Tha Sports Junkies 101

A New Year’s Resolution For Each NBA Team

A New Year's Resolution For Each NBA Team mattk1979 / Flickr


We are a week into 2018 and it’s time to talk about a New Year’s resolution. With All-Star weekend only weeks away, every team should focus on improving in one key area in order to separate themselves from the pretenders in the NBA. 30 teams. 30 resolutions. Here we go:

New Year’s Resolution For Each Team:

Atlanta Hawks

New Year’s resolution: Find a replacement for Paul Millsap. The Hawks were a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference when Millsap was their leader. Look for them to shop around before the trade deadline on February 8th.

Boston Celtics

New Year’s resolution: Find one or two quality bench players. The Celtics have gotten off to a surprising 32-10 start after losing Gordon Heyward for the season. We all know that their starting 5 can play, but I’m still not sold their bench can provide enough help down the stretch.

Brooklyn Nets

New Year’s resolution: Once D’Angelo Russell gets healthy, promote Jahlil Okafor to the starting lineup. It’s time to see if these two talented players can gel together as both are experiencing a fresh start.

Charlotte Hornets

New Year’s resolution: Establish a stronger connection between Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard. Howard only has one or two quality years left and I think they have enough talent to compete in the east. They must take advantage of a relatively easy schedule, but only that can be fueled by the chemistry between Walker and Howard.

Chicago Bulls

New Year’s resolution: Find veteran players. The Bulls aren’t going to get anywhere in the east without veteran leadership. They have a nice group of young talent, but right now, they’re just a mirror image of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Cleveland Cavaliers

New Year’s resolution: Continue to get Isaiah Thomas more minutes. I believe IT can be the difference maker the Cavs need to compete with the Warriors, but he has to be comfortable going full throttle before the playoffs in order for them to have a shot.

Dallas Mavericks

New Year’s resolution: Move on from Dirk Nowitzki. It’s time for the next chapter led by Dennis Smith, Jr. I believe they can break .500 next year with that mix of veteran and young players if they do intend to part ways with Dirk.

Denver Nuggets

New Year’s resolution: Continue to develop the youngsters. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray provide a solid foundation and if they can develop their roster in the draft and free agency next season, the future looks bright in Colorado.

Detroit Pistons

New Year’s resolution: Find a point guard. Ish Smith is not going to bring championships to the motor city. Andre Drummond, Avery Bradley, and Tobias Harris are playing well together and have them 7th in the current playoff picture. With a defined point guard distributing the ball, I believe they can become a top 4 team in the east.

Golden State Warriors

New Year’s resolution: Not applicable. They’re winning the championship as long as those four guys (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson) are together. Coupled with a bench that could compete with most teams and that’s a formula for winning not only now, but for years to come.

Houston Rockets

Resolution: Establish a leader come playoff time. There’s only one way to get past the Warriors in the Western Conference and that’s if one guy can take over a game. We saw LeBron do it in 2015 and 2016 and if Harden can become that guy, there’s a least a chance they can represent the west in the NBA Finals.

Indiana Pacers

Resolution: Find help for Viktor Oladipo. Now that Oladipo has emerged as the next great talent in the east, the Pacers need to surround him with a better team. It’s time to move on from their old veterans and start shopping for younger talent.

Los Angeles Clippers

Resolution: Clean house. Without Chris Paul, Blake Griffin’s leadership abilities are starting to dwindle. Now that DeAndre Jordan is on the trading block, that would leave Griffin as top dog. I would trade Griffin before Jordan and use those assets for shooting help and defense, two areas the Clippers need to address.

Los Angeles Lakers

Resolution: Go get Paul George. The Lakers have shown signs of brilliance with their young core. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram are on their way to becoming legit players in this league. The reason why they currently have a 12-27 record is primarily due to the fact that they don’t have a closer.  None of their players can shoot efficiently so adding a veteran shooter, like PG13, can solve a lot of their problems.

Memphis Grizzlies

Resolution: Just wait for Mike Conley to return. He is the glue that holds this team together and without him, the Grizzlies are tied for the worst record in the west. This is a busted season, but look for them to rebound next year.

