Southeast division is the most intriguing and the most exciting division in the Eastern conference in the NBA today. Let’s look at the teams on this division and go through all the recent acquisitions and team previews.
Ethan Thomas and Josh Powell
Evan Brock, Jordan Crawford, Richard Delk, Ricardo Marsh and Pape Sy
Atlanta made a significant move during free agency and that is signing Joe Johnson to a multi million deal worth $119 million in a 6 year term. I don’t know if Johnson was worth above the hundred marked, but Atlanta had a good core group that taking away one vital player could drag their team back to square one. Josh Powell is a good pick up for the Hawks giving them consistency in offense and defense serving as a backup to Josh Smith with limited minutes. The Hawks is a definite playoff contender with Smith, Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford and Al Horford. What’s scary about the Hawks is they are still such a young team and the potential is limitless. One controversy is that Jamal Crawford is threatening if Atlanta doesn’t offer him a contract extension. This could very well disrupt the Hawks training camp but no one can blame Crawford for that. It’s hard to be put on a weird situation. Hopefully everything gets ironed out.
Matt Carroll, Kwame Brown, Shaun Livingston, Dominic Mcguire, Darius Miles and Eduardo Najera
Sherron Collins and Matt Rogers
I don’t know about second chances but Michael Jordan believes everybody deserves a shot at it. He signed Kwame Brown after drafting him on his rookie year and turned out to be a bust. He signed Shaun Livingston and Darius Miles who went through serious of injuries that almost ruined their careers. The Bobcats wanted to go way below the luxury tax limit and decided not to re-sign key players Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler. Dominic Mcguire will be a good contributor this season because of his athleticism and hard work. This season would be a bigger challenge for Larry Brown and a chance for redemption for Michael. The Bobcats went number 7 in the East and I’m not surprise they can duplicate it this season.
Eddie House, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mike Miller, Chris Bosh and Lebron James
Patrick Beverley, Da’Sean Butler, Mickell Gladness, Anthony Mason Jr. and Dexter Pittman
Coach Eric Spoelstra would be delighted to see two superstars going at each other in practice with Lebron James and Dwayne Wade because it sets the tone in training camp. Everybody is pushing their selves to be the best. And with three superstars in one roster they will have to carry a bigger pressure to perform day in and day out. They have one goal in mind and that is to win a championship… They got a veteran center in Ilgauskas and signed two shooters in Eddie House and Mike Miller to open up the Heat’s offense. All eyes are now set in Miami… It’s still premature to say they will win the Larry O’ Brien cup but they definitely are the favorites.
Malik Allen, Quentin Richardson and Chris Duhon
Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson
The best thing Orlando made last summer was not to jump on to the bandwagon. There are a number of quality players in the free agency but they don’t really need to boost their already strong lineup. Signing Chris Duhon was their priority providing a solid backup to Jameer Nelson.
Orlando is using Rashard Lewis in training camp as small forward making Marcin Gortat or Brandon Bass as power forwards with Dwight Howard at center. This could make the Magic a bigger and more physical team. A move they could use whenever they play physical teams like Boston and the Lakers. Orlando is still one of the teams to beat in the Eastern conference.
Hilton Armstrong, Mardy Collins, Kirk Hinrich, Lester Hudson, Jianlian Yi, Sean Marks and Adam Morrison
John Wall, Trevor Booker, Hamady N’diaye, Kevin Palmer and Kevin Seraphin
The Wizards got only 26 wins last season and got a consolation by winning the lottery draft and drafted John Wall as first overall pick. Gilbert Arenas’s $80 million contract makes it hard to trade him but the Wizards made a good move in signing Kirk Hinrich who could provide them the defense and veteran leadership. Josh Howard who came from an ACL injury seems like he is recovering pretty well and with Athletic big men the Wizards are going to run and gun this time.