1 Christmas Wish for Every Top 15 Superstar
NBA superstars have Christmas wishes like the rest of us, although they all wish for different things.
In some cases, their wishes have nothing to do with them, but instead focus on their team. Basketball is the quintessential team sport, as it takes an in-synch rotation to win a championship.
The Christmas season is filled with optimism, and the same is true for the league's premier players.
At this point in the season, the majority of the players on this list still believe that they have an opportunity to win it all.
All Statistics are accurate as of December 24th, 2012.
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Wish—To Win Back-to-Back NBA Titles
The best player on the planet also may be the most selfless, as LeBron James only cares about the success of the Miami Heat.
That idea was reinforced recently, when James spoke out about the scoring title. According to ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh, James said the following:
If I wanted to, I could lead the league in scoring, but that's not my job here. My job is to do a lot of everything -- rebounding, passing and defending so that takes away from my scoring. I've done (the scoring title) before. I'm capable of doing it, but my game sometimes doesn't allow me to have those big nights.
As he stated, James does what the Heat need to win on a nightly basis. For Miami to defend last season's title, LeBron will have to be at his best.
James is such an amazing player that outstanding performances are the norm for him, as the Heat are the title favorites due to their MVP.
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Wish—To Claim His Maiden NBA Title
Kevin Durant reached the finals for the first time in his career in 2012, but his Oklahoma City Thunder were beaten in five games by the Miami Heat.
It's scary to think that Durant will only continue to get better, but that's the truth.
The Thunder are among the favorites to represent the Western Conference again this season, as they have adapted well after the James Harden trade.
At just 24 years old, Durant is at the beginning of what promises to be a magical career. Although he knows his NBA journey is just starting, Durant is hungry to win his first title as soon as possible.
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Wish—For the Boston Celtics to Acquire Another Big Man
The Boston Celtics have struggled mightily when Kevin Garnett is on the bench, as they don't have another big man who can perform adequately when Garnett rests.
Even with Rajon Rondo leading the league in assists, the Celtics have been unable to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Eastern Conference's average teams.
Boston is just 13-13 through the season's first third, and an immediate improvement doesn't appear to be on the horizon.
The Celtics need to acquire another big man in order to improve their interior defense and rebounding.
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Wish—To Represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals
Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league, as he has made the Los Angeles Clippers relevant for the first time in a long time.
Unfortunately for Paul, he has not been on many good teams. A couple of his New Orleans Hornets teams were solid, but that was primarily due to Paul's spectacular play.
This season, the Clippers have been one of the most dangerous teams in the Western Conference. They could also lay claim to the distinction of deepest team in the league, due to the stable of veteran players that are on their bench.
Paul thrives in the playoffs; he just needs more support to get past the league's elite teams.
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Wish—For This Nightmarish Season to Turn Around
The Los Angeles Lakers have been in the spotlight all season but for all the wrong reasons. Kobe Bryant has been the team's best player, but he hasn't been able to make up for the inconsistent play of his teammates.
Through the season's first third, the Lakers have compiled a 13-14 record, which puts them in 11th place in the Western Conference. Considering the elite talent that they have on the roster, the lack of success has been extremely disappointing.
Bryant doesn't put up with poor results, especially this late in his career. If the Lakers were to miss the playoffs, Kobe would likely blow a fuse and go on an epic rant.
The Lakers have plenty of time to turn it around, which is exactly what Bryant is counting on.
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Wish—For the New York Knicks Success to Continue
Carmelo Anthony has been called a chemistry killer in the past, which is a notion that is being put to rest this season.
The New York Knicks are currently in second pace in the Eastern Conference, with Anthony emerging as an MVP candidate.
When Anthony claimed that the Knicks' time was coming after the 2012 season, pundits laughed. So far this season, the Knicks are the ones laughing with their 18-6 record.
There aren't any reasons to believe that the Knicks' quick start is a fluke, as they have beaten the Miami Heat twice this season, each by double figures.
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Wish—To Get Fully Healthy
While Dwight Howard has started every game for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, he hasn't been himself.
Considering that Howard is coming off serious back surgery, he can be forgiven for lacking some of his trademark athleticism.
According to Yahoo! Sports writer Eric Freeman, Howard said the following about his health:
I'm still in that process. People don't understand that. They just come out and see me make a couple dunks and blocks and say, 'Oh, he's back.' But it does take a while for all this stuff to heal. This is not something easy, so I understand that. It will come.
The Lakers have struggled this season, and part of those struggles can be attributed to Howard's limitations.
