Tuesday Night Tip-Dunk: NBA New Year's Resolutions
This week the Tip-Dunk is doing something a little different. Instead of reviewing the Tuesday Night matchups, I will be going around the league and declaring New Year's Resolutions for some of the NBA's best and worst teams.
Over the past year the Cavs have made two key acquisitions in Delonte West and Mo Williams. The guards have blended nicely into the starting lineup and their knock-down shooting has been a pivotal part in Cleveland’s success.
For the 2009 portion of the season, the Cavs must resolve not to make another move. It's tempting to go after a player that can play the four and score in return for Anderson Varejao, but it will disrupt the team chemistry.
Last season's last-minute trades resulted in disappointing playoff performances. The Cavs made it to the finals with a lesser team, LeBron is on-pace for an MVP Award, just ride him the rest of the way.
Los Angles Lakers
For the Lakers, their resolution is to simply focus in the New Year. LA will always show-up against the better teams, as seen in their last meeting with Boston, but against lesser opponents they tend to loll.
What does it matter as long as they make the playoffs, right?
Do you think it mattered to the Jordan-led Bulls if they lost to Cleveland? Kobe has to take every loss as a personal embarrassment and the Lakers need to have the mentality that every game is Game 7. Only then will they be able to clinch the title.
The Celtics’ resolution is to go on a diet and work out more. In 2008 that’s what millions of Americans said they were going to do, and they're saying the same thing this year.
The only difference is that the Celtics actually stuck to their diet last year and look at the results. That's why they are going on it again, they are an example to the NBA on how to set a goal and accomplish it.
San Antonio Spurs
This one goes out to the training staff in San Antonio - just stay healthy. The Spurs started the season without Manu Ginobili then quickly lost Tony Parker. Both are back and playing well, but a loss to any of the big three will result in a disappointing season.
As far as championship talk goes the Spurs are flying under the radar but their pattern of winning the title then losing the next year since 2002-03 has them due for another championship. Some believe that they need another piece to their puzzle, but they have the most playoff-tested stars in the NBA, and Tim Duncan is always hungry for another title.
New Orleans Hornets
Chris Paul needs to get in the face of his teammates and tell them like Snoop Dogg says, "Step yo game up!" in 2009.
The Hornets have a nice record, but have struggled to put up a fight against the better teams in the NBA. They have already lost twice to the Lakers, a team they will surely have to get through if they have any Finals aspirations.
Paul is having an season that merits MVP consideration, but until Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic are ready to live-up to their hype, don't expect much.
Oh Houston, so many talented individuals, why don't you try playing like a team? It seems as though every night Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, or Ron Artest has a big night. In 2009 then need to have not a great, but just a good night, every night.
Artest always brings the D, but he is becoming over confident in his fade-away three. McGrady will blow-up then not make it out of the training room the next night. Yao is one of this best centers in the NBA, but his foul trouble can leave Houston handicapped.
Houston, go on a retreat for 2009, do some team-building activities, and come back refreshed.
Well Canada's team, the bad news is you are well below .500. The good news is you have about 50 games to get there, and it may be enough to make the playoffs.
In 2009 the Raptors New Year's Resolution is to give an increased effort. Finally the Raptors have worked out their lineups and rotations. Players know their roles and are starting to increase their efficiency. If everyone does what they do well, the Raptors could still be the dark hoarse that they were predicted to be before the season.
New York Knicks
On the franchise's version of Black Friday, you shipped off you two leading scorers and eliminated yourself from playoff contention. We know you are getting ready for 2010, but for the fans sake your resolution is to try in 2009.
Nobody is expecting much, we know Mike D'Antoni doesn't have much to work with, but he does have something. Al Harrington is rejuvenated, Nate Robinson has really solidified himself, just don't cut-off anymore heads before the seasons over. Your fans have had it bad enough.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Yes the Thunder is the worst team in the NBA, which makes their resolution easy. Lose. Lose, lose, lose. Every game if that's what it takes.
Why should the Thunder lose every game? So they can welcome Blake Griffin home to Oklahoma City, it's the only shot your franchise has for survival.
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