Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Further Evidence to Suggest that ESPN is The Worst

Today, ESPN.com came out with their predictions for the Eastern Conference next year. The Whole 42 Minutes staff will surely do an NBA season preview (much like we did with the MLB, and like we're about to do pretty soon with the NFL), so I won't make any big statements just yet, but these rankings are biggity balls terrible. The Worldwide Leader has no idea about basketball. DISCLAIMER: I know that Stephen A. Smith wasn't part of the "team" at ESPN who made these predictions, but ESPN is still responsible for this guy's overall penisity.

http://cache.deadspin.com/assets/images/11/2006/10/medium_stephenaagainyeah.jpg
                     WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A JOE JOHNSON, A DERON WILLIAMS, A BROOK LOPEZ



They have the Heat getting the first seed, which is almost too obvious to say. If you don't get that one, you're brain dead. The rest of the rankings is where ESPN goes horribly awry.

They predict that the Celtics will be the second-best team in the East. The Celtics lost Ray Allen and picked up Jason Terry, fine. They also signed Jeff Green to too much money, and they drafted undersized and injury-prone Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo's dumb ass (no disrespect). They are not gonna be as good as they were last year, when they were the fourth seed. Weird. By the way, they're definitely winning the championship.

The next odd prediction is having the Brooklyn Nets at the fifth seed. They picked up Joe Johnson and all of a sudden they go from a .333 winning percentage to a .561? Here's an unpopular opinion: Joe Johnson is not that good. He used to be very very good, but was always a bit overrated, and is on the wrong side of his prime. The brightest spot for the Nets last year was the development of surprising rookie (and Providence College grad chirp chirp) MarShon Brooks, who plays the same position and same role as Joe Johnson. This is like when Memphis signed Allen Iverson even though they had Mike Conley waiting in the wings. Sure he might be better for a year or two, but you're delaying his development. Joe Johnson does not make the Nets that much better, and there's no way they're a shoe-in for the playoffs. Not even close.

Another egregious mistake, at least in my opinion, is having the 76ers at the sixth seed in the East. They did lose their best player (Iguodala), but they got a much better player in Bynum. They'll miss Iguodala, but it won't be so bad. They have a lot of guys who can do what Iguodala did (in fact, that's their whole team), plus a healthy Spencer Hawes coming off the bench makes them one of the best teams up front. I see them taking the biggest step forward this year, with their young guys like Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen, Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday getting a year of experience and a short playoff run under their belts. And now they have the best center in the East by far. Putting them behind the Nets doesn't make any sense to me.

Another team that improved is the Knicks even with the departure of Jeremy Lin (who is one of the most overrated players in the NBA if not the most overrated). Having them as the 7th seed doesn't make sense. And the way the Bulls handle Derrick Rose's injury remains to be seen, but having them 4th in the East just doesn't seem right. These rankings are terrible, and they just show that ESPN doesn't think. They're a hype machine that doesn't use real analysis to evaluate talent. These rankings are a GD J.

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