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On a broadcast of ESPN's The Jump. Paul Pierce and Jackie MacMullan were asked to make crazy predictions about the upcoming NBA season. Paul stated that the Oklahoma City Thunder would win the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Pierce suggested they may be only an ankle sprain away from that goal. That's the whole idea. Get into the playoffs, and anything can happen.

The Thunder do have talent. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are a great core. And I am a Steven Adams fan. He can't shoot threes or free throws but he does everything else. This group has never played together, but if it all gels, they could be a real force.

We need to remember, Paul was asked to make a crazy prediction, not in the vein of Golden State winning the title or Lebron James having a great season. Nor something as wacko as stating the Brooklyn Nets would win the title. So his answer fit the question. Here is the brief video of the TV segment.



As a lead-in to Jackie MacMullan's prediction, I will include her introduction to Red Auerbach. These are two people for whom I have always had tremendous respect. Jackie, 22 years old, had only been writing full-time for the Boston Globe for two months at the time. Here is her intro to Red:

At the intermission, as the cheerleaders sprinted to center court to began their spirited, peppy routine, the greatest coach in basketball history gestured toward the parquet -- his parquet -- and asked, "So . . . what do you think?"

It was the moment I had been waiting for. I immediately explained how I thought BC's full-court press was particularly effective, and if St. John's didn't begin to respect the Eagles' perimeter shooter soon, maybe BC could pull off the upset.

"No, no," Auerbach interrupted. "I meant the girls. Aren't you the cheerleading coach?"

Sounds like Red, doesn't it?
Anyway, MacMullan's crazy prediction was Anthony Davis coming to the Celtics after things don't work out in New Orleans. The Truth tended to agree that this could occur. It won't go away. I am convinced Danny Ainge has his eyes on AD. I just know it. Davis is the type of transcendent big man that comes along only occasionally. He is young and he fits the modern NBA game and Ainge's timeline perfectly. And he fits Boston's playing style with perfection.

Jackie wasn't predicting a high-probability happening such as DeMarcus Cousins getting a lot of technical fouls or a ridiculous occurrence like Golden State getting into the draft lottery. Her response fit the question. In other words, tell us something that has a decent level of probability that would be an important event.

If the New Orleans twin-tower experiment does not function as expected, I am sure Anthony Davis does not wish to follow the path of Patrick Ewing. Patrick was big and extremely talented, but he could never latch onto a championship ring. He retired without one. Rajon Rondo already has an injury. Boogie can act up at any time. The Pelicans' record may be lackluster by the trade deadline, and Danny has the assets. Jackie said it and Paul agreed. Pretty informed sources, I would say. Crazy predictions? Maybe not so much.

Paul Pierce photo via Jim Rogash/Getty Images Sport
video via The Jump
Jackie MacMullan photo via Wikipedia


Tom Lane 10/16/2017 12:56:00 PM Edit
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