Quick Hits: Southeast Division
Quick Hits: - Predictions for each division’s best rookie, biggest bust, breakout player and MVP.
Best Rookie: Justise Winslow
*Photo via Getty Images
When thinking about the best rookie in this division it was a two-man race between Winslow and Orlando Magic draft pick, Mario Hezonja. What separates Winslow from Hezonja is Winslow can help the Miami Heat right now.
Hezonja has more talent and a higher ceiling, but Winslow has the defensive capabilities and offensive versatility to make an impact off the Heat bench. Winslow may be in a better situation considering all he has to do is play his role off the bench, as opposed to Hezonja who may be asked to produce for a team that is young and probably in the lottery once again.
Biggest Bust: Tim Hardaway Jr.
I’m not sure what the motive was for the Atlanta Hawks to trade for Hardaway, considering he doesn’t exactly fit the mold of the system they run. The Hawks are all about ball movement and getting the best shot. Hardaway is not known for being a willing passer and is often too selfish when looking for his own shot.
After a promising rookie year, Hardaway shot just 38 percent last season. Beyond that, he’s not a great defender and often takes plays off on that end. He could benefit tremendously from the Hawks system if he buys in and works more on defense, or he could quite possibly play his way out of the league if he doesn’t abandon his “shoot first, play defense later” mentality.
Breakout Player: Otto Porter Jr.
*Photo via csnm
Porter has been somewhat of a disappointment in his NBA career, but he showed some progress when he got more minutes in the playoffs. With the departure of Paul Pierce, Porter will be thrown into the starting lineup and could develop into a capable NBA player. He has the potential to make a name for himself, by getting more minutes alongside John Wall, who will make life easier for him offensively.
MVP: John Wall
*Photo via USA Today
Speaking of Wall, he is arguably the most athletic player in this division, and with the health concerns for Chris Bosh he is probably the best player in the division. He is one of the best point guards in the league, and also one of the last prototypical point guards who passes first. He has great athleticism and can get to the rim like the other athletic guards in the league, but he has uncanny floor vision and creativity that separates him from most of the field.