NBA Scouts Make 16 Surprising Predictions For The Season

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Photo: AP

NBA scouts are prone to bold predictions.This week, Sports Illustrated got unnamed league scouts to write up scouting reports for all 30 teams in the NBA, and they’re great.

One guy ripped poor Kyle Lowry, one said Anthony Davis is going to get hurt, and another wrote a love letter to Ricky Rubio.

We compiled the 16 most surprising predictions before the season gets underway next week.

Ricky Rubio is going to be better than Steve Nash

He's injured now, but the scout absolutely loves him.

He says Rubio is better than Nash defensively already, and his basketball IQ is right up there. All he needs now is to learn how to shoot.

Source: SI

The Thunder are stagnating — they won't win a title in the next two years if they don't make changes

The scout says the Heat and Lakers are continuing to evolve while OKC is sitting on its hands.

He says Kendrick Perkins is getting worse, Serge Ibaka has hit a ceiling, and Kevin Durant isn't going to get all that much better than he is now.

Source: SI

The Clippers won't be a contender because Blake Griffin is still too immature

The scout was pretty harsh on Blake.

He said he doesn't care enough about winning yet, and the Clips will only compete for a title when he makes a commitment to defence.

Source: SI

The Lakers are kill everyone, even the Heat

The scout says they'll be unstoppable on the glass. If they play OKC in the Western Conference finals, he thinks LA will 'kick their butts,' and if they play Miami in the finals, he thinks they'll win because of their size.

Source: SI

Jason Kidd, not Carmelo or Amar'e, is actually the key to the Knicks' success

One scout likes Amar'e Stoudemire to have a bounce-back year because Kidd will get him the ball in good spots.

The scout thinks the Knicks can win the Atlantic division if Kidd stays healthy.

Source: SI

Anthony Davis won't make it through the season if he plays exclusively centre

The scout likes Davis and the Hornets in general, but he says the rookie is too skinny to take a beating at the 5 position over 82 games.

Source: SI

The Golden State Warriors are going to be the league's biggest disappointment

Lots of people love Golden State. This scout doesn't, at all. Here's what he said, 'This is a bad team with an unproven coach and a bad mix of players. All of their players are overrated with the exception maybe of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.'


Source: SI

The 76ers will be worse than they were last year, despite getting Andrew Bynum

One scout says Bynum isn't ready to be the focal point of a team yet.

He also says the team lacks backcourt depth.

The 76ers were the #8 seed last year, so he's predicting that they'll miss the playoffs.

Source: SI

Jeremy Lin isn't going to live up to his contract

The scout says Goran Dragic is better, and Lin will turn the ball over and struggle against pressure.

Still, he thinks Lin will put up numbers because he'll be orchestrating the offence and taking so many shots.

Source: SI

Javale McGee is going to be good this year

The scout says Nuggets coach George Karl is the perfect guy to deal with the notoriously odd McGee.

'McGee's strengths are blocking shots, rebounding and defending. He could be a different-level star if he just concentrated on those things,' he says.

Source: SI

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are going to have zero chemistry problems

Johnson had been 'the guy' in Atlanta. Typically when someone like him is traded to a team with another entrenched star, there is a power struggle.

But one scout says Johnson's laid-back personality is such that he'll fit it perfectly.

Great sign for the Nets.

Source: SI

The Celtics are going to miss Ray Allen in just one area — last-second shots

A lot of people think the Celtics upgraded at the shooting guard position this offseason by signing Jason Terry and Courtney Lee to replace Allen.

But one scout says Boston could struggle in late game situations without him. Ray spaced the floor and had a quick trigger, and the Celtics always went to him in the final seconds.

Source: SI

Kyle Lowry, last year's breakout star, is going to crash down to Earth

Brutal words for Lowry, who is now on the Raptors after playing great in Houston last year, 'Some people really like Kyle Lowry, though I haven't heard too many of his coaches say they really like him. He seems to have a high opinion of himself -- the word is he's very obstinate -- but he is tough and he's been productive.'


Source: SI

The Mavericks are going to make the playoffs

Lots of people are down on Dallas after they didn't get Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki got hurt.

But the scout says they'll make the playoff and lose in the first round.

Source: SI

The Blazers might make a run at the No. 1 pick

The decline of the Blazers came quickly last season, and the scout doesn't think things are going to turn around this year.

He likes LaMarcus Aldridge, but behind him the team is really thin.

Source: SI

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist might be the No. 2-overall pick, but he's destined to be nothing more than a starter

The scout likes the direction of the Bobcats, but he says Kid-Gilchrist isn't a franchise-changing player.

Source: SI

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