2006 Southeast Division Predictions
Welcome to the 2006 Southeast Division NBA Preview from Maddux Sports. The regular season opens up October 31st and now is the time to study up on this years teams. If you regularly wager on the NBA our handicappers for Expert NBA Picks and check out the NBA Spreads page to compare odds and increase your winning percentage this season.
2006 Southeast Division NBA Season Preview
It was all Heat last season and that’s what it looks like for 2006- 2007. But the Southeast Division certainly has the potential to see some internal movement, despite the fact that on paper the power is with Miami.
Pat Riley’s Heat are certainly the hot team for which everyone will be gunning. With Dwayne Wade, Antoine Walker and Shaquille O’Neal back, the NBA champs will be tough to stop. There will be some competition from other divisional powers, such as Detroit, Cleveland and New Jersey. But the fact is that Miami is loaded with starters and backups.
The primary contender to dethrone Miami within the division is the Washington Wizards. Point guard Gilbert Arenas, power forward Antawn Jamison, and small forward Caron Butler comprise one of the best scoring squads in the league. The Wizards have developed a solid team over the past three years but still need a dependable big man and tenacious defense. They’ve worked at developing and upgrading those areas and could make the half-century mark in wins in 2006-2007.
The up-and-coming team is the Orlando Magic. They may show the most improvement over their 36-win season of last year. Like the Wizards, they still haven’t found a center man, and they’ve put a lot of stock in rookie J.J. Redick. This is a young team, still prone to major growing pains. But considering the vast improvement seen during last season, Coach Brian Hill may just motivate these guys into the post-season.
The Atlanta Hawks, another young team, are hoping for a healthy squad. Shooting guard Joe Johnson is the real thing and with some adequate backup could take this club a step closer to the post-season. Free agent point guard Speedy Claxton has been acquired to run the offense, relieving Johnson of that duty. There’s not much depth or size on this team, both of which could prove to be their undoing.
The Charlotte Bobcats, starting their third year as a NBA franchise, possess a lot of young talent. Like the Hawks, the club is short on depth and experience. Gonzaga standout and rookie Adam Morrison should be able to contribute immediately but don’t expect him to turn the team around. With Michael Jordan actively involved in the team, the Bobcats are now focused on developing a team that will have the potential to compete and win every night they take the court. They aren’t there yet, but they’ve got the right attitude and some key ingredients.
This season, the Heat may show their age and leave the door open for the rising Wizards or even the much-improved Magic. In the Southeast Division, up-and-coming teams will force Miami to work hard in order to win.
Projected Order of Finish: Click on the team link for a break down of the basketball team.