Massive NBA Preview Part II: Southeast and Southwest

We now interrupt your previously scheduled 100 Hotties entertainment to bring you some even more previously scheduled entertainment. This is the second part of the Massive NBA Preview in Pictures: two divisions per week, ten teams every Friday until the season starts at the end of this month. What teams will be good, what teams will do badly, and what hotties you should keep an eye out for: this preview answers all your questions. The divisions are chosen mostly by which teams I have enough pictures for by Friday. This week: the Southeast division, featuring the Heat, the Magic, the and the Wizards, and the Southwest division, featuring the Hornets, Rockets and Spurs.

How will the Hawks do this season? More importantly, how much hotter can Al Horford possibly get?

How will the Hawks do this season? More importantly, how much hotter can Al Horford possibly get?

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Orlando Magic

2007-2008 record: 52-30

Hedo has something to tell Dwight. I dont know what it is, but Id whisper in Dwights ear...

Hedo has something to tell Dwight. I don't know what it is, but I'd whisper in Dwight's ear...

The Magic, simply by virtue of Dwight Howard’s vast reserves of manliness, are on the verge of becoming a serious title contender in the East. Note I said on the verge; despite the abilities of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, and little Jameer Nelson, the Magic have a very shallow bench. They lost Keyon Dooling’s defense at shooting guard, replacing him with Mickael Pietrus, who still has unknown potential after years in the league. Even with the improvement of maturity (looking at you, Dwight), they can only go so far, particularly with the growing power of the rest of the East. Lest I sound too pessimistic, they’re a playoff lock –  but I don’t know how far they’ll go from there. At least they’ll look good while they do it.

Ive always found Jameer strangely attractive.

I've always found Jameer strangely attractive.

Wa-ha-hey!

Pietrus is inappropriate, Jameer and Dwight can't keep their eyes off each other - I gotta love the Magic.

Washington Wizards:

2007-2008 record: 43-39

DeShawn Stevenson, half-naked, showing his balls.

DeShawn Stevenson, half-naked, cradling his balls.

Oh, the Wizards. Those heartbreaking, beloved-of-bloggers Wizards. Their position here is subject to change on a dime; they’ve got a lot of very good players, but they’re never all healthy at the same time. Antwan, Caron, DeShawn, Etan, Gilbert – all have had injury trouble in the recent past, some serious, and it’s always a fear. Brendan Haywood and Gilbert Arenas are out for the start of the season, taking away a lot of their points, and defense/toughness and attitude/silliness, respectively. Depending on how their injuries go, they could be a four- or five-seed in the East, or miss the playoffs entirely. Still, though, they’re an adorable team, and always (okay, usually) fun to watch.

Gilbert has a pensive.

Gilbert has a pensive.

Caron Butler is the prettiest, but I couldnt find a pretty picture of him. This one will suffice.

Caron Butler is the prettiest, but I couldn't find a pretty picture of him. This one will suffice.

Atlanta Hawks

2007-2008 record:

MOOOOM, ALS TRYNNA TAKE MY BAAAALL!

MOOOOM! AL'S TRYNNA TAKE MY BAAAALL!

Surprising many, the Hawks made the playoffs last year. It didn’t surprise me. The reason can be summed up in two words: Al Horford. I don’t just like him because he’s beautiful; he’s also an incredibly valuable player, both in his skills and as a locker-room presence. Combined with Mike Bibby – who did nothing last season, but will presumably do more this time – Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, and a host of good and improving young players, they shouldn’t do too badly this year. However, they lost the ever-underestimated Josh Childress, and didn’t really replace his scoring. Time will tell, but I see good things in future for this young Hawks team – though maybe no more than an 8-seed again this season.

There was a lot of this for the Hawks last season. But less than in seasons before!

There was a lot of this for the Hawks last season. But less than in seasons before!

Like Im not going to spam you with Horford for my Hawks preview.

Like I'm not going to spam you with Horford for my Hawks preview.

Miami Heat:

2007-2008 record: 15-67

Dwyane Wade leaps into Melos arms. Aww.

Dwyane Wade leaps into Melo's arms. Aww.

Ah, the Heat. They can’t suck as bad as they did last season, can they? Nah, I don’t think so. They’ve got a (presumably) healthy Dwyane Wade and a (presumably) happy Shawn Marion for (presumably) the whole season, Udonis Haslem, unproven-but-awesome Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, and a motley bunch of no-name young players and lower-level free agents. That doesn’t exactly add up to championship – it doesn’t even add up to playoffs, necessarily – but they’re going to win more than fifteen games this season. And an improvement’s an improvement, right?

Beasley says, Hey man, you holdin?

Beasley says, "Hey man, you holdin'?"

Beasley had the munchies.

Beasley had the munchies.

How can a man that looks so much like a chipmunk be so hot?

How can a man that looks so much like a chipmunk be so hot?

Charlotte Bobcats

2007-2008 record: 32-50

Be happy while you can, boys.

Be happy while you can, boys.

