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[SI] Anonymous scouts dish hot takes on all 30 teams

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by J.R., Oct 10, 2018.

  1. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    https://www.si.com/nba/2018/10/10/nba-scouts-analysis-warriors-lakers-celtics-lebron-james

    As we've learned in years past, anonymous NBA scouts do not hold back when dishing their hottest takes on opposing teams.

    In an effort to field those honest opinions about all 30 NBA teams, The Crossover spoke with scouts from around the league in advance of the 2018–19 season. Their answers, which examine all six divisions, are brutally honest in assessing all things basketball.
     
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    [snippets]

    INDIANA PACERS
    I think they have a legitimate shot to contend in the East. They’re another team that lost to LeBron in 7 games. It was pretty damn close. . . . With Turner, it was the body and now it looks like he’s in really, really good shape. His Instagram has me being believer now.

    CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
    Collin Sexton’s a high-volume shooter, but to me he’s just Monta Ellis. I get why Cleveland selected him, but I think his upside is limited. He’ll be a solid sixth man one day, a decent starter, maybe, but I wouldn’t do it. . . . Sam Dekker might be interesting depending on what his role is.

    MILWAUKEE BUCKS
    Their bigs are not all that good. John Henson’s OK. Thon Maker’s OK. I wonder if Thon will ever get there. He has not come close to meeting the hype that came with picking him No. 10. (@ 'holic)

    DETROIT PISTONS
    Reggie Jackson’s talented as s--t, but he has unrealistic expectations. I just don’t think a guy like that can ever be part of a successful team. Putting him and Stan together was like putting kerosine on a fire. . . . Andre Drummond has to buy in and take basketball seriously. . . . Stanley Johnson needs to become a professional.

    CHICAGO BULLS
    They are very injury prone between Jabari Parker, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. I hope their medical team is good.

    BOSTON CELTICS
    Kyrie is a selfish player, that’s just who he is. He’s more scorer than point guard—not that there’s anything wrong with it. There’s something awesome about having a guy who can go for 50 any night. But with him and Hayward and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, will they be able to share the ball? . . . I just wonder, will Kyrie be able to run the offense the way Brad wants them to run it and will everyone get their touches? It’s not a bad problem to have, but it was a problem in Cleveland. It’s just who Kyrie is. He’s so confident, he’s so dominant, he’s so alpha.

    BROOKLYN NETS
    Trading for Darrell Arthur and Kenneth Faried just adds to a strong mix of veterans and young talent. Faried could play a Clint Capela role putting pressure on the rim—only he’s four inches shorter.

    TORONTO RAPTORS
    Kyle Lowry’s expiration is coming, though. We’re getting to the point where you wonder how much mileage he has left in the tank. It gets tougher and tougher to keep up with conditioning, and obviously he’s not a slim guy. He’s kind of built herky-jerky. You always wonder at what point in guys’ careers, what point are they going to go down? He’s 32 now. You naturally wonder when that’ll happen.

    MIAMI HEAT
    Justise Winslow kind of is who he is, he’ll always be a solid role player, and as he makes more shots from outside it’ll make him more valuable. Look at P.J. Tucker, a guy who defends multiple positions with toughness—that’s kind of Winslow’s ceiling now. He has the body to guard four positions and has started to make threes at a decent clip. He’ll play a lot of power forward so they can get all their guards minutes.

    ORLANDO MAGIC
    Bamba could be like Clint Capela with more offensive upside, rolling and making jump shots. With his wingspan and athleticism, once he gets stronger, those are elite-level tools. He should bring the rim protection they’ve really lacked through the years. Now it’s about getting him reps.
     
  3. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    [snippets]

    LOS ANGELES LAKERS
    I think their best lineup in a playoff game is LeBron, Hart, Kuzma, KCP and Rondo. No Ingram and no Ball. You have a lot of thing to think about with that group. Super modern. All switchable. That closing lineup is better than Cleveland’s last year. If this team was in the East, everyone would say LeBron is going to his ninth straight Finals. In the West, they might not make the playoffs.

    GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
    They’re going to need DeMarcus Cousins in certain series. Clint Capela was able to stay on the floor in the West finals; Cousins would have helped there so they could play big versus big. A team like Golden State would want a center in the Finals against Philly, Boston or Toronto, too. All those teams have size at the five. The Warriors have gotten away with Kevin Durant and Draymond Green playing the big spots but that can be shaky sometimes. . . . If I had to pick between Durant or Stephen Curry to start a franchise right now, I’d take Curry. Durant has the ball in his hands a ton, too, but Steph is a great playmaker, decision-maker and so proven through three championship runs. He’s still underrated right now. . . .  . . . I’m ready to say that both Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be Hall of Famers when they retire. They might not have locked up spots right now, but they’ll be there in a few years even if they don’t win any more titles. Klay is undervalued overall. It’s easy to get bored with how great he is in his role. It doesn’t really matter how well he’d play in another role on a different team because he’s done it all—All-Stars, titles—in his current one. . . . There’s a chance that Cousins screws this whole thing up. Not a great chance. They’ve spent years building their foundation and their stars are high-character guys. Don’t forget: Cousins was off to a good start in New Orleans and it seemed like he was turning a corner personally. They’ll get the best version of him, assuming he’s healthy. The fact that he didn’t get a big payday helps their leverage, too. Cousins knows they won without him and they can help him change his reputation and become a winner. . . . To really match-up with these guys, you’d need a Dream Team. The Warriors Killers team would be LeBron, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Giannis and Anthony Davis. You’d need three or four MVP candidates to really match up with Steph, KD and Draymond. The only way to stop them is to force them to work all-out on the defensive end. You need people who can match their skill and also their energy. . . . There’s no doubt that age is catching up with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, but you still see their impact dramatically in the playoffs. They coast during the season. Their know-how and experience keeps them afloat during slumps. . . . I see Jonas Jerebko as just an emergency guy. He’s nothing special. He’ll get mop up time in blowouts. . . . Quinn Cook did a nice job earning himself a job down the stretch, handling the ball and running some offense when Curry was hurt. Their collective talent really makes life easy for fringe guys, and he took advantage of the great environment. . . . Give Draymond all the credit for his postseason performance. He was a monster. Incredible defensive impact. If you take him away from the Rockets series, they lose. I think he’s going to be viewed as the best modern defensive player of this era when we look back in 10 years. I don’t think it will be close either. . . . I don’t think Durant’s leaving whether they win or lose next year. The speculation is already growing, but that’s such a nice place for a superstar of his caliber. He has a lot to lose by leaving, even if the narrative around him hasn’t been that kind to him. Why mess with a good thing?

    SACRAMENTO KINGS
    Circle these guys as a trade team. They can take on a bad contract or someone else’s mistake and offer some young guys in return. They searched for Rudy Gay and Buddy Hield in the past and I think they’ll try to do that again. They tried to sign Zach LaVine too. I could see them chasing an Andrew Wiggins or a Blake Griffin in a trade.

    PHOENIX SUNS
    The Suns made some win-now moves with Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson and Tyson Chandler, but it’s no guarantee they won’t wind up tanking again. I can absolutely see them trading the guys they just signed. I think the vets have value at the trade deadline. You don’t want to have an older team where there are no young guys to push the veterans. . . . They might try to use Devin Booker like James Harden as a point guard because they couldn’t find a bona fide point guard over the summer. Ariza and Anderson both played with Harden and maybe they envision Booker being able to mimic that. . . . They drafted the wrong guy at No. 1. I would have gone with Luka Dončić. I think there will be a lot of second-guessing on that decision all year. As much as people talk about the modern NBA, some teams are still drafting big guys. It’s really weird. . . . Their track record in drafting over the last five or six years has been rough. Alex Len. Dragan Bender. Marquese Chriss. Could Josh Jackson be headed towards that? He’s still young, still raw enough, you can see flashes. But now he’s coming off the bench. What does he bring to the table? He’s not an offensive guy. . . . I don’t see it with Bender at all. It looks like he’s headed on the path to being a bust. Does he do anything? What’s he good at? . . . Ariza has slipped a little bit but you can still trust him in big moments. Houston was counting on him for certain roles and match-ups. Phoenix won’t have that luxury. They’ll need him for more. That could be a challenge, because you can’t ask him to bump up as a scorer and still be the same defensive player. He’s not a guy who will create for others, but he will run the floor, space the court and defend at an elite level.

