This week in the southeast, Atlanta is resting, Washington’s coach is walking off, Miami has life, Charlotte is stinking, and the Magic are showing some promise.
Atlanta’s week got off to a really bad start when they got smacked around by the San Antonio Spurs. It was the kind of game that’s starting to cause some concern among fans, and experts, about the Hawks post all-star break struggles. Is it just coasting or is there more to it? The following games didn’t say much as Atlanta beat both Florida teams before resting all their starters in a loss against Charlotte.
The Wizards went out west this week and everything went to the pits for them. They went on a three game losing streak, pulled out a win against a Hornets team that can’t stay out of their way, and then immediately lost to the Houston Rockets. The “highlight” of their week is when Randy Wittman walked off the court before the game was over when his team was attempting to win the game on a halfcourt heave. Not a great look coach.
Even though Miami had a rough week, they still managed to cling on to the 7th seed after their fantastic stretch of play last week. Despite the difficult schedule, Miami has managed to come out of the battle for 7th and 8th in the East looking cleaner than everybody else so far. Dwyane Wade is playing great and Erik Spoelstra is coaching his brains out as they try to get into the playoffs. The crazy part is they might actually do it.
The Hornets stink. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 and one of those wins came against a resting Hawks team. They blew a huge game against the Washington Wizards, their offense is putrid and inconsistent, and they’ve plummeted all the way to 11th in the conference. Somehow, Charlotte isn’t even all the way out of the playoff race despite playing like they should have no chance. The east!
The Magic have finally been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. I personally feel like they’ve been eliminated since the first game of the season and chose to play Willie Green mass minutes over Maurice Harkless, but that’s besides the point. Orlando has only won a single game over their last 10, and that was somehow against the Portland TrailBlazers. On the positive side for Magic fans, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton are playing like future superstars as of late and it’s hard to not get excited about their future.