Poll: Which Team Will Win Southeast In 2019/20?

When we recently asked you to make your picks on which teams would win the Pacific and Northwest divisions, there were a handful of strong, viable choices. It’s not outlandish to view the Clippers, Lakers, or Warriors as potential division winners in the Pacific, while the Nuggets, Jazz, and Trail Blazers all have a realistic chance to finish atop the Northwest.

Over in the Eastern Conference, the Southeast is another division that doesn’t have an overwhelming favorite, but it’s not because there are a handful of potential Southeast powerhouses — it’s because the division isn’t particularly strong.

Last season, only one of the East’s playoff teams came out of the Southeast, as the 42-40 Magic sneaked into the postseason and claimed the division crown. The other four Southeast teams finished between ninth and 12th in the conference.

The division doesn’t project to be a whole lot stronger in 2019/20, though the Magic retained all their key free agents and still have room for growth. Orlando had one of the league’s best defenses during the second half of the 2018/19 season, and ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus projections are bullish on the club going forward. As Kevin Pelton details in an Insider story, ESPN’s RPM projections place the Magic fourth in the Eastern Conference for ’19/20, behind only Milwaukee, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Still, the Magic won’t enter the season as the Vegas favorites to win the Southeast. Betting site BetOnline.ag lists the Heat as the current frontrunners. Although Miami missed the postseason last season with a 39-43 record, the team is hopeful that replacing Josh Richardson with Jimmy Butler and getting further development from young players like Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow will be worth several wins.

At this point, Orlando and Miami look like the only truly viable contenders for the division title, but it’s possible one of the other three clubs will significantly exceed expectations. The Hawks might be the best contender. John Collins, Trae Young, and Kevin Huerter should only get better, and if rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish can provide positive contributions immediately, Atlanta could surprise some teams.

The outlook looks a little bleaker for the Wizards and Hornets. Washington, at least, has an All-Star player in Bradley Beal, but the team won only 32 games last season with Beal healthy, and he won’t have much more help this season. In Charlotte, the 39-43 Hornets are expected to take a step back after replacing All-NBA point guard Kemba Walker with Terry Rozier.

What do you think? Which team do you expect to win the Southeast in 2019/20? And are any of the teams in the division capable of winning a playoff series or two in the spring?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your two cents!

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7 thoughts on “Poll: Which Team Will Win Southeast In 2019/20?

  1. Down with OBP

    None. The division will be relegated in its entirely to the D-league at the all-star break.

  2. DynamiteAdams

    Im taking the Heat because I see them making another move but the Magic winning again also wouldn’t surprise me.

  3. hiflew

    Probably the Heat by default. The Magic could surprise, but I doubt it. They played over their heads last year and are probably due for a little regression this year. The Hawks are probably a year away, but I believe they missed an opportunity to safely speed up their rebuild this offseason. They seem to be one big man short of really being a factor. Although if Evan Turner can finally deliver on his promise, they could still surprise.

    Most likely any team from this division will be out in the first round barring an upset.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The SE is by far the worst division in the NBA, anyone who voted for Charlotte or Washington must be homers. Atlanta might be good in 2-3 years, but they’re still a lottery team for now.

  4. Atlanta are going to surprise some people. Trae Young is a star, John Collins is a 20-10 high flying machine, Hunter is will bring a solid 3 and D game. They are just missing a centre and some depth from being in the playoffs in the east. If they can offer Cam Reddish, Allen Crabbe, a first round (protected top 3) and two second rounds for Myles Turners they should. Turner would is secures in a long deal and would give them a centre who can hit the 3 and block shots on the other end. He would fit in well with the young core and culture of the team and would definitely speed up there process. The Pacers get Reddish to go with Brogdan, Vic Oli, Tj Warren and plus they already have Sabonis so it’s not like they NEED Turner. Getting a near 20mil expiring deal, Cam Reddish a first and a couple seconds is a good haul for a player you can easily replace with Sabonis. Plus Reddish could really develop with this team giving them the sniper shooter they need.

  5. x%sure

    As hiflew hinted, last year a number of Orlando players significantly improved on career averages. Some people look at that and say, they’re getting better; others say, the law of averages say they will fall back. Oddsmakers usually favor the latter.

    And Miami gravitating Butler is impressive; I was never sold on J-Rich. Miami is solidly two deep.

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