NBA Preview: Southeast Division

southeastBy Stefan Anderson

The Southeast Division provides the Eastern Conference as well the NBA with a great amount of talent and will be making its mark this season.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are back and looking to build off their playoff success for the first time since 2009. With the Al Jefferson running the post as traditional back to basket player, with a trio of young wing players that include Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd Gilgchrist and Lance Stephenson, the buzz is definitely back in Charlotte. Rookies P.J Hariston and Noel Vonleh can provide some valuable minutes and provide that spark for their bench this season.

Charlotte has a great chance to be the winner of the Southeast Division and will make noise whether conquer the division or not.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta has had one the more underrated team in the past few seasons, clinching a playoff berth for the past 7 seasons. Establishing a winning culture and but failing to capitalize when they obtain the postseason success.  Adding players like Adrian Payne and Thabo Sefeloshia, give the Hawks and added presence but it will not be enough for this season especially in the Southeast division.

Atlanta should be in the hunt for the playoffs will fail to do so but expect to see them in the 9 or 10 spot competing regardless of their standing.

Miami Heat

Losing LeBron James sent shock waves but Miami did not panic. With the face of the franchise returning with his other co-star Chris Bosh, the Heat look to stay alive but not as a good as they have been for the past 4 years. Adding veterans like Luol Deng, Danny Granger, and Josh McRoberts, Miami has assembled a playoff roster this season. Rookie Shabazz Napier can bring a great impact to Miami and provide valuable minutes starting or coming off of the bench.

Miami doesn’t have much concern other than having Dwayne Wade on the court, as he’s been injured in the past few years but the supporting cast of Miami should propel to them to the playoffs.

Orlando Magic

The Magic are going to back in the same position they were in last season, rebuilding. Drafting Aaron Gordon and Alfred Payton to add along Vucevic and Oladipo give Orlando some hope for the future. The young team has promise but still have yet to add the pieces needed due to their many different reasons.

The Magic have a ways to go before reaching the success they want to see but have the potential to be there soon.

Washington Wizards

The Wiz Kids look to keep dazzling the NBA with young superstars John Wall and Bradley Beal at the helm.  Adding Paul Pierce might be just what the Wizards lack in the past season, a veteran with championship experience and can be the hand and glove fit needed.  They remain physical with Nene and Gortat, bringing many different dimensions and can make the next step this season.

The Wizards can be the other team to compete with the Bulls and Cavs this season to take the Eastern Conference.

Southeast Division Standings:

  1. Wizards(Playoff Team)
  2. Hornets (Playoff Team)
  3. Heat (Playoff Team)
  4. Hawks
  5. Magic
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The NBA Mount Rushmore

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By Stefan Anderson

After the sound bite from an interview that was aired last night on NBA TV featuring  the league’s brightest star, LeBron James, where made a comment on NBA’s Mount Rushmore. After explaining the blueprint for his Mount Rushmore that included Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson, “The Chosen One” , during his  the interview  went on to say “I’m going to be one of the top four to ever play this game,”  and then went on to add  “For sure. And if they don’t want me to have one of those top four spots, they better find another spot. We’ve got to bump somebody. Somebody got to get bumped. 

James’s remarks who on who thinks belong on the NBA’s Mt. Rushmore stirred a lot of controversy and rebuttals from other players after his statement, including his arch nemesis.  

Kevin Durant replied and give his description of his Mt. Rushmore by saying, “If I had a four, it would be Michael, Larry, Magic and Kareem,” Durant said. “[Abdul-Jabbar is] the all-time leader in points. How many championships does he got? Multiple championships. MVPs. He’s got it all. As far as accolades and championships, he’s got it all.”

Kobe Bryant also had a opinion in the conversation by adding “Magic, Bird, Michael, and Russell. But it’s impossible to do four, come on, man.” – Kobe Bryant

If I were to make my own Mt. Rushmore, I would agree with all the league’s top stars by including the Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. That trio of players would be included in my architecture because of their impact of the game and how they all mastered the swingman position ranging from the PG to SF even Center in Magic’s case. But I would disagree with James because you would have to include the Center and what they have contributed to the game. Even that task would become difficult to choose because of the greats that have come along at that position. But I would bring the list down 3 Centers: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and an honorable mention to the “Big Diesel “Shaquille O’Neal.

I would choose Wilt Chamberlain over Abdul-Jabbar and Russell for many reasons. I am well aware of Abdul- Jabbar career leading stats in Points, 6 MVP’s and Titles, he has never averaged 50 points in a season and only has only has averaged over 30 points for 4 seasons in comparison to Chamberlain who did an impressive 9 times.  Not to discredit Abdul-Jabbar for his great play, he played for 20 seasons and had great guards like Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson similar to Shaq who played with Kobe, Penny, D-Wade and LeBron James. Bill Russell, known for his defense, never averaged more 16 points per game in any of his season. If Blocks and Rebounds per game were accounted for during those times it would be a great argument for Russell but would an even bigger exclamation mark for Chamberlain’s stats as well. Therefore my Mt. Rushmore would be concluded with Jordan, Bird, Magic and Wilt because of his dominance of the game and how he transformed it as a big man.

If you were to make your own Mt. Rushmore who you include or exclude?? Leave your comments and remarks below.