Here's How You Know These Aren't Your Father's Celtics And Lakers

At 19-37, only the Sixers, Bucks and Magic are worse than the Celtics in the East. Things are actually worse for the 19-36 Lakers who, thanks to Sacramento, can at least say they are not the worst team in the West. Mike D'Antoni has used sixed different starting point guards and 28 different starting lineups. The Celtics are 2-10 in games Rajon Rando has played in since returning. The Bird and Magic of being shitty have a combined 13 wins since Christmas. There is no reason anyone should have watched the Lakers comeback win last night. Which is why Bill Simmons called color for CSN New England.

Simmons served as color man alongside Mike Gorman because Tommy Heinsohn only calls Celtics home games nowadays. On the road, the analyst role has been filled by a revolving door of Dave Cowens, Chris Herren, Danny Ainge, Cedric Maxwell, Jackie MacMullan, P.J. Carlesimo and others. Last night, Simmons was one of those others. Despite his role as a studio-whatever with ESPN, it had the feel of stunt casting. Celtics-Lakers itself can't get people to care, so maybe Super Homer Simmons can entertain them.

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That's how far the rivalry is from its heyday. If these teams were even half-decent, an actual color commentator would have called the game and set the bar at least a little higher than a bunch of Sully jokes as feigned self-awareness. It's not a criticism of Simmons to say this; he could have been amazing and it would still have been a sign of the times. CSN recognized this and figured out that it didn't matter whether Simmons would be great or terrible: the Lakers and Celtics are so god-awful, who cares if the broadcast might be bad because of him? The game will be worse because it's meaningless.