Apr 2, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Charlotte Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Bobcats defeated the Sixers 123-93. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Southeast Division: At a glance

While divisions in the NBA are not as important as division in the NFL and MLB, divisional opponents are who each teams play the most, and holding your own against divisional opponents can go a long way towards reaching the playoffs.  For the Bobcats  HORNETS the Southeast Division proved to be some of the hardest opponents they faced all year, finishing 6-10 against these rivals.  In fact, the Southeast Division produced 4 of the 8 teams in the playoffs for the East, tying the Southwest division in the Western conference as the highest number of playoff teams per division in the NBA.  So needless to say our division provided some of the most competitive and exciting basketball in the Association.

I plan on doing a breakdown of each team in the Southeast Division over the course of the next couple weeks, but I wanted to start out with a quick glance at our division as a whole, starting with last year, then looking forward to what’s in store for our Hornets this year.

2013-2014 Southeast Division Standings

Miami Heat                      54-28 Overall Record (12-4 Divisional)

Washington Wizards     44-38                              (10-6)

Charlotte Bobcats          43-39                               (6-10)

Atlanta Hawks                38-44                              (8-8)

Orlando Magic              23-59                                (4-12)

The Southeast Division fared pretty well in the 2013-2014 playoffs with the Miami Heat making it to the Finals for the fourth straight year.  The Wizards managed to make it out of the First Round by defeating the Bulls in 5 games, and the Hawks took the #1 seeded Pacers to a grueling 7 game series before finally losing game 6 and 7 (remember the beginning of the Roy Hibbert meltdown?)

While the re-signing period and free agency isn’t technically finished, most of the impact free agents have been signed.

Key Divisional Additions

Lance Stephenson (Hornets), Luol Deng (Heat), Paul Pierce (Wizards)

Key Divisional Re-Signings

Chris Bosh (Heat), Dwyane Wade (Heat), Marcin Gortat (Wizards)

Key Divisional Losses

LeBron James (To Cavaliers), Trevor Ariza (To Houston), Ray Allen (Undecided)

Divisional Rookies to Watch

Aaron Gordon (Magic), Elfrid Payton (Magic), Noah Vonleh (Hornets), PJ Hairston (Hornets),  Adreian Payne (Hawks), Shabazz Napier (Heat)

*Josh McRoberts is a key contributor but just swapped divisional teams from Charlotte to Miami so I didn’t include him.

The Southeast Division is shaking up to be another good one, with every team making moves in the offseason to either retain or sign players.  With the departure of ALL HAIL Lebron James to the Cavs, the ever-aging Miami Heat roster, the rising Hornets and Wizards, and the two lottery picks of the Orlando Magic all changing and shaping the division, the Southeast ranking may look completely different come playoffs time.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Charlotte Hornets Miami Heat Orlando Magic Washington Wizards

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