The Southeast Division isn’t amazing this season. Does that mean the Miami Heat can run away with the division this year, despite not getting Damian Lillard?
NBA Southeast Division Preview
The Miami Heat didn’t make any blockbuster deals in the offseason. They’re still stuck with a Big Three of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro. Still, the Heat are in a position to win the Southeast Division since the division is weak heading into the regular season.
The Hawks could watch Trae Young dip in a year. Meanwhile, the Magic are super young, the Hornets are downright bad, and the Wizards will likely win the No. 1 overall pick.
I’ll break it all down below.
The Heat didn’t end up with Damian Lillard after all. They couldn’t get Jrue Holiday once Lillard was traded to the Bucks, but I’m still confident in the Heat. Miami went to the NBA Championship last season, with Butler and Adebayo leading the way.
Players like Max Strus and Gabe Vincent are on different teams, but this just gives the Heat a chance to develop other young talent, like Nikola Jovic.
The Heat ultimately needs more depth on paper. But somehow, they’ll send it to some random player who will start to perform at a high level. It’s the Miami way.
I liked the Heat at Over 48.5. Now that they didn’t get Lillard, they’re at 46.5. Take the Over.
NBA Pick: Heat Over 46.5 Wins (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Atlanta’s roster is solid on paper, but it’s got little depth and a lot of concerns moving forward.
Trae Young and Dejounte Murray are a solid one-two punch at guard. However, they’re rolling with De’Andre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, and Clint Capela as the starting forwards and center. They no longer have John Collins and will replace him with Johnson. That’s not appealing.
But overall, the Hawks don’t excite me.
NBA Pick: Hawks Under 42.5 Wins (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
The Magic are super young. Paolo Banchero won the Rookie of the Year with the Magic last season. He’ll look to play even better this year. Banchero will play alongside Wendell Carter Jr., Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, and Markelle Fultz, among many other young talented players.
There’s a load of talent on this roster. It’s Orlando’s job to figure out the best rotations and fits. If they can figure that out, I’ve got the Magic Over 36.5 wins.
NBA Pick: Magic Over 36.5 Wins (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
The Hornets are kind of in the same boat as Orlando. It’s just that their young talent has underperformed more, dating back to last season. They’ve got questions about LaMelo Ball’s health. They’ve also had Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier as the top scorers for the team.
However, Charlotte always needs help developing talent and putting a reliable team together. I’m on the Under.
NBA Pick: Hornets Under 31.5 Wins (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
The Wizards will likely develop Bilal Coulibaly so they can pair him with other major talent in a couple of years and compete in the NBA, but it won’t be this year.
NBA Pick: Wizards Under 24.5 Wins (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Southeast Division Winner
Jimmy Butler was unhappy that the Heat couldn’t land Damian Lillard, but don’t read too much into it. He’ll be fine, and the team will be fine. They have an unmatched culture and a team filled with chemistry and winners.
Take the Heat to win the Division on the NBA futures market at -185. They’ll only need to get by the Hawks, and I’ve got them going Under their team total.
NBA Pick: Heat To Win Division (-185) at Caesars Sportsbook
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