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2013 NBA Southeast Division Preview 

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As we continue to plow towards the opening tip of the new NBA season, we take a look at probably the most lopsided division in the league. Obviously the Heat are going to win the division, but don’t be fooled, there is a real darkhorse team to jump on the bandwagon of now.

5. Magic +20000

The Magic made about as few offseason moves as possible for a team with just 20 wins one year ago. They finished behind the Bobcats in this division last year and to improve they replaced Al Harrington with Jason Maxiell. Obviously drafting Victor Oladipo should really help them improve as he could be a stud in the making. However, they have to figure out what to do with Arron Afflalo. They can’t play Oladipo at the point and ruin him this early and they can’t let him sit in favor of Afflalo. Afflalo is still a pretty solid player especially at the weak two guard position, so they could find a trade partner at some point during the year, if they can get some draft picks in return. When you have just 20 wins and finish dead last in your division and make no offseason moves, you approach to the season is clear, they are playing for the draft. If they want to rebuild they need to find their young rising talents; Oladipo, Tobias Harris and big man Nikola Vucevic, as much run together as they can. They need to develop a little chemistry together before they try and land another stud in the draft. If they can do just that, this season will be a success for the Magic. But that +20000 to win this division could not have less value. If they were 1 million to 1 to win this division it wouldn’t be worth putting even just $1 on them.

4. Wizards +1200

The beginning to this Wizards season is going to be fun, because they have some confidence but are not going to be good. Match that with an early schedule including @ Det, @ Miami, vs Brooklyn, @ OKC, @ Dallas, @ SAS, vs Clev, vs Minn, @ Clev, @ Tor, vs NYK, @ Ind. Yes those are all in the first month of the season. Even if you give them both of the games against the 76ers (1 home and 1 away) and one of the other three; vs LAL, @ Mil and vs ATL. That makes for a 3-14 record after the first month of the season. How’s the confidence now? And how are you feeling about those 12-1 odds? Good luck with hoping John Wall will turn into a legit point guard/megastar.

3. Hawks +1400

The Hawks are in a bad place this year. They have enough talent to keep them from a top pick but not enough talent to make any sort of a playoff push. On paper Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford are a pretty solid top three, especially if they can get anything out of Lou Williams coming off of knee surgery. But as it stands right now their starting wing players are Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. If there is a worse duo at those positions I’d like to know who has them beat. You can’t be legit if Kyle Korver is anything more than a three point specialist coming off your bench. But Millsap, Horford and Teague should be enough to win them some games landing them squarely in the middle of this division.

2. Bobcats +20000

I know you think I’m crazy and you have a valid point. But did you know that the Bobcats have made the playoffs this decade? That’s right as bad as the last few years have gone, the Bobcats were the #7 seed in the 2010 playoffs. So while they have to shake some stink, it’s not quite as bad as you think. As for all those Jordan haters, explain to me what’s wrong with this team. Kemba Walker was a stud at college and while you can debate how good he will be in the NBA, he is as smart as they come and is an absolute competitor. At the two guard you have Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon. Gordon can be a bit of a cancer at times, but if he’s your 6th man your second unit can put up some points. As far as Gerald Henderson goes, I find him quite underrated. He is only 25 years old and has the size to guard anyone at his position. Not to mention last season he scored nearly 16 points a night in less than 32 minutes a night. They drafted Cody Zeller, who seems to have some nice moves on the high and low post, and then they signed Al Jefferson who is good for at least 19-9 a night with a couple blocks. Now if they can get #2 overall pick from last year, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to take a step forward in his sophomore season they might be a scary team to play. The Bobcats are a bit thin, so they will need to stay healthy, but with this division, they are prime for a breakout year, so don’t say I didn’t warn you to not be surprised when the Bobcats make the playoffs this year.

1. Heat -10000

On paper this team should be better. They added some depth with the likes of Michael Beasley and Greg Oden (if he can stay healthy). This might be the match made in heaven for Beasley and Oden for that matter but obviously Oden has not shown us that he has the ability to play for any length of time. Ultimately, it comes down to Lebron. How good can he be as the top talents around him start to slide down the latter half of their prime? Can the new additions provide any help? Will any of this matter with Lebron on the team? It certainly won’t as far as this division goes. The freakin Bobcats are going to finish 2nd, the Heat have nothing to worry about. If I were rich I would think long and hard about putting a large sum of money on Miami to win this division.


Monday, October 21, 2013

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