Comparing the Warriors to the Southeast Division

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January 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen (34) restrains small forward LeBron James (6) during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Heat defeated the Warriors 92-75. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Any game between the Golden State Warriors and a team in the Southeast Division involves a lot of travel.  Road games can be tough, but adding distance to the equation makes them even tougher.

Another tough thing about playing the Southeast Division is the Miami Heat.  Not only are the Heat the Southeast Division’s best team, they are the reigning NBA champions and the best team in the league.

The rest of the division seems to be a work in progress.  The Atlanta Hawks have been a solid team for years, but the loss of Josh Smith to the Detroit Pistons hurts them a lot.  Al Horford, the team’s best player, is a great talent, but he probably isn’t going to lead the Hawks past the first round of the playoffs.

The Washington Wizards just might be the surprise team from the division.  John Wall leads a team comprised of young, athletic players (Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr.) and older, experienced players (Nene Hilario, Emeka Okafor).

Wall returned to the Wizards midway through last season after being out with an injury.  His impact was obvious; the Wizards were over .500 with him in the lineup.  Wall is hard to stop when he gets going; the rest of the talent on the team is enough to challenge any team.

The Charlotte Bobcats are probably going to struggle at times, but they also have some young pieces to build on.  Cody Zeller is an intriguing prospect and, although it depends how his game transitions to the NBA, he could make the Bobcats a fun team to watch.

Despite adding Victor Oladipo in the draft, the Orlando Magic are probably headed for the lottery once again.   Nikola Vucevic has turned out to be a great, young center, but the Magic need a few more pieces in order to compete for a playoff spot.