Basketball picksOctober 23, 2009

NBA Picks 2009: Southeast Division

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Orlando
2. Atlanta
3. Miami
4. Washington
5. Charlotte
 

ORLANDO
COACH: STAN VAN GUNDY
LAST YEAR: 59-23
BEST ADDITION: G/F VINCE CARTER
BIGGEST LOSS: F HEDO TURKOGLU
 

OUTLOOK:
The Magic is knocking on the door but a lot of changes, which sometimes effect team chemistry. Turkoglu will be sorely missed, but Carter gives them a player capeable of going off for 40 on any given night. They will have 4 new faces on the roster battling for minutes, and it may take this team awhile to get the chemistry down. I think they may be about the same as a year ago, and may take a slight step backward, but can’t argue the talent is still rich enough to make a run if all the pieces fit.

ATLANTA:
COACH: MIKE WOODSON
LAST YEAR: 47-35
BEST ADD: G JAMAL CRAWFORD
BIGGEST LOSS: G SPEEDY CLAXTON
 

OUTLOOK:
The Hawks young team is begiining to gel, and they improved dramatically a year ago, and gained valuable playoff experience in the process. Jamal Crawford is a dynamic add for a team that often struggles on the offensive end, and he could become a potent 6th man providing instant offense off the bench. The Hawks should continue to mature and could top 50 wins this season, and the playoffs are quite likely, even a series win.
 

MIAMI
COACH: ERIC SPOELSTRA
LAST YEAR: 43-39
BEST ADD: G PATRICK BEVERLY
BIGGEST LOSS: F JAMARIO MOON
 

OUTLOOK:
The key for the Heat will be the obvious, keeping Dwayne Wade on the court, and somehow getting Jermaine O’Neal back to his 20ppg 10rpg status. They have good complimentary players, but if those 2 can have big year’s the Heat will be better than the 43 wins of a year ago, and could be at or over 50. Anytime you have a player like Wade that can take over a close game, your gonna win your share. Playoffs likely, but still distance between them and the Eastern heavyweights. 

WASHINGTON
COACH: FLIP SAUNDERS
LAST YEAR:  19-63
BEST ADDITION: G/F MIKE MILLER
BIGGEST LOSS: C/F ETAN THOMAS
 

OUTLOOK:
The Wizards have had all sorts of injury problems to key players, and many feel Gilbert Arenas’ knee will never be the same, and that will remain to be seen this season. Mike Miller will add to this team, and Randy Foye could be a key off the bench. Butler and Jamison are very good players, and the trio needs to stay healthy for this team to get better. I think this team if healthy could win 30 games this year, but the playoffs are a dream right now.

CHARLOTTE
COACH: LARRY BROWN
LAST YEAR: 35-47
BEST ADD: C TYSON CHANDLER
BIGGEST LOSS: C OMEKA OKAFOR
 

OUTLOOK:
Okafor was a good steady player, but seemed to reach his ceiling, and Chandler has a much higher ceiling if coach Brown can get him motivated he will be a definate upgrade. The Bobcats are good defensively, but lack the true firepower to advance to the playoffs at this stage, and another sub-.500 season is in store for Bobcat fans.