Thursday, October 23, 2008

2008-2009 NBA Preview: Southeast Division


1. Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard should only be better, even after a breakout season last year. The Magic have one of the better offensive teams out there with Howard, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jameer Nelson. I really love their starting line-up (add in Michael Pietrus to the other four), especially in the mediocre southeast. The Magic should no doubt dominate this division.

2. Miami Heat
The Heat, yes the Heat will make the playoffs this year. I think this team will turn it around with a healthy Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, and rookie Michael Beasley. We all saw what Wade did in the Olympics and I don't think it's out of the question that he's back to his old-self; he'll bounce back and regain his stardom Marion's been talked about being dealt, but that's only if they continue their woes from last season, which I don't think they will. Beasley should be able to step in right away and provide this team with a key 3rd scoring option.

3. Atlanta Hawks
I think the Hawks' 37 wins from last year is a sign of things to come. Look for the Hawks to be improved. They did lose Josh Childress, but they still have Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Marvin Williams, and Mike Bibby. This is a dangerous team and they give a lot of match-up problems for opponents with their versatile guards and forwards. Look for this team to be a legit threat this year.

4. Washington Wizards
This will be a down year for the Wizards with Gilbert Arenas and now Antwain Jamison out for sometime with injuries. Their loses will be felt drastically. Caron Butler will be their go to guy and he is battling some injury woes as well. Brendan Haywood is likely done for the season, which will be a big load for big men off the bench and DeShawn Stevenson. I am expecting the Wizards to miss the playoffs with all of their injury woes.

5. Charlotte Bobcats
This Bobcat team has shown flashes over the years and has been improving bit by bit. They have the make up of a potential playoff threat team, but it's just a matter of the coaching and roles players and the bench stepping up. If Emeka Okafor can stay healthy I think they could do some damage and move up the southeast standings. Jason Richardson looks primed for a big year and Gerald Wallace is a solid 3rd scorer for this team. Raymond Felton is also a solid PG; this team is fairly young and if they can get through the bulk of the season, watch out.

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