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Southeast division team by team capsules

October 25, 2008
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in order of predicted finish

Orlando Magic
Last season:
52-30, lost in second round
Coach: Stan Van Gundy
Starting five: PG Jameer Nelson, SG Mickael Pietrus, SF Rashard Lewis, PF Hedo Turkoglu, C Dwight Howard
Key additions: Pietrus, G Courtney Lee
Key losses: G Carlos Arroyo, G-F Maurice Evans, G Keyon Dooling
Outlook: Keep an eye on Howard, now viewed as one of the league's marquee players . . . Sharpshooter J.J. Redick might finally get some playing time .. . The exciting and athletic Lee could be a steal for the Magic.

Miami Heat
Last season:
15-67, missed playoffs
Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Starting five: PG Marcus Banks, G Dwyane Wade, SF Shawn Marion, PF Udonis Haslem, C Mark Blount
Key additions: F Michael Beasley, G Shaun Livingston, G Mario Chalmers, G-F Yakhouba Diawara
Key losses: G Ricky Davis, G Jason Williams
Outlook: Expect a healthy Wade to become an All-NBA first team candidate again with his rejuvenated play this season . . . The stellar play of Beasley in his rookie season could make Marion, who will be a free agent next summer, expendable . . . Rookie coach Spoelstra paid his dues under Pat Riley and Stan Van Gundy.

Atlanta Hawks
Last season:
37-45, lost in first round
Coach: Mike Woodson
Starting five: PG Mike Bibby, SG Joe Johnson, SF Marvin Williams, PF Josh Smith, C Al Horford
Key additions: G Flip Murray, G-F Maurice Evans
Key loss: F Josh Childress
Outlook: The Hawks have pressure to improve after making the playoffs last season and taking the Celtics to seven games in the first round . . . While it’s no surprise what Johnson can do, Smith and Horford have All-Star ability and need to prove it on a nightly basis for Atlanta to be successful . . . Keep an eye on Woodson, who will be on the hot seat if the Hawks don't progress.

Washington Wizards
Last season:
43-39, lost in first round
Coach: Eddie Jordan
Starting five: PG Antonio Daniels, SG DeShawn Stevenson, SF Caron Butler, PF Antawn Jamison, C Etan Thomas
Key additions: C Javale McGee, G Juan Dixon
Key losses: None
Outlook: Star guard Gilbert Arenas is expected to be out until at least December following another knee operation in

September. . . McGee needs to step up quickly since center Brendan Haywood could miss the entire season after wrist surgery . . . While they are battered by injuries, the good news for the Wizards is they did play well without Arenas last season

Charlotte Bobcats
Last season:
32-50, missed playoffs
Coach: Larry Brown
Starting five: PG Raymond Felton, SG Jason Richardson, SF Gerald Wallace, PF Sean May, C Emeka Okafor
Key addition: PG D.J. Augustin
Key loss: G Earl Boykins
Outlook: How long will Brown, who is back on the sidelines coaching his ninth NBA team in 24 seasons, last this time? . . . The rookie Augustin is undersized, but could have an impact like Orlando's mini-star Jameer Nelson . . . Adam Morrison is back from knee injury and has been shooting the 3-pointer well in the preseason.

MARC J. SPEARS

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