As the halfway point of the 2018/19 NBA season quickly approaches, I have decided to put together some new year’s resolutions for all 30 teams in order to finish the season on a positive(ish) note.
Atlanta Hawks: Let Trae Young play; and make mistakes – give Young full control of the team. Play him 30+ minutes a night. Let him shoot 20 times a game. Even if he turns the ball over five times a game, that’s okay.
Boston Celtics: Figure out what to do with your assets – Danny Ainge has spent the last half decade accumulating as many assets as possible; now it’s time to choose a direction. Are you all in for Anthony Davis? Or are you confident with this Irving-Tatum-Brown core?
Brooklyn Nets: Try to make the playoffs – at this point, the Nets have too many wins to be in contention for a top pick. Might as well give your young core some playoff experience.
Charlotte Hornets: Decide on the future of Kemba Walker – with their best player in franchise history’s free agency looming, the Hornets need to decide whether they intend to re-sign him or not.
Chicago Bulls: Run more suicides in practice – just kidding. Find a new coach. Also a new GM. And President. On second thought, clear out everybody not named Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter.
Cleveland Cavaliers: LOSE AS MANY GAMES AS POSSIBLE – In all seriousness if the Cavs win another freaking lottery they should just abandon the lottery system.
Dallas Mavericks: Build Luka Dončić a statue – construction should start tomorrow. Maybe build Dirk one first, but the second Dirk’s is finished, I expect Luka’s to have already begun.
Denver Nuggets: Win a playoff series – with the MVP caliber play of Nikola Jokic, and budding superstar Jamal Murray, the currently first-place Nuggets should aim to win their first round match-up. Would be a decent accomplishment considering the inexperience of their young core.
Detroit Pistons: Make the playoffs? – Boy oh boy is this Pistons team stuck in the hamster wheel of NBA mediocrity. As long as they’re paying Blake Griffin, they have to be somewhat competitive, but they’re not good enough to win a playoff series? Basketball is confusing.
Golden State Warriors: Threepeat – While this year’s Warriors are not the powerhouse they once were, they are still the odds on favourite to win the title. A threepeat would cement this team’s legacy forever.
Houston Rockets: Ride Harden’s hot hand – With James Harden hungry for his second straight MVP award, the Rockets ought to ride his historic scoring pace for as long as possible. Hopefully he can win them a couple playoff series.
Indiana Pacers: Win round one, put up a fight in round two – the Pacers should undoubtedly win their first round match-up, but with a Raptors/Sixers/Bucks match-up in round two highly probable, Indiana should push whomever they play to six or seven games.
Los Angeles Clippers: Clinch home court advantage for round 1 – As of now, the Clippers sit fourth in the crowded West. With Kawhi Leonard’s free agency awaiting, the Clippers should do everything in their power to make them as attractive as possible.
Los Angeles Lakers: Play the young guys with LeBron as much as possible – until the Lakers get a second star to pair with LeBron, they should focus on getting the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart accustomed to playing with LeBron. Ball and Kuzma have done so nicely; it’s Ingram who has struggled thus far.
Memphis Grizzlies: Enjoy the end of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol – as much as it pains me, the Grizzlies should think about ending the Grit-‘n-Grind era. Jaren Jackson is a budding star, build around him moving forward.
Miami Heat: Get off some bad contracts – After the end of the 2016/17 season, Pat Riley overpaid everyone who was a part of that team. Trade at least one of Dion Waiters, Hassan Whiteside or James Johnson.
Milwaukee Bucks: Make the Finals – In a wide open East this year, the Bucks have as good as chance as anyone to represent the East come June. Giannis plus shooters is promising.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Give Towns the ball every possession – with head coach and president Tom Thibodeau getting canned Sunday night, and a playoff berth looking slim, might as well see if KAT can average 30-15-5 on 50/40/90 shooting.
New Orleans Pelicans: Do whatever it takes to keep Anthony Davis – If Davis asks for a trade, it very well might be the end of basketball in New Orleans. Davis is likely to finish his career as the best power forward of all time (I count Duncan as a center, relax). Keep this man on your team.
New York Knicks: LOSE! – ‘ACL’s are a serious injury, maybe we should keep Porzingis out for the whole year.’ ‘Boy, Zion would look great in a Knicks jersey.’ ‘Why yes, I do think Emmanuel Mudiay should shoot 25 times a game.’ These are phrases that should be brought up in coaches meetings.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Conference Finals – The Thunder have the best defence in the league, and if Andre Roberson ends up returning, this team will keep opponents up at night. Paul George is playing at an MVP level, let him lead this team to success.
Orlando Magic: Find a point guard – DJ Augustin is good and all, but as a third string backup, not a starter. The Magic have a gazillion big guys, and no guards. Take a flyer on Fultz, who knows.
Philadelphia 76ers: Make Joel Embiid option numero uno – Sorry Jimbo, but Embiid is the best player on this team. His numbers are on par with Shaq’s MVP season. FEED HIM.
Phoenix Suns: Gather up all the players, coaches, employees, ushers, and ball-boys before recruiting an army of angry Arizona residents to confront Robert Sarver and force him to sell the team – until this happens, the Suns ain’t going nowhere.
Portland Trail Blazers: Put up a fight in the playoffs – After last year’s embarrassing sweep to the Pelicans, the Blazers need to show management why they aren’t worth blowing up. Even if they don’t win a round, at least come close.
Sacramento Kings: Go all in for the eight seed — The last time the Kings were in the playoffs, Rihanna’s Umbrella was number one on the charts.
San Antonio Spurs: Make the playoffs – as the Spurs slowly get healthier, they should aim for the six(ish) seed come April. Let DeMar do his thing, and keep on Spurs-ing along.
Toronto Raptors: Make the Finals – it’s now or never for the Raptors. Go all in. Do whatever it takes. Even if you make the Finals, lose, and Kawhi leaves, in my books, that’s a success.
Utah Jazz: Get some scoring help – the Jazz did this by trading for Kyle Korver, but if Donovan Mitchell isn’t scoring, it’s a struggle. He needs some offensive help.
Washington Wizards: Try and trade John Wall’s contract – when other GM’s laugh out loud and hang up on you, try and trade Bradley Beal.