Appearing on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday, ESPN's Bill Simmons predicted that the Celtics will prevail in the Eastern Conference, citing a deeper bench than Miami and an advantage in the matchups against Orlando. Regarding the Heat, Simmons remains skeptical heading into Tuesday's night season-opener at TD Garden.
"I think there's a much better chance that it's dicey than everything goes fantastic," Simmons said of the Heat.
Regarding the construct of this season's Celtics team, Simmons points to the C's depth as being a big difference from last season. He specifically cited the presence of Delonte West, and how he could protect the C's if something happened to starting point guard Rajon Rondo.
"I do think the one difference between last year's team and this year's team is they have a bench," he said, proceeding to then go on to talk about West. "I've got to say, I was shocked at how good Delonte was in the preseason … I think he's back to where he was, from what I saw."
Simmons said of Shaquille O'Neal's presence in Boston thus far: "There's something different about Shaq. Not only does he like the attention, but he goes out and solicits it." The columnist then, however, wondered: "What happens when [Kendrick] Perkins comes back?" Simmons surmised that the Celtics could possibly deal either O'Neal or Perkins if both are healthy. He also points out that O'Neal has more disdain for Orlando center Dwight Howard ("Dwight Howard took his nickname") than Kobe Bryant.
On the subject of LeBron James, Simmons wonders what will happen in the waning minutes of close games, saying, "I can't wait to see this team when they're tied with a minute to go." He explained that James, statistically, was the best in the NBA in the final two minutes of games last season. "It's really hard for me to believe that he's going to be fine turning it over to [Dwyane] Wade," Simmons said. "This is a guy [in James] who released a two-minute, five-second Nike commercial yesterday."
As for Chris Bosh, the other notable acquisition for the Heat, Simmons said: "Bosh is like George Harrison now. Nobody talks about him. ... Part of me wonders if he's going to be all right with this arrangement, too." Regarding the season-opener, the Massachusetts native noted, "Is there any doubt [former Celtic] Eddie House is going to have a good game tonight?"
For more Celtics coverage, see the team page at weei.com/celtics.
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing who was lying yesterday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.More from this show
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
After his emotional reaction on NFL Live following Tom Brady's press conference yesterday, Mark Brunell joins Lou, Christian and Tim about all things Deflate GateMore from this show
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty HurneyMore from this show