The Southeast Division has been interesting this offseason. With the Wizards emerging as the team to beat moving forward, it leaves the other four teams trying to contend.
The Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets passed Dwight Howard to each other this offseason and the Miami Heat are now healthy moving forward and have added some key pieces. The Southeast Division has gotten stronger as a whole this offseason.
Here are the win predictions for each team in the Southeast Division.
2016-2017 record: 43-39
2017-2018 prediction: 22-60
The Hawks have elected to go younger this offseason losing Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Hawks will lose some of their top scorers but give way to the young talent of Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Price and newly drafted John Collins.
It will be a tough season in Atlanta. Ultimately they are relying on four young guys to carry most of the offensive load.
It’s hard to throw role players from last year right into the fire this year but the Atlanta Hawks have no choice. They will be giving their younger guys experience on the fly and they will be learning throughout the season.
The Atlanta Hawks will struggle this season, but they can only go up from here.
2016-2017 record: 36-46
2017-2018 prediction: 44-38
On the other side of the Dwight Howard deal, the Hornets get better in it.
To put Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum and Dwight Howard help lead the way is a supreme step forward. The Hornets needed a big man to help Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky, with Howard they found him.
The Hornets got Howard for a very good price and seemed to have only built up this offseason and are absolutely in a good spot to make the playoffs.
Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist was the leading rebounder on this team last year, now Dwight Howard will solve that problem. The Hornets solved their biggest problem and look to be a tough team moving forward.
2016-2017 record: 41-41
2017-2018 prediction: 46-36
The Miami Heat would have been a completely different team had they not started the season 11-30. Dion Waiters emerged as a strong scoring threat to go along with Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside.
If not for a slow start, the Heat were a playoff team. This year Spoelstra gets back virtually the same team with the addition of Kelly Olynyk who can stretch the floor.
The Miami Heat will pick up a few more wins this season and be a strong team come playoff time.
2016-2017 record: 29-53
2017-2018 prediction: 32-50
The Magic are also bringing back a lot of the same guys from last year.
Serge Ibaka and Terrance Ross joined a Magic team midway through last year and join a solid young group.
Evan Fournier led the way scoring and can only get better as an offensive weapon. If Aaron Gordon can extend his offensive game and create another option, this team could be sound offensively.
Jonathon Simmons is a good replacement for Jeff Green and the Magic are starting to move forward with their young players.
The Magic will be very competitive but will lose some close games due to their youth. The Magic have a good core and will be good moving forward.
2016-2017 record: 49-33
2017-2018 prediction: 47-25
Don’t get me wrong, the Wizards are the third best team in the East for sure, and even though they don’t lose too much, other teams have gotten much better.
The Wizards are a very similar team comparatively to last season. Wall turned into a superstar caliber guard and a very good two-way player.
Bradley Beal continued to score at a high level and Otto Porter emerged as a nice option as well. Kelly Oubre will need to improve his game off the bench as he is one of the only bench scorers they have.
The Washington Wizards are talent wise the same as they were last year. They will grow as a team and compete against a tough Western Conference but drop a few mire games than they did last season. The Wizards are still the third best team in the East.
Featured Image Courtesy of SI.com.
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