Hopefully, Howard will be 100 percent healthy at some point this season, but until then, he will wish that he was at the height of his powers.
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Wish—To Be Accepted For the Player He Is
Russell Westbrook will never be a prototypical point guard. But that's fine, because he's amazing at what he does.
Westbrook scores like an elite shooting guard but has been criticized in the past for not sharing the ball enough in big games. That hasn't been the case this season, as Westbrook has dished 8.8 assists per game, which is two assists more than his career average.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have wisely invested in Westbrook. Instead of trying to change Westbrook, they have gotten the most his talents by letting him be himself.
Some members of the media still criticize Westbrook for his style of play, but one day soon, everyone will realize how special of a player he is.
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Wish—The Health of His Older Teammates
Tony Parker is the spoon that stirs the San Antonio Spurs offense, as the Frenchman is averaging 7.2 assists per contest thus far this season.
While individual stats are nice, Parker cares about the team's postseason success far more.
In order for the Spurs to reach their goal—which is to win the NBA championship—they will need pillars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to be healthy.
In Duncan's case, the Spurs have little to worry about due to his smooth playing style.
There are injury concerns surrounding Ginobili, as he has been laid up due to injuries on multiple occasions in the past.
If the Spurs are healthy come playoff time, they will be a force to be reckoned with due to Parker's offensive repertoire.
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Wish—To Regain Last Season's Form
The Brooklyn Nets have gotten off to a decent start despite the slow start of Deron Williams.
The move to Brooklyn has not helped Williams' game, as he is having his worst season statistically since his second year in the league.
After posting a stat line of 21 points and 8.7 assists last season, Williams has seen his scoring decline to just 16 points per game this season. He is also shooting the ball less than a season ago and is shooting it less efficiently.
The Nets need Williams to be a superstar, which is something he hasn't been this season.
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Wish—For the Portland Trail Blazers to Improve Their Bench
The Portland Trail Blazers lean on their starters more than most teams, as their starters play all but 16.3 minutes per night on average according to HoopsStats.com.
LaMarcus Aldridge is currently leading the league in minutes played, with an average of 38.2 minutes per night.
After shooting over 50 percent from the field in each of the past two seasons, Aldridge is shooting just 46.1 percent this season.
While Aldridge is still having an excellent season, he would benefit from more rest.
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Wish—A Playoff Berth
Through the season's first third, James Harden has proved that he can be the No. 1 option in an explosive offense. He is fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 25.6 points per game.
While the Harden trade was a major coup for Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets, a playoff berth would make the acquisition look even better.
From Harden's perspective, a playoff berth would show the league that he can lead a winning team without the help of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The Rockets have gotten off to a good start this season, as their 14-12 record has them in sixth place in the Western Conference.
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Wish—Improved Free-Throw Shooting
Blake Griffin may be the best athlete in the NBA, as his leaping ability is godlike. For all of his athletic prowess, Griffin struggles mightily from the free-throw line.
This season, Griffin has only converted on 61.2 percent from the charity stripe, which is actually an improvement over the 2012 season.
Opposing defenses aren't scared to foul Griffin when he is in the paint, which makes the young phenom much easier to defend.
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Wish—For His Right Knee to Hold Up
Dirk Nowitzki made his regular-season debut on December 23rd but only played 20 minutes.
Dirk knows that he only has a few pique years left, which must have made his absence even harder on him.
The Dallas Mavericks have never missed the playoffs with Nowitzki on the roster, a streak that the Big German would hate to see come to an end.
Without Nowitzki, the Mavs compiled a lackluster 12-16 record which has them in 12th place in the Western Conference.
If Dirk's right knee acts up, then the Mavs' playoff chances would quickly go up in smoke.
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Wish—To Remain Injury Free
Kyrie Irving is no stranger to injuries, as he has missed parts of his last three seasons due to various ailments.
During his only season at Duke, Irving missed the majority of the season due to a right foot injury. He did not return until the NCAA tournament and was limited when he did return.
After being selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Irving missed time due to a concussion and a shoulder injury, although he was voted the Rookie of the Year despite the missed time.
Prior to this season, Irving broke his hand during a frustrating practice while playing with the USA Select Team. While the injury healed in time for training camp, it perpetuated the idea that Irving is prone to injury.
This season, Irving suffered a hairline fracture in his left index finger, which kept him out for a little more than three weeks. Once he returned from his finger injury, Irving's jaw was broken in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, although that injury did not sideline him for any time.
It's a shame that such a talented young player has been bitten by the injury bug so often. Cavs fans are praying that Irving remains healthy, as he makes the team exciting and competitive by himself.