2013 NBA Preview: Southeast Division

Continuing with our NBA Preview, we will now look at the Southeast Division of the East Conference. This division is home to the defending champions, the Miami Heat, the consistent Atlanta Hawks, and the exciting Wizards.

1. Miami Heat

What we like:

Well they’ve got Lebron James. The King. Also, apparently known as “The L-Train” and the “Akron Hammer” according to google. Who knew? But seriously, having the best player in the league goes a long way in the NBA, and Lebron James has had Miami celebrating in June the past two years. The Heat still have a surplus of talent around James and managed to win the title last spring in spite of the fact that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both were slumping throughout the playoffs. Sugar Ray Allen is still one of the best big time shooters in the Association. Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, and Norris Cole are reliable. And I once saw Erik Spoelstra at the Barnes and Nobles in downtown Philly. He’s a pretty good coach too. Michael Beasley could be a big add for Miami. The addition of Oden could improve the Heat too, if he magically stays healthy. And let us not forget that this team won 27 games in a row last year.

What we don’t:

Outside of Lebron, Miami’s core seemed to be wilting at times last season. Wade’s health is a concern, and he struggled mightily in the playoffs. His best years are behind him. Ray has only so many big shots left in him. And Chris Bosh…he was invisible in the playoffs last year. Seems like they might need to ask a lot of Michael Beasley and Greg Oden. And who the heck trusts Michael Beasley and/or Greg Oden??? If the year passes without Beasley opening up a medical marijuana shop in his hometown of D.C or Oden’s knees spontaneously combusting, it’ll be a miracle.

Our call:

A threepeat isn’t out of the question here. The Heat have earned the right to enter the season as favorites, but they will have a tough road to win their fourth straight conference title in the top-heavy East. The Nets spent the off-season taking all of the Celtics’ best players, Derrick Rose is preparing for his grand return, and the Pacers have an unfair amalgamation of talented stars entering the primes of their careers. But, again, Lebron James is, well, Lebron James. So don’t rule a Heat title out.

This guy's name is Lebron James. You might have heard of him.

This guy’s name is Lebron James. You might have heard of him.

2. Atlanta Hawks

What we like:

Up front, the Hawks should be tough. They signed Paul Millsap in the off-season to join with Al Horford. They also signed the still serviceable Elton Brand and resigned Kyle Korver, which was big. Korver is still an incredibly consistent gunner and floor spacer. The biggest reason to be excited about ATL might be the progress of guard Jeff Teague, who has quietly become a fantastic point. The former Demon Deacon scores and distributes very well. He hopefully will be joined in the backcourt by a healthy Louis Williams.

What we don’t:

J-Smoove is gone, and the Hawks will miss Smith’s versatility and fantastic defense. They also won’t be that deep, unless you consider guys like John Jenkins and Gustavo Ayon (who is injured at the moment) depth. They will need to get a lot from Demarre Carroll.

Our call:

Death, taxes, and 40-50 wins from the Hawks, right? There’s a new head coach in Atlanta, Mike Budenholzer, and some new faces, but the Hawks should get to at least 40 wins and make the playoffs.

Jeff Teague is a steady leader for the Hawks.

Jeff Teague is a steady leader for the Hawks.

3. Washington Wizards

What we like:

The Wizards could finally be good! We’re not kidding. The youthful backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal will be a year older and a year better. Wall had the best season of his career last year, shooting better and lowering his turnover totals. The Wizards drafted Otto Porter Jr., a big, gifted wing who can score in a lot of ways and plays good defense. The Wiz also have two solid post guys in Marcin Gortat and Nene, which is a luxury. Martell Webster is back and the Wizards added Al Harrington, who is good when he is healthy and in shape.

What we don’t:

If the young guys don’t improve the team probably won’t and the Wizards will need to get production from Porter. There also has to be concerns about injuries–Wall, Beal, Harrington and Nene all missed a lot of time last year.

Our call:

It’s been a long time coming, but the Wizards have the talent to finally make a playoffs. If they stay healthy they should see serious improvement offensively and in the win total.

John Wall and the Wizards seem poised to take a big step forward.

John Wall and the Wizards seem poised to take a big step forward.

4. Orlando Magic

What we like:

VICTOR OLADIPO. The Magic drafted the outrageously athletic guard out of Indiana with the second pick of the NBA Draft. Oladipo does it all. He is a terrific, unselfish offensive player who can score in variety of ways. He’s also tenacious defensively. Oladipo has awesome potential and improved by leaps and bounds in three years at Indiana. He’s got a bright future. The Magic also have a solid guard in Arron Afflalo and wing Tobias Harris looked great in 27 games with Orlando last season (he averaged 17.3 PPG and 8.5 RPG during that stretch). Also, 23-year-old center Nikola Vucevic exploded last year (13.1 PPG and 11.9 RPG).

What we don’t:

They simply don’t have enough good players. The Magic lack a go-to scorer, a reliable point guard, or much of a bench. They honestly don’t have a single player who would start on Brooklyn or Indiana.

Our call:

Unless Oladipo comes in and plays like MJ (whom he has overzealously been compared to) the Magic probably will have to settle for the lottery again.

The Magic are hoping Victor Oladipo will have a monster rookie season.

The Magic are hoping Victor Oladipo will have a monster rookie season.

5. Charlotte Bobcats

What we like:

Dat frontcourt. The Bobcats signed Big Al Jefferson and drafted Cody Zeller (or, as Dick Vitale calls him, MISTAAA ZELLAHHH) with the fourth pick in the draft to create what should be a pretty great frontcourt…offensively at least. Zeller is quite skilled and incredibly athletic. Jefferson is a proven scorer. Beyond the bigs, the Bobcats do still have Kemba Walker, who…well…scores a lot. Gerald Henderson scores too, but doesn’t do much else. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will hopefully improve following his rookie season too.

What we don’t:

They were so, so, SO bad defensively last year. That probably won’t change that much, even with a new coach in town (Steve Clifford). They just don’t have good defensive players. Walker is fun to watch but he probably wouldn’t start on a better team–he’s just so inefficient. What we dislike most about Charlotte is probably the simple fact that they’re the Charlotte Bobcats. They’ve won 28 games the last two seasons.

Our call:

New coach, same results. Expect the Bobcats to lose often and lose big. As usual.

Few logos in pro sports inspire as much fear in opponents as this one.

Few logos in pro sports inspire as much fear in opponents as this one.

Clearly the Heat are the class of the Southeast Division today, but, in a couple of years, who knows? The Wizards, Magic, and even the (gulp) Bobcats could be headed for better things.  For now, the Heat will probably be the only team from this division seriously chasing a title.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under NBA

2 responses to “2013 NBA Preview: Southeast Division

  1. Those first well functional electromechanical slot vehicle was invented by Bally in ’64.

    But really are we but also looking preceding it an little an amount?

  2. BYU got a large check from Texas, who waas simply considered
    fortunate to access the NCAA competition. This state is blessxed with spots which might be best to examine during these months.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s