Bill Simmons fooled us.
Before the NBA season started, the former ESPN-er who now runs The Ringer took a bold stance on the Miami Heat while most everyone else was doubting them, projecting them as a No. 6 seed in the East during a podcast on picking over/unders for the entire league.
“I have them as a six seed right now. I can’t belive I’m saying that. Listen, there’s gonna be a whacky team that ends up in the Eastern playoffs. It’s gonna happen. If you’re picking whacky, you gotta go with Orlando, Milwaukee or Miami… I like the Richardson/Winslow combo. I believe in that combo. I think they’re gonna be pretty good. I think this team is gonna be good defensively. I think they’re gonna be a pain in the ass to play.”
On his podcast today (about the 8:20 mark) he admitted the whole thing was a trick, “a reverse-jinx,” where a person makes a prediction which is the opposite of the outcome desired.
“Miami is a team that — I’m very proud of myself,” Simmons said. “I did the over/under podcast with House and I picked the over for Miami and said they were gonna be a sleeper but if you listened, later on in the podcast I admitted I was reverse-jinxing them and it worked because they are terrible.”
That Bostonian would believe in reverse jinxes. Bill also thinks they should trade Goran Dragic and tank the season.
“The trade for them is Goran Dragic,” Simmons said. “There are some teams that could use somebody like him… Riley has a history of when he doesn’t like what he’s seeing he throws in the towel and he’s done this in the past and he’ll do it again and it makes sense because all the tickets this year are paid for. You only have 60 games left in the season so why not? They really could be one of the four or five worst teams if they went for it.”
With all the injuries their experiencing and the season ticking away, I’m slowly coming around on the idea of angling for a Top 5 pick. However, I think it’s still too early to consider waving the white flag in late November.
Also, is giving up Dragic — a quality player on a solid contract that they traded two first-rounders for — really worth the crapshoot that is the NBA Draft? At this point, if they’re gonna full-on tank I’d rather them “rest” key players and keep him because while he may not be a true No. 1 on a contender, he’s an impactful player.