What they got right: They avoided the overreaction-fest and avoided ranking the Heat first. Instead, the Heat are the fourth highest rated team, which seems about right. Yes, they have three great players, but they also filled out their roster with second round draft picks, cheap leftovers, and Udonis Haslem. It will be interesting to watch and see how it works, but to assume that that trio immediately formed the best team in the league is folly. And hey, LeBron this much really isn’t about race.
What they got wrong: Joe Johnson is not only rated higher than Dirk Nowitski, but he’s significantly higher. This is mostly about Dirk being underrated continually by this gaming series. He doesn’t have the inside game typical of a Power Forward, but he can actually play in there, and he should be considered one of the top ten players in the league for now. What’s curious is the 5 point jump Joe Johnson received-he went from an 83 last year to an 88 overall this year even though he’s been basically the exact same player for five years. I’d need to see the overall breakdown to figure out just how accurate this might be. Based on pure skills, JJ has the abilities that translate really well to video games, but his constant overusage in Atlanta actually marginalizes him to an extent.
What they got right: Josh Smith got his ratings jump. In truth, his skillset has changed not one iota from last year, he’s just coming off a healthier year where he played mostly smarter (until the playoffs started). By rating, he’s the fifth best starting PF-tied with Dirk Nowitski, but I’ve already addressed that problem. If ever there was a player made for video games, it’s Josh Smith.
What they got wrong: The Hawks are underrated as a team. They’re clearly not elite, but they’re top ten in the league. Al Horford is not as highly rated as he ought to be, Marvin Williams is being treated a bit unfairly, and I’m just not that high on the Jazz. The unfortunate thing is that the Hawks are still much closer to being average than being great, and I can’t even make an argument otherwise.