2010 NBA Off Season Recap: Southeast Division

This is the division everyone is going to talk about. Can the new look Miami Heat knock off the Magic? Should be some great wars in Florida.

1. Miami Heat

C - Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Joel Anthony, Jamaal Magloire, Dexter Pittman
PF - Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard, Jarvis Varnado
SF - LeBron James, James Jones, DaSean Butler
SG - Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller
PG - Mario Chalmers

South Florida is buzzing. The three real Miami Heat fans are estatic, and the 20,000 new Heat fans have bought jerseys by the drove. Why? Because Juwan Howard and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are in town! Oh, and that guy named LeBron decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. I won't get into the piggybacking debate, I am sure you have read that everywhere by now. The Heat have to be the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference right now. It will be interesting to see how Wade and James play together. Chris Bosh should be a nice third option, but he could become the forgotten NBA superstar. Although he spent his first 7 years mostly out of the playoffs in Canada, so he might be used to that already. The Heat added a plethora of big men and resigned some of their own. They should be good there.  James Jones and Mike Miller provide outside shooting and they should add another point guard in the future.

2. Orlando Magic

C - Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, Daniel Orton
PF - Rashard Lewis, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson
SF - Mickael Pietrus, Quentin Richardson, Stanley Robinson
SG - Vince Carter, JJ Redick
PG - Jameer Nelson, Chris Duhon

The Orlando Magic have not been able to add an impact player this off season, but they continue to gather assets. They resigned JJ Redick, pushing them even further into luxury tax territory. Quentin Richardson takes over for Matt Barnes. He provides more outside shooting. Chris Duhon is a very unspectacular, but solid backup point guard. Other then that it looks like they might go with Rashard Lewis at the stretch four and give Vince Carter one more shot to redeem himself in his home town. Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass return as little used well paid backup big men. I have to think there will still be a trade in the future, as Otis Smith has shown that he's not afraid to make some big moves. Especially with the Heat taking over the division. It also would help if Dwight Howard develops on offense. There is no reason he shouldn't be a 25 ppg scorer by now.

3. Atlanta Hawks

C - Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia
PF - Josh Smith
SF - Marvin Williams, Maurice Evans
SG - Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, Jordan Crawford
PG - Mike Bibby, Jeff Teague

The Atlanta Hawks return pretty much the exact same squad as last year. They resigned Joe Johnson to an insane contract extension. But he has risen the Hawks from mediocrity and delivered them a 50 win season. They really don't have any chance to make it past the second round of the playoffs, if they even get that far. Al Horford continues to become a very solid center, Josh Smith is electrifying at power forward. Jamal Crawford is the best scoring backup in the league, and they added more offense with Jordan Crawford. If Jeff Teague can develop they could be alright because Mike Bibby is nearing the end of his career. The Hawks should still easily make the playoffs, but I can't see them making any noise once they get there.

4. Charlotte Bobcats

C - Nazr Mohammed, DeSagana Diop, Erick Dampier
PF - Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, Eduardo Najera
SF - Gerald Wallace, Dominic McGuire
SG - Stephen Jackson, Gerald Henderson, Matt Carroll
PG - DJ Augustin, Shaun Livingston

The Bobcats finally broke through and made the playoffs last year. Due to Gerald Wallace staying healthy and having an All Star season and the great acquisition of Stephen Jackson, the Bobcats had the best season in their history.  It is hard to see them being any better this year. Their drafting has been absolutely worthless, as high picks Adam Morrison, Sean May and Gerald Henderson have provided next to nothing for the team. Even guys like Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton and DJ Augustin haven't been what they were projected to be. The Bobcats have added their best players with trades, the latest being Tyrus Thomas. He was nice for the Cats and received a nice contract extension. He could be their best big man. This team does have athleticism, especially when you put Wallace, Diaw and Thomas on the court at the same time. This team's undoing will be their lack of any back to the basket big men. Nazr Mohammed has been an average starter for a long time, and somehow DeSagana Diop is still in the league.

5. Washington Wizards

C - JaVale McGee, Hilton Armstrong, Hamady N'diaye
PF - Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlian, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin
SF - Al Thornton
SG - Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young
PG - John Wall, Kirk Hinrich

The bounce of the ping pong balls saved this franchise, bar none. The catastrophic 2009-2010 season caused them to give away three of their starters for next to nothing. If this team would have simply added a player like Al-Farouq Aminu they could have been hopeless for years. Instead they add the most electrifying rookie in the draft and a true face of the franchise. John Wall is a stud bar none, and the Derrick Rose comparisons have already started. He is a special talent and should lead this team for the next decade. Other then that they chose so far to go with what they have. They do have some talent other then Wall. Andray Blatche has attitude problems, but he was a 20-10 guy the last third of the season and there's no reason that can't continue. They added Yi Jianlian on the cheap and have JaVale McGee developing as a shot blocking, offensive rebounding center. And let's not forget Gilbert Arenas is still there. He has hardly played the last three years so he should be fresh. I am of the opinion that he will do just fine as a scoring off guard next to the tall, strong Wall. Kirk Hinrich was a very solid addition as a backup combo guard. The back court is in good hands.

Jonathan Carrano

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