2019-2020 NBA Preview and Predictions – Southeast Division

NBA Southeast Division

Last season, the Southeast Division was the least competitive in the NBA.  Only the Orlando Magic made the Playoffs, making the Southeast the only Division in the NBA with only 1 Playoff team.  The Magic were actually the only team in the Division above .500.  The 2019-2020 campaign looks to be close to the same, as none of the teams appear to have improved much, if at all.  Either way, this is what we have to look forward to.

Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets also had a surprising season last year, finishing 39-43 and missing the Playoffs by just 2 games.  But this offseason was a rough one, losing their 2nd leading scorer in Jeremy Lamb and All-NBA’er Kemba Walker.  Their only offseason acquisition was Terry Rozier, who is very talented but also very unproven.  This young team may have a bright future, but for now, I see them finishing in last.

Washington Wizards
The 2019-2020 Wizards will look basically nothing like they did in 2018-2019.  They lost 5 players that scored double digits per game last season.  5!  Trevor Ariza, Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, Jeff Green, & Dwight Howard.  And star John Wall won’t be back until February, if at all.  That’s almost 90 points per game they’re missing.  Bradley Beal is one of the better players in the NBA, but this roster is depleted.  They look destined to be a lottery team.

Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks were very busy this offseason, which was needed coming off a 53 loss season.  They traded for Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, Chandler Parsons, and Damian Jones; signed Jabari Parker as a free agent; and landed Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter in the Draft.  Combine that with potential stars Trae Young and John Collins, this could make the Hawks a very dangerous team in a couple years.  I don’t think they’ll be quite ready this year, but I could see them sneaking into the Playoff race.

Miami Heat
The Heat had a surprising season last year, finishing 39-43 and missing the Playoffs by just 2 games.  They did lose 3 of their top 5 scorers from last season (Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson, & Hassan Whiteside), but added star Jimmy Butler via free agency.  He averaged 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists last season, and is one of the best defenders in the NBA.  His presence should make this team better on both ends of the court.  They should be contending for the Division and making the Playoffs.

Orlando Magic
The Magic won the Southeast Division last season (with a 42-40 record), losing to the eventual Champion Toronto Raptors in the 1st Round of the Playoffs.  With all the player movement in the NBA this offseason, they bring back largely the same roster as last season.  Their top 6 scorers are back, and they also added veteran Al-Farouq Aminu.  I see Nikola Vučević and company being about the same this season.

With none of the teams making big strides, I think the safest pick will be to just stick with the Magic.  Same team as last year, which will be just good enough.  Southeast Division Winner – Orlando Magic.

Now, tell me what you think!!!

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