The Eastern Conference Southeast Division features the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards and our Orlando Magic.

The Southeast will be a tough fight this season as every team can point to improved prospects.

Here we look at Orlando’s Division rivals, teams the Magic will face four times each in the Eastern Conference Southeast Division.


The Hawks came close last season to making a surprise appearance in the NBA Final. Tied at 2-2 with Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Final Trae Young succumbed to injury. Atlanta then struggled, bowing out 4-2 to the eventual Champions. The question is now can the Hawks go further or did they miss their chance?

Key Arrivals 

Delon Wright (PG), Gorgui Dieng (C), Jalen Johnson (F) (rookie), Sharife Cooper (G) (rookie)

Key Departures

Kris Dunn (PG), Bruno Fernando (C), Tony Snell (F)

Extensions and Re-signings

Trae Young (PG) (5 years at $172 million or $207 million if voted onto All-NBA team), John Collins (PF) (5 years at $125 million), Solomon Hill (C), Lou Williams (G)

Potential Starting Lineup

Trae Young (PG), Bogdan Bogdanovich (SG), DeAndre Hunter (SF), John Collins (PF), Clint Capella (C)

The Hawks had a good off-season. Nate McMillan was made permanent in the head coach role. They secured Trae Young, John Collins, Solomon Hill and Lou Williams. Further they acquired some additional depth by trading for Delon Wright and drafting well.

Their potential starting 5 is a challenge for every team to contain. Throw in a bench that includes Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, Delon Wright, Solomon Hill, Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter…wow!

The Hawks are blessed with a great balance between youth and veteran experience at every position.

Matchups With Orlando

Nov 15th (A), Dec 15th (H), Dec 22nd (A), Feb 16th (H) 


Charlotte could be an interesting watch having had on paper a good off-season. As a result they will expect to be in the conversation for the playoffs.

Key Arrivals

Kelly Oubre Jr (SF), Mason Plumlee (C), Ish Smith (PG), James Bouknight (SG) (rookie), Kai Jones (C) (rookie)

Key Departures

Devonte’ Graham (PG), Malik Monk (SG), Cody Zeller (C)

Extensions and Re-signings

Terry Rozier (G) (4 years at $96.3 million)

Potential Starting Lineup

LaMelo Ball (PG), Terry Rozier (SG), Gordon Hayward (SF), Miles Bridges (PF), Mason Plumlee (C)

The current Rookie of the Year is firmly paired with Rozier in the starting backcourt. Hayward is a certainty to start but both Bridges and Plumlee face a fight for their spots from PJ Washington and subsequently rookie Kai Jones.

The bench sees a new backcourt following Graham and Monk both moving on from Charlotte. Smith and Bouknight now provide the depth and cover. Former Magic player Wes Iwundu May see minutes from the bench that further includes Jalen McDaniels, Cody Martin and Caleb Martin, along with the acquired Oubre, Washington and two rookies.

Expect Charlotte to be a difficult matchup for many a favoured team.

Matchups With Orlando

Oct 27th (H), Nov 24th (H), Jan 14th (A), Apr 7th (A)  


The Heat became even more unpopular with many Magic fans this summer as they acquired Kyle Lowry. With Championship experience and a ruthless style of play can Lowry be the piece to push Miami back to the top of the East?

Key Arrivals

Kyle Lowry (PG), PJ Tucker (PF), Markieff Morris (PF)

Key Departures

Goran Dragic (PG), Andre Iguodala (G/F), Kendrick Nunn (G), Trevor Ariza (F), Nemenja Bjelica (PF), Precious Achiuwa (F/C)

Extensions and Re-signings

Jimmy Butler (G/F) (3 years at $146.6 million), Duncan Robinson (G/F) (5 years at $90 million), Victor Oladipo (G) (1 year veteran minimum $2.4 million), Udonis Haslam (C)

Potential Starting Lineup

Kyle Lowry (PG), Jimmy Butler (SG), Duncan Robinson (SF), PJ Tucker (PF), Bam Adebayo (C)

Does a season go by where Pat Riley doesn’t make some big moves? He has engineered an impressive off-season and that is beyond question. Securing contracts with Lowry, Butler, Tucker and Robinson sees the core starting unit in place, along with Adebayo (whom had signed a 5 year $163 million contract in November 2020).

The Oladipo contract is good business for a player who can impact both ends of the court. The former Magic favourite is seeking to rebuild his career after another long absence, this time from a severe quad injury. A playing return to the court is not expected before December.

This team will play tough and hard. They have players who work hard on every defensive set. Once they get the ball they have great playmakers and a 42.3% career three point shooter in Robinson. Perhaps some depth was lost with the off-season departures but with Morris, Tyler Herro, KZ Okpala, Dewayne Dedmon and Oladipo (when fit) there is a balance of talent, aggression and experience to come in.