    LA CLIPPERS
    With Danilo Gallinari and Patrick Beverley, you just have to assume they’ll miss a bunch of games. If they play 60 games that’s a huge win. This is a really talented and capable roster but totally unreliable. . . . Tobias Harris has a modern game. He can shoot, pass and drive. He still needs to prove he’s a playoff player. He’s a complete offensive player who can play three or four on offense. He’s not really a great defender at the three or four. . . . The Clippers reportedly offered Harris $80 million for five years. I wouldn’t have gone much higher than that. If he won’t take it, let him walk. He’s never proven anything in a winning environment. He’ll get paid by some team that misses out on the players they actually want like Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard. He’s the Carlos Boozer of 2010 when it comes to getting paid next summer. . . . Harrell is a nice change-of-pace guy but I’m not sure how many minutes he can play at his breakneck style. When you extend a guy’s minutes, you get diminishing results. Maybe one night he gives you 30 good minutes, but I don’t see that happening on a consistent basis. . . . They brought back Luc Mbah a Moute because Doc loves him. He’s no-nonsense, hard-worker, who will help you grind out wins and set the tone in the locker room. Smart player. He always plays hard. He’s big for their culture.

    HOUSTON ROCKETS
    I don’t think they win 65 games again. It’s always hard for teams that have those dream seasons to sustain it. Now the main question is the loss of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. It’ll show up in the postseason. Can James Ennis, P.J. Tucker and Gerald Green replace what those guys brought? That will ultimately tell the tale. Those guys didn’t care about scoring, guarded their men and had a proven track record of doing it. . . . I think last season might have been their window. The main guys are getting older. Chris Paul always seems to get injured at the wrong time. I don’t know if we can say they would have won the conference finals—Golden State always seems to make it work with their backs against the wall—but we’ll never know. . . . James Harden is the toughest guy in the league to guard right now because he’s so clever with the ball and can score at every level. Unbelievable finisher, shot creator, passer, he gets to the free throw line 10, 11 times a game. It’s just about sustaining his energy so he can have the same impact in the playoffs, which he hasn’t always had. He has too much on his shoulders, and that might be the only problem with their team. Harden and Paul have to distribute the ball to where other guys can get point-blank looks, they have to get their own points, and they have to do it every single night. That’s why Eric Gordon was a huge factor for them, not just scoring off the bench but being able to close games when they need him. . . . Carmelo Anthony has to be a more efficient shooter, because he’s not going to get the kind of touches he’s had his whole career. He’s going to have to buy in, give them extra effort defensively. I think he’ll be a guy who plays early, but may not play late for defensive reasons. . . . P.J. Tucker will end up with a lot of the late-game power forward minutes. In a team full of offensive-minded guys, he just takes care of all the scrappy, rugged stuff, and when he’s making corner threes, it makes them even better. . . . If Brandon Knight’s healthy, he’ll help them. He can definitely shoot it, he’s hungry because he hasn’t played, and if Paul goes down Knight is a more capable backup than anyone they’ve had. He could take some pressure off for them. . . . Paying Clint Capela $90 million over five years was a smart move. He has more value to their team than any other team, he makes their system flow when he’s running the floor and hitting the seams. He’s so coordinated as a finisher. He’s exactly what they need, and he’s only 24.
     
  4. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
    Chandler Parsons has been a shell of himself since he left Houston. With the microfracture surgery, he’s just never been the same guy. The last couple years he couldn’t move at all.

    OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
    Their roster was broken in last year’s playoffs. I don’t think they would have beaten anybody in the first round last year. Utah was a tough match-up, but the Thunder just weren’t that good. . . . Go ahead and harp on his inefficiency but come on: Russell Westbrook averaged a triple double again last year and, big picture, that’s an historical achievement and it deserved more praise than it got. The knock is always going to be that a lot of guys struggle to play with Westbrook, and there’s truth to that. But it’s a feather in Westbrook’s hat that Paul George decided to play with him instead of LeBron James. . . . Westbrook still overwhelms people and there hasn’t been major slippage. I’m not worried about his knee surgery at all. Much ado about nothing. He’s shown that he can come back and still be the same unbelievable player. . . . I think George and Westbrook will spread their wings together and be more comfortable in their system without Carmelo Anthony there. That trade was big addition by subtraction, and they added Dennis Schroder too. . . . I think they would have won that first round series if they had Andre Roberson healthy. His absence changed their whole defensive identity. Put him and George together, and that’s one of the very best perimeter defense duos in the league. Take him away, and they’re scrambling their lineups and they’re just not as imposing. Roberson would have helped so much against Donovan Mitchell. . . . Steven Adams is underrated. Classic case of a hard-worker playing with stars and not getting tons of offensive looks or making highlight plays. Guy is a solid defensive center, great offensive rebounder, unselfish and team-first. He’s a great partner for Westbrook. He’s a traditional center who can stay on the court against basically any team. Golden State is the only roster that is really equipped to exploit his size consistently. . . . I would use Schroder as a sixth man but make sure he’s out there closing games. You need him to carry their offense during the minutes that Westbrook is off the court, but you also need his downhill attacking in late-game situations to make the offense less predictable. . . . I like Jerami Grant alright. Asking him to be a full-time starter is asking a lot. They just don’t have a great option at the four. Grant brings athleticism and energy to the floor so I can see starting with him, but I don’t love it. . . . Everywhere Patrick Patterson has been, he’s always kind of disappointed. He used to have a better reputation before every team had stretch forwards, but now he’s just another guy. He can’t exploit match-up issues as much as he could a few years ago. He’s just a minute-filler. He can add some shooting and toughness but he’s a journeyman for a reason. . . . There’s no question with Nerlens Noel’s talent. It’s sad that he hasn’t put it together yet. I’m sure they took a chance on him hoping that he can be a good fit with Schroder on the second unit and give them a more versatile five behind Adams. It makes sense on paper, but it’s made sense on paper before.

    PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
    I wouldn’t trade Damian or CJ. Would you rather have Jimmy Butler and his health and attitude questions or have CJ? I’d rather just have CJ and sleep easy at night.

    MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
    To me, Jimmy Butler isn’t a top 10 player. He’s somewhere that 11–20 range. I like that he commits so hard defensively, but he’s very ball-dominant and needs to be the guy on offense. Sharing isn’t his strong suit. You saw how different Minnesota looked without him last year. They barely made the playoffs and they were really disjointed. . . . Remember when people were really comparing Karl-Anthony Towns to Anthony Davis? I’ll take Davis every day and twice on Sunday. . . . Some people say that Towns’s defensive issues are a result of him playing too many minutes. How many minutes do you really want him to play? Come on. He’s young, he’s the franchise guy, No. 1 pick, never been injured, he just signed a max deal. He needs to be on the floor. It’s on Towns to be in better condition. . . . Andrew Wiggins has been so inconsistent and disappointing. He has just got to produce. No excuses. I get why Butler was getting impatient with Towns and Wiggins. Wiggins needs to play harder overall and have more force defensively. . . . I know Gorgui Dieng’s contract isn’t great but they need someone who does what he does. Physical interior defender. He doesn’t overlap with Towns at all. Great character guy. I don’t get why you’re rushing him out the door.

