Culture of Hoops

2020-21 NBA Season Preview: Southeast Division

2020-21 NBA Season Preview: Atlantic Division

2020-21 NBA Season Preview: Central Division

2020-21 NBA Season Preview: Northwest Division

2020-21 NBA Season Preview: Pacific Division

2020-21 NBA Season Preview: Southwest Division

Notable Newcomers

The most notable newcomer in the division is Russell Westbrook, who was traded to the Washington Wizards for John Wall. It’ll be interesting how he meshes with Bradley Beal. Gordon Hayward was traded to the Charlotte Hornets, giving this division a little more starpower than in recent history.

Notable rookies joined the division, mainly third overall pick LaMelo Ball who was selected by the Charlotte Hornets. Other top picks include sixth overall pick Onyeka Okongwu, who went to the Atlanta Hawks, ninth overall pick Deni Avdija to the Washington Wizards, and 15th pick Cole Anthony to the Orlando Magic. These exciting rookies will surely provide a lot of great moments within the division and hopefully will pull their team to lower draft picks in the future. 

The Atlanta Hawks were busy in making some key free agency signings: Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Rajon Rondo. The Hawks added a lot of talent to an already talented team and are undoubtedly looking to make a strong playoff push. 


Atlanta Hawks
Can everyone gel together quickly enough? The Atlanta Hawks will have a lot of really good players this upcoming season, but their lack of chemistry could be an issue. If they can get spacing and time with the ball figured out before the season starts, then this team will be deadly offensively. 

Charlotte Hornets
How much can Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball contribute? It has been four years since Gordon Hayward has been the number one option with the Utah Jazz. He’ll have to be able to pick up that role again if the Hornets want any success this season. A lot of questions will be asked about LaMelo Ball, especially with the hype that has been around him in recent years. If he and Hayward can get it going, they will be a solid 1-2 punch.

Miami Heat
Can Tyler Herro take that next step? Tyler Herro had an exceptional rookie season, averaging 13.5 points shooting 42.9% from the field and 38.9% from three. Herro will surely get more playing time and shots this year, so in order to take that step he must continue being efficient, even with more shots. If Tyler Herro can take that next step, it makes last year’s NBA Championship runners-up even more deadly. 

Orlando Magic
Can this team stay healthy? The Orlando Magic have struggled with health in recent history. Most recently, they lost Jonathon Isaac to a torn ACL while in the bubble. Aaron Gordon has also struggled with injuries throughout his career, limiting him from stepping up his game. The Magic didn’t do very much during the offseason, so health will determine if the Magic can take another step forward. 

Washington Wizards
How effective can Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal be together? The Russell Westbrook and James Harden experiment failed, so now it is time for the Westbrook and Beal experiment. Beal is a little less ball dominant, but is still as great, if not a better scorer than Westbrook. If Westbrook can hit his MVP levels, without dragging down Beal’s performance too much, then this team can be successful. 

Bold Predictions

Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are able to put things together, and claim a playoff spot.

Charlotte Hornets
Although the Hornets don’t make the playoffs, LaMelo Ball wins Rookie of the Year.

Miami Heat
The Miami Heat once again make the NBA Finals.

Orlando Magic
Everything falls apart and the Orlando Magic turn to tanking.

Washington Wizards
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal gel really well together and the Wizards claim a top five seed in the Eastern Conference.


PG: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
SG: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
SF: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
PF: John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
C: Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

Predicted Standings

*The 2020-21 NBA season will consist of only 72 games instead of the normal 82 because of scheduling conflicts

  1. Miami Heat (48-24)
  2. Washington Wizards (46-26)
  3. Atlanta Hawks (40-32)
  4. Charlotte Hornets (25-47)
  5. Orlando Magic (22-50)
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