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NBA Bold Predictions: Southeast Division

The NBA season is now underway. There will be some shocking results throughout the season. I will try to predict some of those outcomes by making bold predictions about all 30 teams. In this article I will concentrate on the southeast division.

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Miami Heat

Last season the Miami Heat went into the playoffs as the eight seed in the eastern conference. This was after barely surviving the play-in tournament. They found their magic potion in the playoffs as they made it all the way to the NBA Finals. Miami was only the second number eight seed to make it that far. They ran into the juggernaut known as the Denver Nuggets in the finals and lost in five games.

In the off-season the Miami Heat were the preferred destination of long-time Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard. Lillard’s agent made it crystal clear that Miami is where he wanted to go. Fans’ minds started to wonder about how a team with Lillard, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo would look together but all of that wondering was for nothing. The Heat and Trailblazers were not able to agree to a deal and Lillard was shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Not only did the Heat lose out on the Damian Lillard sweepstakes, they also didn’t hold on to some important pieces that helped them get to the NBA finals. Max Strus was critical for them last season. Miami struggled on the offensive end of the floor and Strus provided much needed spacing with his three point shot. He is now with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Heat also lost Gabe Vincent to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was their starting point guard in the playoffs and another one of their good shooters who helped space the floor. My bold prediction is that the loss of Strus and Vincent will hurt this team more than fans realize. The Heat will struggle again during the regular season and barely get into the playoffs but this time around the magic won’t be there. Miami will lose in the first round.

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks were the seven seed in the eastern conference playoffs last season. They lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics. Atlanta changed coaches towards the end of last season. Nate McMillan was replaced by former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. The Hawks went 10-11 in the regular season under Snyder.

This season is the first full one with Snyder as the head coach. He has a resume that shows he is a winner. The Utah Jazz had a winning percentage of at least 58% in each year during the last six seasons with Snyder as the head coach.

The Hawks will be better this year and avoid the play-in tournament. The Hawks will finish with the fourth or fifth best record in the eastern conference.

Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic were a fun team to watch last season. They finished the year with a record of 34-48. The Magic did have some players who shined last year. Paolo Banchero won rookie of the year. He averaged 20 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This is impressive for a rookie and his production should increase in his second year.

Franz Wagner was also good for the Magic last season. He averaged 18.6 points per game as he shot 48% from the floor and 36% from three.

My bold prediction for the Magic is that either Wagner or Banchero will be an all-star and Orlando will be in the play-in tournament.

Charlotte Hornets

I have to be honest with you guys. I have been trying to make myself care about the Hornets and I could not find any care in my heart for this team. LaMelo Ball will be good, maybe even get voted in as an all-star. Gordon Hayward will be good for about 30 games until he gets hurt. I don’t have anything interesting to say about this team.

Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards are trying to rebuild their team after going all in on Bradley Beal and then realizing this isn’t going to work. In the off-season they traded for Jordan Poole. Poole is a very talented but an inconsistent offensive player.

He will have the ultimate green light this season which will lead him winning the Most Improved Player award. My bold prediction is that Poole will average 28 points per game while shooting 45% from the floor and 37% from three. The Wizards won’t win many games but they will be an interesting watch.

Do you agree with my bold predictions for the southeast division?

NBA Bold Predictions: Central Division

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