This Week In The Southeast the Atlanta Hawks had the second place spot in the East, and then they didn’t. While hte Washington Wizards and Hawks create distance from the rest of the division everybody else just seems to be fumbling around. The Miami Heat don’t look like they’re going to get any better and that’s a problem this early in the year. Meanwhile the Orlando Magic continue to stay competitive while the Charlotte Hornets try to right the ship.
The Wizards could have gone 4-0 this week but they lost a sluggish afternoon road game to the Boston Celtics. While losing to the Celtics is not good it’s very difficult to fault sluggish play in an afternoon game. The Wizards responded by ripping off three straight wins, including their best win of the year over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Hawks win streak finally came to an end Saturday night due to a Tobias Harris game winner in Orlando. The loss was on a back to back and Orlando has been a pain for a lot of teams this year so that’s not a bad loss. Before that the Hawks were on a nine game winning streak and at one point were second in the Eastern conference. While this week didn’t feature any big time wins, the Hawks were able to keep their streak going all the way up to the final seconds in Orlando. Also of note this week, the Hawks had quite a few blowouts which is surprising since this team isn’t known for blowing opponents out of the building. It’s safe to say at this point that Atlanta is a good team.
Miami Heat, 11-12, 7th in the East, 2-2 this week
Miami went out west for a tough road trip and managed to go .500 during it. They started off in Memphis to take on the Grizzlies and proceeded to get beat up by one of the best teams in the NBA. The Heat recovered and managed to beat the Suns in Phoenix, but the Suns have regressed this year and might not be the good team they once were. After their win, Miami played Denver on a back to back and got embarrassed on national TV. Denver road games are tough enough as is but add in a back to back and that’s the very definition of a schedule loss. Miami is still good enough to compete on a night to night basis but they don’t feel like a threat in the East.
The Magic are a bad team that can compete with most teams in the NBA. They got a great win against a Kings team missing Demarcus Cousins and arguably could have been 3-1 this week. Taking on the Wizards at home the Magic had the lead late and just needed to hold on, they didn’t, allowing the Wizards to tie the game. After a failed attempt to win the game, it looked like the matchup was heading into overtime and oh hey did anybody just see Bradley Beal fly by? The Magic gave up an at the rim buzzer beater victory to the Wizards due to having nobody at the rim ready to protect it with only .08 seconds left on the clock. The Magic recovered, pushing the Hawks to a tough win in Atlanta and then won the home game back to back against the Hawks in Orlando on a Tobias Harris buzzer beater. Still, it’s hard to get over how often this team shoots itself in the foot.
Charlotte was on a two game win streak and everything seemed to finally be coming together. Then a double overtime loss to the Grizzlies followed by a blowout loss to the Nets once again has Hornets fans pushing the panic button. While there’s no excuse to getting blown out the way they did, the Nets shot 69% from 3-point range against the Hornets which is a ridiculous amount for any NBA team.