Matchups With Orlando

Oct 25th (A), Dec 17th (H), Dec 26th (A), Apr 10th (H)


In some ways it has been a quiet summer for the Magic, despite being in a rebuild. Much of the groundwork had been completed at the trade deadline in March.

Orlando will have a new broom to oversee the team after moving on from Coach Steve Clifford by mutual consent. He has been replaced by Jamahl Murray, a rookie head coach with a vast experience as an assistant.

Last season saw the Magic play 72 games, use a total of 28 players in 32 different starting lineups. This season has to be better than that, right? Surely there has to be more consistency and less injury issues?

The moves made have been solid, beyond trading away our early second round draft pick. That was a move not liked by many fans as it is hard to see how the one received in exchange will be better than the one we already had this year (33rd overall).

Key Arrivals

E’Twaun Moore (G), Robin Lopez (C), Jalen Suggs (G) (rookie), Franz Wagner (F) (rookie)

Key Departures

Otto Porter Jr (F), Dwayne Bacon (G), James Ennis III (F)

*At the time of writing James Ennis is still an unsigned unrestricted free agent.

Extensions and Re-signings

Moritz Wagner (F/C)

Potential Starting Lineup

Jalen Suggs (PG), Cole Anthony (SG), Gary Harris (SF), Chuma Okeke (PF), Wendell Carter Jr (C)

Jalen Suggs falling to 5th felt like a win after the disappointment of having dropped back in the Draft Lottery. He has potential to be the face of the team and will likely walk straight into a starting role.

Picking up Lopez and Moore adds some veteran experience to join Terence Ross, Gary Harris and Michael Carter-Williams a very youthful squad. That squad has potential talent with growth expected. RJ Hampton, Mo Bamba, Cole Anthony, Chuma Okeke,

The expected returns from ACL injuries of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz is an awaited boost to the team. Their eventual return will bring increased experience and talent to the team, along with decisions to be made on starting lineups.

The Magic did not address the need for wing shooting, which has been a known weakness. Whilst this may be a focus at some point in the future in the meantime trying players in the role has a potential to be detrimental to development (and yes we’ve seen that before).

How Orlando’s squad is shaping up is covered in more depth here but this was prior to Moore rejoining the team.

The Magic Schedule

This is the full Orlando Magic schedule with U.K. tip times.

If you missed it; here is our article looking at the Magic schedule.


The Wizards had a good off-season and whilst they may not be a title challenger they have positioned themselves to be a strong team. There is depth and talent in every position. Another team being headed up by a new head coach, moving on from Scott Brooks and hiring Wes Unseld Jr.

Key Arrivals

Spencer Dinwiddie (PG), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G/F), Montreal Harrell (F/C), Kyle Kuzma (PF), Aaron Holiday (PG), Corey Kispert (SF) (rookie)

Key Departures 

Russell Westbrook (PG), Ish Smith (PG), Robin Lopez (C), Alex Len (C)

Extensions and Re-signings

Raul Neto (PG)

Potential Starting Lineup

Spencer Dinwiddie (PG), Bradley Beal (SG), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SF), Rui Hachimura (PF), Daniel Gafford (C)

The Wizards in moving the Westbrook contract got a decent return in respect of experience, depth and ability. Harrell, Caldwell-Pope and Kuzma all benefit this team. Adding Dinwiddie to partner Beal is a good fit

The depth is at every position and will see competition for minutes. For example Gafford saw the season out as the centre but now faces competition from Harrell and a soon returning Thomas Bryant (expected back from a torn ACL in December). Davis Bertans, Kuzma and Deni Avdija can all push for a starting slot.

Ultimately, this minor reset has come from escaping the contracts of John Wall and Westbrook in the past two summers. It has allowed them to create a solid set of talents, who if they can balance team over self interest will create a lot of opportunities to win games.

Matchups With Orlando

Nov 13th (H), Jan 9th (H), Jan 12th (A), Mar 30th (A) 


Both Atlanta and Miami will be hoping to win the Eastern Conference Southeast Division, for a deep playoff run and with a belief they can challenge for the NBA crown. Charlotte and Washington will feel they have the ability to be in the playoff equation. For Orlando few believe the team to be anything other than “also rans” and finish last in the Division. Don’t expect the Magic to roll over for anyone without a fight.

In some ways the Eastern Conference Southeast Division is looking a lot more competitive than it has been for several seasons. There will be no team eyeing any of their rivals in this division and thinking it to be an easy game. Every victory will have to be earned.

Upcoming episodes of the Orlando Magic U.K. podcast; Penny For Your Thoughts will focus on the teams of Eastern Conference. We will talk with U.K. fans to get an insight and opinions about their team. If you have not already done so please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Make sure to hit the notification button so as not to miss future episodes.