Getting real: NBA Southeast Division preview

If you've somehow missed all the NBA previews--or are simply jonesin' for more--top bloggers helped We Rite Goode boil the season down to a few catchy soundbites that can be used to impress at cocktail parties or keggers. After you've read our methodology here, take a spin with stars like Gil, Dwyane, and Dwight.

1. Orlando Magic (Formerly The Orlando Tragic)
Black and Blue Jor, The Howeva Files

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: I forsee good things, like winning the Southeast Conference with a 48-34 record. Yes, really.

Reasoning for above: The Magic did something unheard of in their crappy non-existent history: they actually retained a superstar. Not only did they resign Dwight Howard, they somehow managed to pry another star in Rashard Lewis from the Sonics and retained all of their other key players. Yes, Darko and Grant Hill, I said KEY players...not a chronically injured sub and a backup power forward. Couple that with a possible emergence of Jameer Nelson and you have the makings of a very solid team. By solid, I mean they are still something the Western Conference wipes their asses with, but solid nonetheless.

2. Washington Wizards
JakeTheSnake, Bullets Forever

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Struggle out of the gates but then pick up steam, play marginally better defense and end up playing just above .500 ball for the season putting them somewhere between 4th and 8th in the conference.

Reasoning: If the preseason has been any indication (which it probably hasn't) Gilbert is still trying to get into a rhythm and the team will have to feel things out while adjusting to not having Etan Thomas' presence inside. After struggling throughout November and into December, Agent Zero will catch fire get the Wizards back in the hunt but won't have enough to get them into the elite in the East. All in all the Wizards will end up being better than last year's version but the improvement in the conference keeps the Wizards will keep that improvement from paying dividends in the win-loss column.

3. Miami Heat
Ben Go
, Thank You Isiah
[Editor's note: This was written pre-Ricky Davis/Antoine Walker trade.]
Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Possibly go .500 and sneak into the 8th spot. (The improved Orlando and Charlotte squads will vie for the Southeast.) But barring a simply remarkable performance by Wade, they'll be bounced in the first round.

Reasoning for above: This team is old (and its skin may be cold). Thanks to Shaq and Antoine Walker, their cap situation is a total wreck. And their lone youngster besides Wade and Haslem is Dorrell Wright, who hasn't looked good in the preseason, despite the fact that the starting SF job was his to lose. (He appears to have lost it, to Walker, no less.) Ah well, we'll always have 2006.

4. Charlotte Bobcats
, Queen City Hoops

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Win more games than last year...but not enough for it to matter. 37 wins sounds about right. Oh, and the Bobcats continue to get snubbed at the mid-season gala. And Rufus (the mascot) gets arrested for running a prostitution ring.

Reasoning for above: The team should be better than last year, having added another high quality player, Jason Richardson, to the mix. That brings the total to...4, but with 1 of them out for the year, Sean May. The rest of the pieces are ok, but when you consider that Okafor and Wallace are both injury risks, and the team's depth is still a bit shallow (I'm really enjoying the competition by 2 second rounders for the starting center position), this team is not quite ready to make a major jump. Crash and Emeka will continue to put up solid numbers that border on All-Star worthy, but come up a bit short yet again. As for Rufus? Well, have you seen him? It is just a matter of time.

[Editor's note: Plissken at the Buzzer also has some thoughts on Rufus. Not all of them good.]

5. Atlanta Hawks
Jay Busbee, Right Down Peachtree

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: They’ll hit the thirty-win mark sometime in early spring and throw a rod. They’ll end up with 35 or so wins and get eliminated from the playoffs with a couple weeks left in the season. Again.

Reasoning: They’re still a young team, and Mike Woodson hasn’t yet proven to me that he can keep momentum going for an entire season. Plus, the West Virginia-family-reunion that is the Hawks’ knotted ownership situation means they can’t count on dealing for some stretch-run talent. Best-case scenario is above; worst-case is everybody gives up on the team and starts going for individual stats—which would make them fit in perfectly with the 2007 Falcons.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 12:22,


At October 31, 2007 at 7:24 PM, Anonymous steve p said...

good roundup, I also like the Magic to be much better this year. Five years from now, they'll be kicking themselves for Rashard Lewis, though.

Also, there's no way a Dwyane Wade-led team doesn't make the playoffs.

At October 31, 2007 at 10:01 PM, Blogger Doctor Dribbles said...

The riffing on Rufus is fantastic. I still can't get over that there's an NBA-sanctioned pimp mascot.

At October 31, 2007 at 11:10 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

Rufus was pretty high on my list of reasons for getting League Pass.

At November 1, 2007 at 2:04 AM, Blogger Doctor Dribbles said...

Who gets arrested first--Rufus for running a prostitution ring, or Andray Blatche for soliciting it?


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