I was having a highly classified discussion with someone recently who had a highly classified conversation with an advance scout. He got a chance to look at all of the stuff that goes into being an advanced scout… including all of the minute details that are logged about every player this person sees.
So I think scouts have a good handle on what's happening in the NBA.
That said… SI has polled 6 of those advance scouts about what they see happening this season. The link has has the heavy detail… so here's the summary:
- The Lakers are the clear favorites out West, with the Spurs close behind. Portland is 3.
- The Celtics and Cavs are in a virtual dead heat in the East, with the C's just slightly ahead.
- All but 1 scout has the Lakers going to the Finals.
- Cleveland / Boston are split evenly with 3 on each side.
- Only 1 scout picked Orlando to go to the Conf. Finals.
- In the Finals, LA got 2 votes, Cleveland got 2 votes, the C's and Spurs got 1 each.
So the scouts seem to be breaking down along the same lines we've been hearing so far: The Lakers are still the easy choice out West. But the Spurs and their very good off-season have closed in on the Lakers and could conceivably go to the Finals or win it all. In the East, the Celtics and Cavs are 1-2 and then everyone else is fighting it out to be next.
And if these guys can't come to a consensus about how it all shakes out… then it's pretty clear that we're in for one hell of a season. Just like I said earlier today: Everyone's looking at the same thing… and they're not coming to the same conclusions.
Let's start this season already.