Miami Heat

Resolution: Find veteran leadership. I believe the pieces are there for the Heat to compete in the east but Goran Dragic is not the guy who can provide that spark. If they can acquire another point guard to push Dragic or find a big man who can work with Hassan Whiteside, that would put the Heat in a good position to at least make the playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks

Resolution: Help Giannis Antetokoumnpo improve his shooting. The Bucks are another team capable of competing with the greats in the east. I love the Bledsoe trade earlier in the year, but in order for them to beat the Cavs, Giannis has to become a better shooter.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Resolution: See Detroit Pistons. They need to find a point guard to compliment Karl Anthony-Towns and Jimmy Butler. Their roster is loaded with talent, but Jeff Teague, even when healthy, isn’t a guy who can take down the likes of Steph Curry or Chris Paul in the west.

New Orleans Pelicans

Resolution: Lockup DeMarcus Cousins. I like what the Pelicans are doing in the west. Rajon Rondo continues to fly under the radar and I believe he’s the right point guard for Boogie and Anthony Davis. If they can sign Cousins to a long-term deal, the Pelicans will be a contender for years to come.

New York Knicks

Resolution: Find complimentary pieces for Kristaps Porzingis. Now that Carmelo Anthony is in Oklahoma City, the Knicks need to focus on keeping Porzingis happy. A backcourt consisting of Jarrett Jack and Courtney Lee will not be able to get them to the next level.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Resolution: Move Carmelo Anthony come off the bench. The Thunder are still trying to figure out how use three isolation type players work together. I believe the only way they can achieve peak performance is to move Carmelo to the bench so he can become the focal point of the second unit. That leaves Russell Westbrook and Paul George more space to enhance their abilities.

Orlando Magic

Resolution: Find a star player. The Magic got off to a 6-2 start, but have since fizzled out and now stand near the bottom in the east. They have a group of quality complimentary players, but it’s clearly not enough to push them over the top. Look for them to actively shop before the trade deadline.

Philadelphia 76ers

Resolution: Trust the process? Yes and find more veterans. I believe the 76ers are the future in the east if Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid remain healthy, but they need more than just the help of JJ Redick to provide that much-needed leadership.

Phoenix Suns

Resolution: Get Devin Booker a proper big man. Tyson Chandler is a nice player, but he’s on the wrong side of 35. Booker is a future all-star, but the Suns need a better presence in the post for them to have any chance of making the playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers

Resolution: Find a center to compliment that backcourt. Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum can only do so much. I understand that Jusuf Nurkic is still developing, but I’m not sure he’s the answer. If they can find a suitable trade partner, they should use that young talent as an asset and acquire a big man to better fit Dame and CJ’s playing styles.

Sacramento Kings

Resolution: Find a shooting guard. The Kings have some pieces in place with George Hill and Zach Randolph leading the way, but Garrett Temple is only shooting 38%, according to That’s not enough to put this team in a position to win.

San Antonio Spurs

Resolution: Pray Kawhi Leonard can play through his injuries. He is a top 5 player in this league when healthy and with an aging Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge, they need Leonard more than ever to keep those title hopes alive for one more year.

Toronto Raptors

Resolution: Similar to Boston, they need to find a couple of quality bench players to improve their second unit. With a 27-10 record, they are in a good position to compete with the Celtics and Cavs.

Utah Jazz

Resolution: Improve the chemistry in the backcourt. Donovan Mitchell has emerged as a Rookie of the Year favorite and now that Ricky Rubio has finally settled down in one spot, it’s critical for these two to establish a bond. With Derrick Favors in the post, the Jazz have a chance to turn some heads in the west.

Washington Wizards

Resolution: See Toronto and Boston. Bench help is a necessity for the Wizards. Their starting five is as good as any as John Wall and Bradley Beal continue to prove themselves as the league’s best backcourt. If they can acquire at least one veteran bench player who can help on both sides of the ball, they will be in a good position in the east.