Boston Celtics: Why Bill Simmons Got It Wrong

Ari HoringSenior Analyst IMay 7, 2010

CLEVELAND - MAY 03:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Rajon Rondo #9 of the while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 3, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Boston won the game 104-86 to tie the series 1-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Bill Simmons, who predicted the Celtics would lose in the first round to the Miami Heat, said this before the playoffs:

"I once wrote that Miami's 2006 title run was like a group of guys in Vegas spending crazy money at dinner, having a great time, ordering dozens of dishes and drinks and never once worrying about the check...and the 2007 Miami season was like the 10 sobering minutes when the check arrives and nobody can believe the bill.

The check just gets passed around so everyone can stare it in horror, then the one dude with an MBA grabs it and figures out what everyone owes, and you limp out of the restaurant saying, 'I can't believe we just spent $250 apiece on dinner, I gotta hit an ATM,' but it takes an extra 10 minutes to leave because somebody has to take a dump and somebody else thinks they have a chance with the waitress, so the rest of the guys are just clustered in the lobby, totally full, a little bit drunk, a little bit tired, trying to rally for a big gambling night but knowing they're about to get their asses kicked because you can never win in Vegas when you're drunk, full, and tired.

Welcome to your 2009-10 Celtics postseason. The check has arrived. I hope I'm wrong."

What Bill Simmons failed to realize is that if anything this year's Celtics and the 2006 Miami Heat are the most similar. Both were older teams who in a sense coasted by in the regular season on their talent alone and rather rested up for the playoffs. The Heat finished with a 52-30 record in 2006, while the Celtics finished with a 50-32 record.  The Celtics are a fourth seed while the Heat were a second, but the Eastern Conference was so weak in 2006 that the Heat were essentially the second seed by default.

Obviously it wasn't just Bill Simmons who jumped off the Celtic's bandwagon. Many experts thought more of the same, including Charles Barkley, who hinted that the Cavaliers might sweep the Celtics.

The problem with these so called experts is that sometimes because they are constantly analyzing and critiquing, they get lost in what is happening in the moment. This is especially true for a die-hard Celtics fan such as Bill Simmons, who probably watched most games and was their biggest critic of all.

He saw the Celtics struggles daily, and it was entrenched in his mind. He didn't think about the fact that this Celtics team was a veteran team that was essentially pulling the Shaq method of coasting in the regular season to try to win it all in the playoffs.

A guy like me that is rooting for the Cavaliers this year didn't watch every Celtics game. However, I did notice that Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo were all healthy for the playoffs and at times this year the big three all played like their old selves.

Although, Allen, Garnett, and Pierce aren't as consistent as they once were, they have one thing they didn't have in the 2008 NBA season, a legitimate star in Rajon Rondo.

Putting all of this together plus the heart I knew these Celtics stars had, I told my friend before the playoffs that a Celtics upset of the Cavaliers could easily happen. They all laughed just as Bill Simmons would have. In reality, Bill Simmons is right, the check is going to come. However, not in the 2009-10 Celtics postseason.