In part 2 of our 2010 NBA Preview we will be taking a look at the NBA Eastern Conference Southeast Division. This is no doubt one of the best conferences in the NBA loaded with good young talent and mega-superstars. Not only do you have the Miami Heat stacked with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, but you also have strong Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks teams.
#1. Miami Heat
Additions: Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Juwan Howard
Subtractions: Quentin Richardson, Jermaine O’Neal, and Michael Beasley
Overview: The Miami Heat are the easy favorites to win the NBA title with the addition of Lebron James and Chris Bosh to Dwayne Wade’s team. There are certainly questions about the rest of the Heat team and who will be the “Man” but any team with 3 legitimate superstars will be sure to contend for a title. With every fan and NBA team gunning for them it should make for an interesting season.
Ticket Demand: A+++
Although the Miami Heat are not in the greatest sports market, the presence of Lebron James and Chris Bosh with Wade has generated a tremendous amount of buzz. Combine the star power with the fact that this team will likely contend for a NBA title and ticket demand can’t be any greater.
#2. Orlando Magic
Additions: Quentin Richardson, Chris Duhon, Daniel Orton
Subtractions: Matt Barnes
Overview: With all the hoopla surrounding the Miami Heat this season many people are forgetting about the talented team in Orlando. The Magic also have star power in Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter. The defending Southeast champs they will not hand over the crown easily.
Ticket Demand: B+
Although Florida’s attention to basketball will be focused on Miami, fans in Orlando are excited about their chances as well. Ticket demand for games against Miami should be huge!
#3. Atlanta Hawks
Additions: Josh Powell, Jordan Crawford
Overview: If you think the Orlando Magic are getting no respect in the Eastern Conference, have a look at the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks won 53 games last season and finished behind only the Cavs, who lost Lebron, and the Orlando Magic. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are back with a team that lost no one from last year and hope to build upon last year’s impressive season.
Ticket Demand: B+
The NBA market in Atlanta is strong and with a solid team and marketable players like Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, ticket demand will be strong.
Additions: John Wall, Kirk Hinrich, Trevor Booker, Yi Jianlian
Subtractions: Randy Foye, Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller
Overview: There is a lot of hype surrounding rookie John Wall and this team could be surprisingly good if Gilbert Arenas can adjust to being a shooting guard. Expect some growing pains this season especially in a tough South East conference with several games against tough Miami, Orlando, and Atlanta teams
Ticket Demand: B-
The Washington DC area is a strong sports market but interest has been low since the failed Jordan era ended. Rookie John Wall will bring some excitement back to the Wizards franchise but they are likely a few years away from being a significant threat in the East.
Additions: Tyrus Thomas, Shaun Livingston, Matt Carroll, Eduardo Najera, Kwame Brown
Subtractions: Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, Alexis Ajinca, Theo Ratliff
Overview: When the most talked about player on the Bobcats squad is Chicago Bulls cast off Tyrus Thomas, you know you have problems. Bobcats fans will be looking for another lottery pick next summer.
Ticket Demand: D+
North Carolina is certain a state with strong ties to basketball but this teams leaves little for fans to be excited about. With no superstar players, a dismal team, and mediocre market, ticket demand for Bobcats games is expected to be low.
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