In the Eastern Conference, the Southeast Division has work to do. In this article, I outline the major weakness of each team.
Miami Heat: Rebounding
The Miami Heat have enough star power to maneuver themselves through the East, but when they play Western conference teams they struggle with rebounding. Rebuilding has been a huge flaw for the past two years of the Miami Heat squad.
Yes, the Heat have Chris Andersen stepping up on the boards, but he is a bench player. Chris Bosh cannot do it all on the glass; his main position isn’t even center.
The Heat can become a better team if everyone spent time working on their rebounding or if they drafted a big man. This year, the they have the 26th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. They will need to invest in a center. Although, the Heat are known for small ball, but against bigger teams, those rebounds can be key to their success. The Miami Heat are spoiled with talent, but when your ranked 30th in rebounding for two consecutive years, things have to change.
Washington Wizards: Bench
The Washington Wizards’ talent off the bench looks appealing, but the performances from the bench are lackluster. Otto Porter Jr., Martell Webster, Andre Miller, and Trevor Booker are well-known around the league, but their performances are stalling the Wizards’ push to the next level.
Washington’s rookie Otto Porter Jr came off the bench and averaged 2.1 points-per-game and shot 36% from the field; sound reliable? If John Wall is out for the season due to an injury, can Washington really rely on 38 year-old Andre Miller? No. Don’t forget, the center Kevin Seraphin averaged 2.4 rebounds in 10.9 minutes of play.
The Wizards are a young and talented team, but the bench needs to reconstructed. If the bench improves, the bench players would live up to their well-known status.
Charlotte Hornets: Offense
There is something wrong when your starting point guard Kemba Walker leads in almost every stat column offensively. Also, there is something wrong when the backup shooting guard averages more points than a starting shooting guard.
It’s simple, the Charlotte Hornets NEED offense. Walker has carried the team with Al Jefferson, but there comes a time when players tire out.
Michael Kidd Gilchrist has gotten his feel for the NBA, there is NO reason why he isn’t producing offensively. Gilchrist only averaged 7.2 points-per-game this season; a slight decrease from the 12-13 season. If the Hornets’ offense continues to decrease, they will be back to the same losing team. Charlotte’s defense is on-point, but the offense needs improved or players need added.
Atlanta Hawks: Bench Rebounding
Have you ever heard of Pero Antic? Probably not, unless you’re an Atlanta Hawks fan. (Antic shot 16% in the postseason) Atlanta’s weakest link is their horrible rebounding from the bench; ranked 28th in the NBA in total rebounds. Paul Millsap and Al Horford are great rebounders, but when they get tired, they will have to rely on players like Antic.
This season, Atlanta’s backup power forward Mike Scott averaged 3.6 rebounds per game in 18 minutes of play. In 19 minutes of play, Elton Brand averaged 4.9 rebounds per game. Look at other teams bench rebounding, players can grab 5 rebounds in 15 minutes of play. It’s even more sad that Greg Oden can grab 2.3 rebounds-per-game in only 9 minutes of play. (Scott only averages 3.6 in 18 minutes!) Atlanta Hawks starting guards rebounded, but it’s time for the backup big men to out-rebound the starting guards.
Orlando Magic: Star Power
Orlando Magic’s young Victor Oladipo needs a sidekick to win more games.
This year, the Orlando Magic have the 4th and 12th picks of the 2014 NBA Draft and look to add more young talent. If the Magic can snatch a young star that can contribute early, they will be making improvements. In the 2013-14 season, Orlando was ranked 25th in points-per-game, 21st in rebounds-per-game, and 22nd in assists-per-game.
It’s apparent that they need a forward or guard that can increase those numbers. Doug McDermott, Marcus Smart, and Dante Exum are some of the targets the Magic are eyeing up. If the Magic drafted a player like McDermott, Orlando will develop into a dangerous team.
The Orlando Magic are still a rebuilding team, but in a few years they will be improved and ready to take on their opponents.