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Predicting the Southeast

Next up in my quick preview series is the Southeast Division. Last year they sent three teams to the playoffs. I don't expect the same this season. My quick take after the jump.

1. Orlando (57-25) - The Magic are thin in the backcourt, thick up front. I'm not sure they can survive another injury to Jameer Nelson, luckily, the shoulder injury he suffered shouldn't turn into a chronic problem. On paper, Vince Carter for Hedo is an upgrade for them. In reality, I don't like it. They traded away a ton of depth to get VC, and I think it'll cost them a game or two. If they were smart, they'd go with a twin towers lineup for stretches this year: Howard, Gortat, Lewis, VC, Jameer.

2. Atlanta (43-39) - All the key players are back, Jamal Crawford steps into the Flip Murray role. Joe Smith adds a veteran presence up front. If they can get another solid season out of Mike Bibby they should be fine, probably stay about even and finish with the #5 seed in the East.

3. Miami (38-44) - I'm not sure Beasley is the answer at the three, and losing Jamario Moon will probably hurt more than you'd think. Wade is not to be trifled with, but a slow start could mean a mailed in second half by Wade.

4. Charlotte (38-44) - Okafor for Chandler, probably not a good trade, especially for an offensively challenged team. Felton is back, so there's a still a bit of a logjam at the point. Gerald Henderson isn't exactly what I'd call an exciting addition either. Larry Brown gets them close to the playoffs, but they just miss...again.

5. Washington (27-55) - All signs point to Gilbert being back (or at least all hype points to it), let's just say that I'm a bit skeptical. Even if Arenas is back at near 100%, I just don't think Washington is very good. They overachieved under Eddie Jordan, and I don't see Flip getting that kind of effort out of them this season. Mike Miller was a nice player in Memphis, a zero in Minnesota last year, and another injury risk added into the mix. Foye has been tragically unproductive his entire career.

Thoughts and your predictions in the comments.
by Brian on Sep 25 2009
Tags: Basketball | Predictions | Sixers | Southeast Division |