The Bobcats are a swirling vortex of suck. They take in good players like Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor, and Jason Richardson, and spit them out with a tiny amount of wins in return. Besides, Gerald Wallace has spent so much time giving it his all that he’s a walking eggshell of a man, Emeka Okafor’s good but often injured, and Jason Richardson is beloved but aging. They did draft cutie DJ Augustin, who could be a bright spot on the court for them as early as this season, and Alexis Ajinca, who could be a sleeper pick, and they somehow conned Larry Brown into coaching their team. So maybe they won’t be bad this year…but I doubt it.

He is so out of there before the end of the season.

He is so out of there before the end of the season.

I mentioned I love DJ Augustin, didnt I? Because I do.

I mentioned I love DJ Augustin, didn't I? Because I do.

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

New Orleans Hornets

2007-2008 record: 56-26

Oh, Chris Paul...insert a dramatic swoon here.

Oh, Chris Paul...insert a dramatic swoon here.

How do I love the Hornets? Let me count the ways. Chris Paul is quite possibly the best point guard in the league, and he makes everyone around him shine. David West and Tyson Chandler throw it down with aplomb. Peja Stojakovic has both a cool name and skills. Over the summer, they replaced some iffy players with some solid if not spectacular free agents, and, most importantly, did I mention Chris Paul? Because he’s special. Barring catastrophy, the Hornets will be a title contender this season.

Rising young star center Tyson Chandler. Im kind of in love with him.

Rising young star center Tyson Chandler. I'm kind of in love with him.

Timmy Duncan doesnt seem to like him much, though.

Timmy Duncan doesn't seem to like him much, though.

Hmm? Oh, right, sorry. I was distracted for a minute there.

A no-look pass and lovely muscles and Chris Paul...oh, sorry, I was distracted for a minute there.

San Antonio Spurs

2007-2008 record: 56-26

No idea who Dan Nwaele is, or if he ended up making the Spurs roster, but hes pretty.

No idea who Dan Nwaele is, or if he ended up making the Spurs roster, but he's pretty.

The Spurs are good. We’re familiar with this. Over the summer, they signed a lot of relatively unknown foreign players that are going to end up as stars in this league. I love Tim Duncan, but when are they going to stop being good? God, it gets tiresome. Title contenders as always.

See, some girls think Manus attractive!

See, some girls think Manu's attractive!

Aww. French best friends forever. FBFF?

Aww. French best friends forever. FBFF?

Houston Rockets:

2007-2008 record: 55-27

Franchise takes my personal favorite, Aaron Brooks, under his wing.

Franchise takes my personal favorite, Aaron Brooks, under his wing.

They signed Artest. Months later, I still am not quite sure what to make of that. They could win the West; they could be knocked out of the first round in four games. TMac seems, after all this time, to be getting a sense of humor out of his own tragedy, as well as some toughness (see below). Yao might be out for a part of the season. Shane Battier, Rafer Alston, and my boy Aaron Brooks are solid but not spectacular. This team will make some moves, but I doubt that they’ll go very far. Here’s hoping this is their year, though – for T-Mac’s sake.

If Paul Pierce has to make peace, you know something weirds going on.

If Paul Pierce has to make peace, you know something weird's going on.

Shane Battier. Is he handsome? Is he weird-looking? I can never tell.

Shane Battier. Is he handsome? Is he weird-looking? I can never tell.

Dallas Mavericks:

2007-2008 record: 51-31

I love him. But hes not...hes just...not.

Dirk: I love him. But he's not...he's just...not.

The West is the most competitive conference, and the Southwest is the most competitive division. The Mavs are not going to go very far. MVP Dirk may play well, and J-Kidd may get his groove back, and JHow may decide to play as big as his mouth is…it still won’t do them very good. I see them struggling to get into the bottom of the playoffs.

I like you, Josh Howard. But the offseason is not kind to you.

I like you, Josh Howard. But the offseason is not kind to you.

Can you tell I found these pictures through a search for Tyson Chandler? Er.

Can you tell I found these pictures through a search for Tyson Chandler? Er.

Memphis Grizzlies

Lots of this for Memphis.

Lots of this for Memphis.

To start, here’s an obvious observation: the Grizzlies have way, way too many guards. They’ve got four or five that could be starting guards for most teams…in about two to three years. And what di dthey do? They drafted OJ Mayo. They do have Marc Gasol, Pau’s younger, slightly more aggressive, slightly less skilled brother, and Hakim Warrick, whom I love. But they lack size, and they’re not going to be a playoff team this season. However: OJ Mayo.

His ACT score was just a point below mine. Thats hot.

His ACT score was just a point below mine. That's hot.

Marc sort of looks like Karl Urban, right? Eomer? Er. They both look like aardvarks, at least.

Marc sort of looks like Karl Urban, right? Eomer? Er. They both look like aardvarks, at least.

*swoon*

*swoon*

Thank you for your time, ladies and gentlemen! Next week we’ll have the Atlantic division for real this time (the Celtics! the Sixers! the Nets!) and the Northwest Division (the Blazers! the Nuggets! the Jazz!)

4 thoughts on “Massive NBA Preview Part II: Southeast and Southwest

  1. Manu is cute in a balding, oddly shaped nose kind of way. What is the over/under on the Bobcats declaring Adam “the ‘stache” Morrison a bust?

  2. Over/Under on Morrison’s bust-ness: this time next year. They’re stubborn, so unless he’s traded, I’d put money on maybe by next All Star Break (not this one, the next one).

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