Back from his suspension from ESPN's brass, Bill Simmons is in full NBA preview mode. He's taking to the airwaves (er, cable ... waves?) with co-host Jalen Rose for The Grantland Basketball Hour at 7 p.m. ET Thursday on ESPN, and along with Zach Lowe, he's already published Part I of his Annual NBA League Pass Rankings.
Simmons and Lowe ranked each team on a scale of 1-10 by Relevance, Hoops Nerdgasm Potential, League Pass Minutiae, Individual Player Appeal and Unintentional Comedy. After combining their scores, the Pistons scored ... 50, better than the Celtics (44) and Heat (48) but not as good as Brooklyn (51) and Milwaukee (52). Clearly these are scientific rankings we should all get upset about. Here's what Lowe and Simmons had to say about the Pistons:
Lowe: We slotted these guys into the exact same spot. We might be shell-shocked a bit from last season, when we thought they’d be entertaining and watched them turn into a flaming poop bag filled with bad jump shots, horrible defense and nonexistent coaching.
Simmons: Our best-case scenario for their 2015 League Pass experience: Andre Drummond progressing as a future franchise center … Brandon Jennings’s big comeback season (not kidding, I think it’s happening) … SVG’s wardrobe … every replay of SVG reacting to an ill-timed Josh Smith 3 … solid uniforms, decent court design … 10-year Artest Melee Anniversary Night … and Tommy Heinsohn saying the words "Kentavious Caldwell-Pope." (Did we rank these guys too low? We might have ranked them too low.)
Lowe: Stan Van Gundy is a top-five coach. This team will be frisky, but the Brandon Jennings–Josh Smith combination — even if they play fewer minutes together — has reached "do not trust until you see them do good basketball things" status.
Simmons: Do you think Danny Ferry will be jealous of a team that plays Kyle Singler and Aaron Gray at the same time? You’re right, too soon.
Simmons and Rose also recorded a 13-minute podcast about the Pistons:
Now your thoughts.