Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010-2011 NBA Preview - Southeast Division

Miami Heat
Wade, Bosh and 'Bron are all adjusting to brand new roles and I don't think the Heat will hit their stride until Thanksgiving. Bosh's transition should be the easiest, all he has to do is accept that 3rd fiddle. Wade's is really quite simple as well; cyclone on both ends of the court/primary scorer. Just has accept that, naturally, he's getting fewer shots. The King's transition, however, is a tough one. He's not the first-last-and-only scoring option anymore. He has to take the Magic role. That's not to say he should waste his scoring ability trying to mimic Magic's game - which he probably could do, if he so chose. But he does have to primarily be the point guard/facilitator. Once all three are acclimated to their new settings, they will be a scary team.

This might be overly idealistic. Or maybe completely wrong. Or both. Or neither. One thing I know for sure is that all these career role players are going to look better than they ever have, and the Heat will finish with the best record in the conference (barring major injury, of course). Final Prediction: 62-20

Orlando Magic
As I wrote before, I would LOVE if the Magic went after both Agent 9 and AI9. Not because I want to see Orlando do well (I don't) but because it'd be a great team to watch, and a worthy adversary for the Lakers at that. Oh right, the real team... Dwight Howard is great, the play great defense, the make a bunch of threes they win a lot of games. The End. Final Prediction: 60-22

Atlanta Hawks
This is one team I'll give a tiny bit more credit to than I originally planned to before the season started. This team outgrew Mike Woodson (if only they had a point guard - imagine Chris Paul in Atlanta with Josh Smith and Joe Johnson. David Stern's bad karma with the basketball gods has to be at fault.) and are now playing much better basketball. They still need a point guard to really matter... I think.. right? Final Prediction: 54-28

Charlotte Bobcats
I thought of a nice trade for Jordan to pull: Boris Diaw and Shaun Livingston for Baron Davis. Sterling cuts cost and cures (the Clippers') cancer in one fell swoop. But most importantly, Shaun Livingston walking again (let alone in Clippers jersey) would possibly scare of the demonic curse that has been placed on the franchise by Satan himself, Donald Sterling. And the Bobcats get a great scorer to help an aging Stephen Jackson, making them even better than before. Oh right, real team again... I don't trust DJ Augustin but even if he is good, and even a slight improvement over Ray Felton, Jackson is still getting older. Gerald Wallace still plays like he's trying to break his neck. Their second best (after Wallace) frontcourt player is still Tyrus Thomas. Final Prediction: 40-42

Washington Bullets
ALL HAIL JOHN WALL. The kid is still everything I expected. Which was:

Take some Rajon Rondo and some Dwyane Wade, and sprinkle in a little Kevin Durant, and you get John Wall. The Rookie of the Year Award is his to lose to injury, as is a surefire hall of fame career.

(I love jinxing my players.)

And Wall still very much looks like a rookie; he's gonna be incredible by the new year. Problem is, he's not the Chris Paul-type so he can't be expected to necessarily have that level of an immediate impact. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee make up the most talented frontcourt in the NBA. It's really not close at all. But there has never been a softer set of players (together they're averaging an embarrassing 11 rebounds per, DEAR GOD). Blatche manages to have the shot selection of a 6'11" Kobe while McGee plays like the tin man. I love Al Thornton, though, and I'm a fan of Cartier Martin. And did I mention JOHN WALL? Final Prediction: 39-43

I just had a sick thought, though... what if this Arenas ankle issue is a sign that Arenas is, in some capacity, actively sabotaging the season. Like I've stated, I wish him all the best, but if his best is elsewhere then he's gotta go there.

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