In our final installment of team previews we’ve got the Southeast Division. They aren’t special or anything, that’s just how we’re closing things out this weekend with almost a week left before the season begins. The Southeast Division should be more competitive — like most divisions — this season. The Miami Heat will have a tougher time taking down teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. Let’s go over some improvements for those teams and then predict the finishing order.
So we’ll start with the Hawks, who were very busy this offseason. Atlanta brought in Rajon Rondo, Kris Dunn, Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic all through free agency. The Hawks have a deep roster that now features plenty of veterans and then Trae Young, John Collins and Clint Capela. The Hawks also landed rookie center Onyeka Okongwu in the NBA Draft. So the Hawks appear to be loaded and in search of a playoff berth.
The Wizards appeared to be heading into the season with John Wall back on the team. Instead, they dealt Wall to the Rockets in exchange for All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. The move gives the Wizards a chance at the postseason, although does it help them get over the edge? Perhaps. Scott Brooks is familiar with Russ from their time in OKC. Bradley Beal is one of the best scorers in the NBA. The Wizards also have some young talent in Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant and Deni Avdija.