2013-2014 Southeast division
In a division that doesn’t have much questions about who will win. This is more about which team will finish in 2nd and how well will those teams look in the future.
Miami Heat- After winning the NBA title for the 2nd year in a row; The only thing people are wondering about the Miami Heat and the Southeast division is. How many games are they going to win this division by and how fast will they clinch the division title. With the usual cast of characters returning to the team; The Heat look at the off-season signings of Greg Oden and former Miami Heat Michael Beasley to play key roles all throughout the season and during their deep playoff run. With the big 3 possibly coming to an end with them all having the opportunity to opt out of their contracts at seasons end. Heat fans have to be worried about the possibility of the best player in the world LeBron James leaving them once the season is over. But before that happens James and the rest of the entire team look to do something that hasn’t been done since the early 2000s Los Angeles Lakers and that’s 3-peat.
Charlotte Bobcats- Yes, you are reading this correctly; I pick the Charlotte Bobcats to finish 2nd in this division and then ultimately make the playoffs in a very weak eastern conference. Although they have yet another rookie head coach in Steve Clifford, long time NBA assistant head coach recently with the Los Angeles Lakers. Owner Michael Jordan made a key free agent signing this year by bringing in Center Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz. Jefferson gives the Bobcats a much needed paint presence on offense and defense. Along with 4th overall pick Cody Zeller, and number two overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from the 2012 draft, the Bobcats look to finally get their franchise back on track with a crop of young new talent. Third year Point Guard Kemba Walker continues to improve and finally tries to make a name for himself and to become the leader the Bobcats badly need. Along with small role playing veterans and in a weak division and conference look out for the Bobcats to turn some heads and make the playoffs.
Washington Wizards- With John Wall having a brand new contract under his belt, and having most of the same talent as last year; The Washington Wizards are on the verge of being back into the playoffs. The recent trade for Marcin Gortat absolutely helps their chances, but it doesn’t push them over the edge. Too many question marks surround this team going into this season to make them a definite NBA playoff team. While they finish 3rd in the division, they end up missing the playoffs.
Atlanta Hawks- This Atlanta Hawks team seems to be taking a step back from where they have been the past few years. They fired coach Larry Drew this past off-season along with losing arguably their best player this off-season Josh Smith to the Detroit Pistons. While the team still has a top 5 Center Al Horford, they see missing what every great team needs and that’s superstar talent. While the eastern conference is weak; the Hawks have taken a few steps back this year and will end up in 4th in the division.
Orlando Magic- The team that ends up in last place, but possibly the most upside going forward are the Orlando Magic. Going into their 2nd year without superstar Dwight Howard; The Magic franchise look to move forward with rookie Victor Olidapo as the main guy. With Olidapo, this team has a good of quality young players that need to learn the game more before the team can get better. With players like Tobais Harris, Andrew Nicholson, Nikola Vuvecui and others the Orlando Magic end up in 5th and with one of the worst records in the NBA.