Bill Simmons had a chat today. When he wasn't completely discounting the Bears-Packers as a real rivalry (ugh), he was answering a lot of basketball questions. Including several about the Bulls. I thought some of his answers were pretty interesting (particularly one on a hot topic around here: OJ Mayo), so I figured I'd make a fanpost out of it. Bulls related questions after the jump.
Sam (Newton, MA)
Don't you think that Rondo should start instead of Rose in the All-Star game because he isn't going to take any shots and the players will have more fun playing with him?
Bill Simmons (1:23 PM)
Rose deserves to start, I'm a Celtics homer and even I can't deny that. Here's what will be interesting though: Rose and Rondo don't like each other, and Rondo's coach will be coaching this Eastern team... so if your Doc Rivers, and it's crunch-time, who do you play? Sit Rose and risk pissing him off to new heights every time you play him. Sit Rondo and your PG is secretly bitter at you for the rest of the year. Tough scenario. Forgot to include that in yesterday's column.
Jesse (Los Angeles)
I'm a huge Laker Fan and I read columns/ listen to your podcast constantly even though your a Hardcore Celtics fan. I was wondering what is your thoughts if the Lakers and Celtics meet again? Because I think if they meet again its going to be brutal and epic series ......actually I think kobe and Shaq might kill each other in that series ....your thoughts???
Bill Simmons (1:44 PM)
It would be phenomenal. Hell, I think the Final 8 will be phenomenal - if we can get Mia-Chi-Bos-Orl on one side and LA-OKC-SA-Dallas on the other, that's probably the best Final 8 in like 20 years. Don't sleep on the Bulls during all of this - when Noah and Boozer are back, with the way Rose is playing, that team is going to be frightening. And they HATE Boston and Miami.
John Paxson (Chicago)
Hey Picasso can you get the bulls a SG to put us over the top?
Bill Simmons (1:50 PM)
I am terrified of the Bulls getting OJ Mayo. That's the undervalued former high lottery pick who's sitting out there waiting to get stolen away by a good team. Last year, it was Ray Felton and nobody ended up stealing him until the summer. This year it's Mayo.
Why won't Denver just make a deal with Chicago? Melo would sign there, they could get Gibson, Korver, and that Charlotte futures pick. Is that not a good deal at this point?
Bill Simmons (2:17 PM)
This is heresy... but I don't know if that's a great deal for Chicago. The Rose/Melo alpha dog dynamic worries me and Deng has been quietly having a huge year for them (he's playing like 40 MPG), he doesn't need the ball and he's one of the best defenders. I also wouldn't give up Gibson. And that Charlotte pick could be a really good one. I like the Bulls' nucleus, I think there are easier ways for them to add a big chess piece without blowing it up for Carmelo.
Bill Simmons (2:18 PM)
If I'm Chicago, I am not thinking about any move right now that betrays their identity: Which is that it's Derrick Rose's team. Every move they make should be to make his supporting cast better. They don't need Carmelo, as weird as that sounds.
Sea Bass (Adnan's Desk)
Rose vs Rondo: Do they really hate each other? I have never head this besides from you.
Bill Simmons (3:21 PM)
Watch the next Celts-Bulls game. There is no icier matchup. I don't think they hate each other for any real reason - it just started in the 2009 playoffs and carried over from there. Both competitive, same conference, rivals, then the Team USA thing... and Coach K picked Rose.
And, just for fun, his pick for the Bears-Packers game:
Bill Simmons (4:23 PM)
Our NFC Title Game: Packers favored by 3.5 points in Chicago.
Bill Simmons (4:24 PM)
I'm picking the Packers to cover the -3.5 spread knowing that a few Manifesto theories are working against them (we mentioned them earlier), knowing everyone spent the week glorifying Aaron Rodgers, and knowing that this game is a severe doppleganger to the 2006 title game (Bears-Saints). All of those things are noted.
Bill Simmons (4:27 PM)
This one's a little more simple: The Packers are clearly the most talented NFC team, only their injuries knocked them down to a 6-seed and made that hard to see... but like the Jets, they're peaking at the right time; James Starks gave them a running game; they're ridiculously explosive offensively; Rodgers is jumping a level; their defense makes plays; and their secondary locks people down. You can talk yourself into the Bears with all the abstract stuff, but I made that mistake with Atlanta last weekend - they're home, nobody thinks they can win, they'll get a couple of dumb mistakes -- and then the game started and they got whupped. Green Bay has the best team and the best player. So why overthink it?
Bill Simmons (4:29 PM)
Anyway, even though I hate the line and it's not a bargain at all, especially if there's bad weather -- the line should be 3 or under, but the Packers are such a popular public team that it bumped to 3.5 -- I just can't talk myself into the Bears. If Jay Cutler beats me in cold weather, so be it. Packers 30, Bears 17.
Also, here's a poll, because I like polls: