons, the large amount of profanity in this article makes it very difficult to read. You don't have to swear to make an argument. And you really didn't need to include personal attacks against Simmons. Does that really add anything to your argument? It's just an ad hominem attack. It's great that you want to accuse Bill Simmons of bad writing and logical fallicies. I personally think he's a bad writer. But resorting to profanity and personal attacks? You're just doing what you're accusing Bill Simmons of doing.

jacktotherack said...

Fuck you, anonymous. It's a sports criticism blog with humor, not a fucking college English course. Sorry naughty words make you poopy in your pants.

Adam said...

Did your mommy say you couldn't read bad words?

Anonymous said...

Oh for fuck the fuck fucking sake:
the ad hominem fallacy is not simply flinging some fuck words at some fucking fuck head while tearing down his fucking stupid fucking points you fucking stupid motherfucker. His fucking stupid fucking opinions are not fucking stupid BECAUSE he is a fuck head, his fucking stupid fucking points are fucking stupid THEREFORE he is a fuckhead. See the fucking difference, you living fucking abortion?

Anonymous said...

In fact, if anyone YOU'RE the stupid fucking fucker committing the fucking ad fucking hominem fallacy with your "He swears so fuck his opinions" ad hominem bullshit. Every time some pseudo-intellectual fucktard incorrectly cites the ad hominem fallacy, a small child in Africa dies of hunger.

Chris W said...

Thanks for the logic lesson, fella. Of course, given that

a.) Larry rarely says "His opinions are stupid for the sole reason that I don't like him/he kills babies/he's a republicratbertarian/Mormon". Maybe you should brush up on the concept of the Ad Hominem

b.) When Larry does make fun of Simmons absent his actual opinions, it's not because he's trying to make a logically sound convincing argument. It's because he wants to make fun of Bill Simmons. You realize the purpose of the site is not to create a treatise meant to demolish beyond a shred of reasonable doubt Bill Simmons' credentials. Nor is it an enquiry concerning TOTALLY RATIONAL SPORTSWRITING.

In other words, put away the straw man, doggy

Larry B said...

Bill finally showed up to defend himself. Burrrrrnnnnnnn

Chris W said...

What really gets me about this pedantry is that going back through the article, this is actually a particularly factually based takedown of Simmons for this site. Anonymous, in his zeal to use big words, seems to be confused that the formula "FACTUAL TAKEDOWN OF AN ARGUMENT + CURSE WORD=AD HOMINEMZ!!!!111!!"

Saying that someone got something logically wrong, explaining why they got something logically wrong, and then calling them a "fucking dunderhead" may not be very nice, but it certainly isn't ad hominem fallacy no matter how many times you heard your forensics adviser say that impressive sounding word.

Chris W said...

Also, it should be noted there's like an 85% chance the first comment is just Jack M trolling us

Alex said...

I notice a trend where the term "ad hominen" is thrown around by people who act as if they just learned the word.

In other words, douches have added a word they don't understand to their faux-intellectual lexicon.

Anyway. The post needs more Penner.

And fuck you.

That's my non-sequitur moment.

CHart said...

Larry, you missed the point here. A. Simmons never informed us what his Dad thinks about how this playoffs could affect the Celt's legacy. 2. What game show buzzer are you referring to? Like the Price is Right "you just went over" horn or more like a Wheel of Fortune "there are no j's" horn. WE NEED TO KNOW.

Oh yeah, and fuck you.