    UTAH JAZZ
    Rudy Gobert can be a tone-setting player against 27 teams. He’s a special talent. We harp on him struggling against Golden State and Houston, but that’s not really fair. He’s an All-Star against 27 teams. The whole league is trying to crack the code on Golden State; it’s not his fault he can’t stop them by himself. He’s the top rim-protector by a mile. . . . Think about this: The Jazz would never trade Mitchell to get Gordon Hayward back in a million years. How crazy does that sound compared to when Hayward left? . . . Dennis Lindsey has done an incredible job. Being a GM in Utah, you work with one hand tied behind your back because of the market. He came from San Antonio and now he’s got Utah in a better position long-term than San Antonio.
     
  5. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    Typical narrative about houston .

    Are we sure these "anonymous scouts" aren't just ESPN beat writers .

    Seriously ... bemoaning the loss of Ariza and Luc and taking about how we are older ... yet no word on how Ennis and MCW might fit . They talk about Carmelo not getting as many shots , but they fail to mention he might come off the bench.

    Yawn .

    We will see what people say after we come storming out of the gate destroying.
     
  6. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I don't think the Rockets win 65 games again either, that is a lot of games.

    The Rockets have a chance to win the championship but they will miss Ariza. He has been a lot of big playoff games and knows where to be and what to do.
     
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  7. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    I have no clue either . I don't think we would win 65 games last year . But Paul was great here , his ability to work with James was fantastic and I can only see their relationship getting stronger .

    Even if Paul / harden miss more games this year due to precaution/ actual injury .... our depth is greater this season . Granted , Luc and Ryan really contributed in the reg season .... hopefully some combo of ennis , Clark , Melo , and MCW + other can make up for it .

    But I think our upside got higher ... and having James and Chris automatically makes your floor really high .
     
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  8. JuNx

    JuNx Contributing Member

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    Can't wait for ppl to stop mentioning the loss of Ariza and Luc like we lost Capela and Harden on Free agency. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. juanm34

    juanm34 Member

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    Love that grizzlies analysis!
    :D
     
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  10. Lawlruschang

    Lawlruschang Member

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    Harden Paul Ariza and Luc all missed significant time. We have more bodies now both as next man up and to limit strain on the heavy lifters to begin with. Another year of chemistry and development of players like Capela. Who is beating us outside of GS or Boston? We probably win about half our games against those two teams so that’s like 3 losses. Where do the other 15 losses come from?
     
  11. Lawlruschang

    Lawlruschang Member

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    We will challenge the warriors’ record of 24 straight wins to start a season.
     
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  12. Richie_Rich

    Richie_Rich Member

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    Anyone who paid attention knows Luc was a complete non-factor in the postseason (due to injury recovery). Love the guy, but it's the truth.

    Meanwhile, more excuses are made for OKC getting exposed yet again... "tripol dubbol tho!!!"

    These so-called anon scouts really just sound like SI interns regurgitating the BSPN script.

    You just have to laugh.
     
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  13. xaos

    xaos Member
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    These scouts aren't really insightful
     
  14. oelman44

    oelman44 Member

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    Don't understand saying Winslow's best case scenario is PJ Tucker... he isn't at PJ's level of defense or scrappiness, but seems like he has the potential to be a much more useful overall offensive player, particularly in transition.
     
  15. mdoggnic

    mdoggnic Contributing Member

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    Carmelo might not get as many shots but I believe he will be a more efficient scorer because of the higher wuality shots he will be taking.
     
  16. varughese.arun

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    Half these people that make such a big deal of losing Luc B. didn't even know we picked him up at the start of last season. They DEFINITELY don't remember Luc B sucking it up in the playoffs last year Didn't perform half as well as he did in the reg season.

    Trev Ariza... Im glad the rockets didnt spend money on him during his down curve.
     
  17. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Contributing Member

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    Scouts are scouts. They're not coaches or GMs. A lot of them are knuckleheads who misjudge players just as much as your average message board poster.
     
  18. RayRay10

    RayRay10 Houstonian
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    Curry is "still underrated?"

    By who?
     
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  19. forchette49

    forchette49 Contributing Member

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    Just like Game 7...
     
  20. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    Horrible analysis, no way this comes from a scout.
     
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