You may recall that last year HoopsAddict.com was lucky enough to take a spot on About.com’s weekly division recap panel. Both Ryan McNeill and I took turns breaking down the woes and worries of the Atlantic Division, back before the Boston Celtics were even worth talking about. Well this year HoopsAddict.com is back, shedding light on the unpredictable Southeast Division. So if it’s the youth movement taking place in Atlanta that you’re interested, or you just like relishing in the fact that the Miami Heat (appear) to have fallen off for good, then be sure to check in every week.
Recap Rewind: The Atlanta Hawks continue to look like a team that has no business in the playoffs, which is disappointing considering their relatively awesome start to the season. This week the Hawks dropped games on the road in Denver and Portland on Wednesday and Sunday, but stumbled into an easy game with the recently incompetent Seattle Supersonics on Friday which passed off as their only win.
Notable News: The Hawks, at 18-22, are slowly losing ground on the Washington Wizards for second place in the Southeast Division. The sudden slip back into mediocrity could even cause them to slid back into fourth place behind the Charlotte Bobcats it they’re not careful… Third-year man Marvin Williams went off for a career-high 33 points Friday night against the Sonics and even added three steals in the effort.
Fast Forward: The next two games will round out the Atlanta Hawks five-game West coast trip, but the competition isn’t getting any easier. On Tuesday the Hawks will head to Phoenix to take on the Suns before catching a break when they head south to Los Angeles to do battle with the slumping Clippers. On Saturday the Hawks will host the New Jersey Nets and will finish off the week with another home game, this time against Philadelphia.
Recap Rewind: It was a fairly predictable week for the Charlotte Bobcats with tough games, and eventual losses, against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. From there the Cats bounced back with a needed win over the Chicago Bulls but showed their inconsistency the following night against the Philadelphia 76ers. On Monday night the Bobcats were able to sneak by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first of a five-game West coast run
Notable News: With little risk of falling behind fifth-place Miami, the Bobcats sit relatively comfortably in fourth in the Southeast Division. If the Bobcats can put together a solid streak over the course of the next few weeks they may find themselves stepping on the heels of the Atlanta Hawks, provided the Hawks continue to disappoint… First-year Bobcat Jason Richardson spoke out against comments head coach Sam Vincent made regarding the team’s passion. ‘Oh my goodness… I don’t understand where that came from. We play passionate all the time. I don’t know if it’s frustration by him, but I don’t understand it.’ The young Bobcats could benefit from an older vet like Richardson standing up in their corner
Fast Forward: The Bobcats will look to wrap up the final four games of their five-game road trip this week when they head to Sacramento and Oakland to square off with the Kings and Golden State Warriors. From there the Cats will take to Colorado to face the Denver Nuggets. The Bobcats will finish off the week Monday with a game in Phoenix against the tough Suns.
Recap Rewind: Well, it’s over. The Miami Heat managed to weasel their way out of the longest losing streak in the NBA this season (followed closely by the current Sonics skid), when they took down the Indiana Pacers by a pair on Saturday. The only other action the Heat saw this week came a couple days before, on Thursday, against the San Antonio Spurs – a game which they obviously lost.
Notable News: As exciting as it is that the Heat have finally ended their 37-day drought, it doesn’t do much for their chances of climbing back into the postseason. At 9-33 the Heat are well below the fourth place Charlotte Bobcats and will likely remain in fifth place for at least the next few weeks… Perhaps in celebration of his being named an Eastern Conference starter for the upcoming All-Star game, Dwyane Wade has busted out with an average of 34.7 points per game in his last three… With 33 losses already under their belt it’s hard for the Miami Heat to think they have a chance at success this year – especially considering their championship squad, just two years ago, finished the season with just 30.
Fast Forward: After squeezing out a win against the Indiana Pacers the Heat will have to take on significantly tougher opponents if they hope to start adding some more wins to their record. On Tuesday the Heat will take on the first-place Boston Celtics at home before heading to Orlando the next day for a match with the Southeast Division-leading Magic. On Friday the Heat will take on the New Jersey Nets at home, followed by a Monday night contest with the Toronto Raptors.
Recap Rewind: The week can be considered a relative success for Hedo Turkoglu and the Orlando Magic, especially after their last-second win over the league-leading Boston Celtics on Sunday. It was an off balance Turkoglu triple that sealed the deal for the Magic. Previously in the week the Magic beat the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, but fell in Detroit to the Pistons.
Notable News: It appears as though the Orlando Magic aren’t about to give up their first-place position in the Southeast Division just yet. At 28-18 the Magic currently sit three games up on the second-place Washington Wizards… Even in spite of his last-game heroics on Sunday night, Hedo Turkoglu has stepped up as ‘the man’ for the Orlando Magic. Having led the team in scoring in each of their last five outings at 24.4 points per game, fans can expect one of the most underrated players in the NBA to keep pulling through in the clutch… It’s official Dwight Howard will be the Eastern Conference’s starting center for the first time in his career, fans can expect many more.
Fast Forward: On Wednesday night the Magic will take on the Miami Heat as Dwyane Wade and company look for their second victory in 17 games. After, what can be assumed, an easy victory the team will head to Philadelphia and Indiana on Friday and Saturday before wrapping up the week at home against the Dallas Mavericks.
Recap Rewind: The Washington Wizards are starting to waver in their pursuit of first place in the Southeast Division. This week the team fell on the road to the Cleveland Cavaliers but bounced back with a win at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately the Wizards would then turn around and drop another one on the road, this time against the dismal Milwaukee Bucks.
Notable News: With a record at 23-19 the Washington Wizards sit nestled comfortably in second place in the Southeast Division and appear to be playoff bound. The Wiz will continue to chase the first-place Magic but can not afford to be giving up wins to beatable opponents like the Milwaukee Bucks… Despite falling in OT to the Bucks, however, Wizards forward Caron Butler was able to at least save some face with a career-high 40-point performance… In Wednesday’s loss to the Cavaliers, Brendan Haywood led all Wizards scorers with just 11 points.
Fast Forward: The Washington Wizards will take on the Toronto Raptors in a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading home to host the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers on Friday and Sunday.
Well that’s it for this week. Be sure to head over to About.com to check out the recaps of the other five divisions.