On the latest edition of The B.S. Report, Grantland.com's Bill Simmons -- also known as "The Sports Guy" -- offers win predictions for every NBA team with co-host for the show, Joe House. Here's a transcript of their discussion of the Portland Trail Blazers.
First up: Simmons...
"The Portland Trail Blazers. This is the most tense moment of the podcast... For you too, they'll come after you, don't think they won't. [Blazers fans are] like the zombies in the Walking Dead. They'll come after you. They're transcribing this right now. This is going to be on a message board in two hours. This hasn't even posted yet and they're transcribing this. Telepathically they know someone is talking about them...
"I went a little high on Portland. Not out of fear of Rip City. I think they are going to be pretty good. I like Jamal Crawford. I like The Rhino, Craig Smith. I have them for 36-30."
"I have them at 40-26. I had a big number for Portland. I'm not going to get any bad notes. Tweet me up, Portland. Come on Rip City."
House is on Twitter here if you want to positively reinforce his decision-making.
Some more commentary.
"That's a 45-win team [in an 82-game season] which I thought was pretty fair considering they lost Greg Oden and Brandon Roy a week before the season started. They thought they were getting [Oden]. They're the same team as last year... They're a little better..."
"I actually think they are better. The reason I think they're better is because they have a full season of Gerald Wallace. He has historically, the last two or three years, been the most underrated player, under-recognized and he's just a beast. I really think he could be transformative for them. They are very deep with professionals."
"I really like the Ray Felton move. Andre Miller is just hit-or-miss. Ray Felton is in a contract year. He's going to sign that contract and immediately put on 25 pounds... Who's their center? Camby. Who's his back-up? [Kurt Thomas] was another signing I liked. Portland is smart. I don't even know who their GM is but the guy made three good signings. Mystery GM. Paul Allen's cousin is the GM right now. Jack Allen. I probably could have gone higher on [the win prediction].
"I'm going to make a prediction. This is my biggest prediction of the podcast. I predict that Rip City falls in love with The Rhino Craig Smith. I predict they fall in love with him and he becomes the most popular Blazer other than Aldridge.
"They had all that Brandon Roy affection, grieving, love the guy. Such a tragedy that he plays five years. Seemed like he touched everybody's life. Deserved better, all that stuff.
"The Rhino is going to step in and become a cult figure off the bench. It would have happened with the Clippers but the Clippers crowd is brain dead and didn't realize what he was doing. He comes in, knocks bodies around, gets the crowd fired up, looks to the fans for reaction and Clippers fans are all on their Blackberries. Portland fans are going to love Craig Smith. That's my big random prediction of 2011-2012."
If you're not getting Simmons' reference to his fear of Rip City, he wrote back in February asking Blazersedge readers to please spare his life. Back in October, Simmons was quite bummed about the lockout and missing out on Greg Oden but he was glad he could still write "some innocuous joke about the Blazers that leads to a 375-post thread on Blazersedge."
Prior to last season, he wrote that Blazers fans "bullied" him into picking the Blazers to win 52 games.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter