2008-2009 NBA Southeast Division Preview
2008 Southeast Division preview from the Maddux Sports experts. Before you leave grab unbeatable nba picks from our NBA handicappers.
The NBA Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division features three clubs that could certainly be in the playoffs after the 2008- 2009 regular season. The Orlando Magic may be the best team in the division. The Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks both show potential. The Washington Wizards will most likely watch the post-season on TV and the Charlotte Bobcats will probably do the same.
The Magic are led by center Dwight Howard. Howard is simply one of the best players in the league, capable of notching a double-double any night. Jameer Nelson, who like Howard is in his fourth NBA season, has excellent court vision and a fine shooting hand. Coach Stan Van Gundy, now in his second year with the team, coached the Miami Heat for three years. He knows his stuff.
Perhaps the best thing the Miami Heat did last season was to cut Shaquille O’Neal loose. They still have some great star power, including Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem. Wade can do just about anything he wants on the court while Marion offers sound rebounding and a good shot. Erik Spoelstra, in his first year as a coach, will try to manage the wealth of talent on this team.
Atlanta’s shooting guard Joe Jefferson can certainly hit from outside. Center Al Horford is a good defender who can shoot from inside and power forward Josh Smith has some fine tools on offense and defense. In his fifth year as an NBA coach and with the Hawks, head coach Mike Woodson has brought this team along slowly over the past half-decade.
The Wizards and Bobcats look to bring up the rear of the Southeast Division. Washington will rely on power forward Antawn Jamison, a ten-year vet, to lead the club. Jamison is a solid player, but he can’t carry a team, which means that the Wizards will find it difficult to win enough games to get into the playoffs. Rookie head coach Ed Tapscott may not win 20 games this season.
The Charlotte Bobcats, who will be coached this year by 25-year veteran Larry Brown, still need some major components. Center Emeka Okafor is a work-in-progress. Still, he’s capable of a double-double at any time. Point guard Raymond Felton can pass and shoot. This is a young team that possesses some talent. The team’s bench is thin.
2008 NBA Southeast Division Predictions
Projected Order of Finish: Click on team name for individual in-depth team outlook.