Bill Simmons Calls New Orleans A Contender

Published: October 3, 2015

On Bill Simmons new not-ESPN podcast (The Bill Simmons Podcast), Simmons called the New Orleans Pelicans a title-contender. The topic came up when talking with his buddy Joe House about championship odds for this upcoming season. Simmons remarked how Miami was an interesting dark horse at +4000, but how the team that he was most intrigued by was New Orleans. Simmons stated how New Orleans +4500 was “great value” compared to what other teams were listed as. Here is the opening segment:

“The one that intrigues me out of all of these, is New Orleans is +4500. I’m not saying they’re going to win the title. I think they’re a contender this year…I’m just saying ‘best value’. I think they’re contender this year.  If you’re going to say the Clippers are a contender, and the Rockets are a contender, I think New Orleans needs to be in that group too.”

House doesn’t agree with Simmons, saying there are other good bets with the Pelicans that doesn’t need to be reliant on championship odds.  But Simmons doesn’t relent, responding with:

“Counter argument, they upgraded from Monty Williams to Alvin Gentry. Gentry is a good coach. They almost made the finals in Phoenix in 2010…Davis is going to make a leap where he came from last year, where he was a legitimate MVP candidate. I think we both agree he’s the next great guy. If you’re the next guy, at some point in your first five years you make a run before everyone thinks you’re supposed to make a run. You’re like ‘Oh, you’re making a run now? I didn’t realize, Oh really?’ That’s why New Orleans needs to be taken seriously…This is year four for him.”

In the end, Simmons goes back to Davis being one of (if not the best) players in the league. Talking up the narrative:

“Look at the other great players, who we thought weren’t ready, who all of a sudden were super ready…It happens sooner than you think. And that’s my only point with the Pelicans.  I don’t think they’re going to win the title, I just think the odds are good. If you’re telling me OKC is +750 and the Pels are +4500 that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

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