2007 NBA Southeast Division Preview
2007 Southeast Division preview from the Maddux Sports experts. In addition to the free seasonal outlooks we provide, Maddux offers NBA predictions against the NBA pointspread throughout the hoops season.
With the Miami Heat cooling down, the Washington Wizards being the ultimate whiz kids at scoring and the Orlando Magic possibly having added a lucky charm to their squad, the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division is in flux.
The Heat exited quickly in last year’s playoffs, offering a pitiful defense of their 2005- 2006 crown. Coach and Heat president Pat Riley is determined that his club will play with drive, passion and verve. That will certainly help. But staying healthy will also be important in getting Miami back in the hunt.
Since the 2003- 2004 season, the Washington Wizards have been the highest scoring team in the conference. They’ve also had the most porous defense. Gilbert Arenas is a true superstar on the offensive end of the court. The club requires some major “D” to get through the post-season maze. Still, Washington has a solid group of veterans and youth.
The lights out shooting of forward Dwight Howard lead the Orlando Magic. The team has added a new weapon with the arrival of veteran All-Star Rashard Lewis, formerly of Seattle. Lewis should help free the often double-teamed Howard from opponent’s smothering defenses, creating quality-scoring opportunities for both.
Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats have a new look with Sam Vincent as the clubs’ new coach and Rod Higgins as the new GM. Both are former teammates of Jordan. Look for Charlotte, starting their fourth NBA season, to play a more up-tempo game in 2007- 2008. Former Golden State guard Jason Richardson joins the team and will become a major scorer in the conference. The Cats sport seven guys who averaged double figures in point production last season.
The Atlanta Hawks are also improved over last season. Can they end their eight-year hiatus from the post-season (the longest in the NBA)? The good news is that the Hawks now possess some of the finest young talent in the league. This should be an exciting team to watch.
Like much of the Eastern Conference, the Southeast Division is filled with former also-ran teams coming into their own. This is a tough one to predict. Let’s face it, Miami could finish anywhere and the Wizards, depending upon the injury status of some of their starters, are either in first or fourth.
2007 NBA Southeast Division Predictions
Projected Order of Finish: Click on team name for individual in-depth team outlook.