This Week In The Southeast, it’s a New Year and how does 2015 begin? With the Hawks in first place of course! Atlanta was finally able to pass the Wizards in their two way race to the top, but while these two fight everybody else fumbles around at the bottom. The Hornets are the same as they’ve always been but the two Florida teams are really starting to fall apart, it’s getting ugly.
Atlanta Hawks, 25-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week
The Hawks look damn near unstoppable right now. They started a West coast road trip this week and after a struggling win, over a feisty Jazz squad, the Hawks had to play the Blazers, in Portland, on a back to back. A rested Blazers team at home is usually a schedule loss but the Hawks won anyways, in fairly convincing fashion. Portland made it a game late but Atlanta held on to extend their latest win streak to four. Is there a team in the NBA hotter than the Hawks right now?
Washington Wizards, 22-11, 4th in the East, 1-4 this week
The Holiday season was not kind to the Wizards. Washington started their own West Coast road trip this week and it’s been rough. They managed to scrape by a win against a struggling Houston squad, but a blowout to Dallas with two more losses to San Antonio and Oklahoma City does not bode well for Washington. Admittedly, the Wizards were on a back to back when playing the Spurs and Thunder, but this raises questions about Washington’s ability to beat elite teams. Lucky for them they don’t have to worry about another trip west until late January.
Miami Heat, 14-20, 8th in the East, 0-3 this week
The Heat are imploding. First they lost Chris Bosh, then they got back Chris Bosh and the losses continued to pile up. Miami has some real talent on their team but they lack depth and LeBron James isn’t around to make up for the lesser end players at the end of the rotation. It also doesn’t help that Miami has had a lot of injuries to key players throughout the season. Despite going 0-3 this week with a loss to a horrible Magic team, Miami is still in possession of the East’s final playoff spot. The East overall isn’t as bad as people say but oh man is the bottom as bad as people say.
Orlando Magic, 10-19, 11th in the East, 1-4 this week
The Magic started off the season as a team that could steal wins and compete every night. They have regressed into a squad that frequently plays like one of the worst teams in the NBA. There’s no organization on offense, the defense is easy to exploit, and players have mentally checked out. After Orlando’s first win against Miami since March 2012, the Magic almost stole a game against Brooklyn in a wild comeback effort. They tried to do the same against Charlotte but the deficit was too big to overcome. Things are not right in Orlando and there’s no way to tell what is going to fix it.
Charlotte Hornets, 11-24, 12th in the East, 1-3 this week
The Hornets seem to have found a nice fluctuation with how bad they are. They’re not as bad as the worst teams in the NBA but they’re not good enough to be mediocre. No lead is safe with the Hornets and to make matters worse Al Jefferson is going to be out for a minimum of four weeks. It’s time to bury Charlotte and focus on positives they can bring in to next season.