Article of the Week: Extended Scout's Takes

SI.com is two for two. TrueHoop's second article of the week is actually a whole mess of articles that weren't even posted in the last week: the extended online versions of the little capsule "Scout's Takes" from the Sports Illustrated NBA preview issue. There's plenty of meat on the bone here, and it's hard to imagine why they wouldn't put more of this in the magazine--it's far more interesting than the the stuff basketball reporters write in season previews.

You can look up all thirty teams and read long thoughts from anonymous NBA scouts. Here's a sample from the Miami section:

Somebody needs to tell Mourning to stop shooting so much. His finesse and quickness going to the basket is gone and is never coming back. All he has left is his toughness ... You won't see Zo and Shaq together except against big front lines like Detroit's, because then Miami has to play halfcourt offense and that's hurting Wade's effectiveness... Antoine Walker has a big ego, but he also wants to win. He didn't look confident last year because of his poor free-throw shooting; he was taking a lot of jump shots because he didn't want to go to the basket and draw the foul that would send him to the line. He's an excellent rebounder who can create mismatches, and they'll want him to take three-pointers from time to time.... Is Wade a top five player? I rank him ahead of Tracy McGrady but behind Kobe. My only question is his durability -- he plays with a fearlessness that puts him at risk of getting hurt .... The only weak spot is Wade's backup. I don't think Shandon Anderson can cut it anymore ... Udonis Haslem fits in as a starter because he can be effective without touches, and they need someone like that when they're starting Shaq, Wade and Williams ... If they stay healthy, I like them to win the whole thing.

There is a whole bunch more. I recommend reading about your team, and then reading about your team's next opponent, especially if you're going to the game. Even if you disagree with what you read, a few moments' research would make you a much savvier fan than if you rely on what reporters have to say. That's why this part of the SI.com website is TrueHoop's Article of the Week.