This Week In The Southeast, because it’s January things are starting to get a little predictable. The Hawks extended their lead across the division, the Hornets are in the playoffs, and everything else stayed the same.
Another perfect week for the dominating Atlanta Hawks. The Detroit Pistons exposed a weakness the Hawks have on MLK day with their gigantic and athletic front court, but Atlanta managed to pull out a victory and extend their winning streak. The Hawks then set a franchise record for most wins in a row with a victory over a healthy, but struggling, Oklahoma City squad. 15 straight wins, and a seven game lead for first place has everybody talking about the Hawks.
Washington’s struggles against upper tier NBA teams continues. This week their two losses came to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Portland Trailblazers. These losses are starting to become a concern, because they are losing games they should be winning. Yes, Portland was at home, but the Wizards were playing them while LaMarcus Aldridge was playing injured, Robin Lopez is out with an injury, and the Wizards did have the lead for a good portion of the game. So if Washington is supposed to be one of the top NBA teams, then why did they lose a game they need to win
The Heat are holding on to a playoff spot, but they aren’t doing so without adding some drama to it. A victory over the Indiana Pacers added some distance between them and the outside of the playoffs, but a loss to the Hornets have closed the gap they had built in front of the eight seed. Miami is good enough to keep a playoff spot, but I can’t see them getting any higher than where they’re at right now.
The Hornets got a nice easy patch in their schedule this week. A blowout victory over the Wolves, and a closer than necessary victory over the Knicks highlighted their week. Charlotte had high point with an important win against the Heat, but they also got throttled in one of the biggest beat downs of the season. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers made it very clear that the Hornets are still a flawed team that is nowhere near good enough to consider more than a 1st round and out team.
The Magic are dead….again. An embarrassing loss to the Thunder to start the week, and a horrible loss to a battered Knicks team to end it. Expect the Magic to lose two or three more times, and then they will win four straight right after that. It’s just that kind of season for Orlando, and everybody involved is frustrated. The only reason the Magic are worth paying attention to is to see if they make personnel changes in the middle of the season, or at the end of it.