City Sports Report

New Year’s Resolutions-NBA Style

Chris Paul is facing a lot of pressure this season. The clock is ticking on him getting that elusive title(picture courtesy of www.usatoday.com)

With a new year brings new expectations for some. But for many, it brings resolutions. Whether it be going to the gym, reading more of trying to make some things in your personal life better, many have made resolutions to work on for 2015. We don’t know what some teams or players are doing for their resolutions or if they even have them. But let’s assume they do. Here is what some teams and player’s resolutions should be in 2015.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers-Defense

The Cleveland Cavaliers season has not been what they expected. The return of LeBron James to town made expectations go sky high. Of course LeBron told everyone that it would take time to make it happen in Cleveland. But like most things, people went right past that and started proclaiming the Cavs the Eastern Conference champion before the first game of the season. Well, the Cavs have been far from what some expected and are not even at the top of the East. One reason can be there defense. There is no way to sugarcoat it: the Cavs are horrible defensively. Kevin Love has not been what they needed on either end of the court consistently and he is getting tore into defensively every game. Kyrie is trying, but he is not the greatest defender on his best day. And LeBron has not been the same defensive presence he was in Miami. This team has a long way to go and there it’s a long season, but if this defense does not improve, they will not make it very far.

  1. Derrick Rose-Stay Healthy

The Chicago Bulls are a team built for a championship run this year. They have depth, shooting, size and consistent inside scoring as well. This team, minus Derrick Rose, is a very competitive one. But for the Bulls to ultimately go where they want to go, Derrick Rose has to stay healthy. He has missed some games this season with sprained ankles and more recently with a sore hamstring, but he has not had issues with the knees that have kept him out the last two seasons. He is currently playing each and every night and starting to have some semblance of the guy he once was before the injuries. Of course he will never be that same guy, but he will need to be healthy and confident for this team to reach their goal. If he can continue to get better as the season goes on, the Bulls will have a great chance to win it all. If he does not, then there goes the neighborhood for the Bulls.

  1. Carmelo Anthony-No More Revisionist History

Carmelo Anthony was sought by teams thinking he was the missing piece for their championship dreams. The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets were all vying for his services this past summer. Ultimately, it came down to the Bulls and New York Knicks, where he has played for the past few years. He chose to stay with the Knicks and signed a huge contract to stay there and continue to try and make something happen there. Well, the Knicks are one of the worst teams in the NBA and the Bulls are a team many look at to make it to the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference. But even more than that, we have seen Melo reflect on how close he was to choosing the Bulls a few times. He has reflected so much so, that it makes you wonder why he even chose the Knicks besides the obvious reason: money. That talk had become nauseating to not only fans of the Knicks but fans of the NBA. So, going forward, Melo please talk about the Knicks and how it can be better. We know you did not choose the Bulls. I think your team needs more focus on how you can make them better as oppose to reflecting on the Bulls may have been with you.

  1. Kobe Bryant- Give And You Shall Receive

Kobe Bryant is no doubt the one of the greatest players and scorers of all-time. Even with a lesser team, he is putting up numbers. But in order to put up wins, he has to follow the gameplan that he used versus the Denver Nuggets recently. Bryant had a triple-double versus Denver and the Lakers won the game 111-103. Of course it is crazy to expect Kobe to only shoot the basketball 11 times in one game again, but what he did in that game was get his teammates involved a little more. And when he does that and mixes in his scoring, the team can play better. And for Kobe, who is a great competitor as well as player, I believe he wants to win. Hopefully we get this mix for Kobe more. I think the team would benefit from it greatly.

  1. Steve Kerr-Take It A Little Bit Easier

The new coach of the Golden State Warriors has struck the right chord with this team. The offense is booming, the defense is playing well and the Warriors are have the top record in the NBA. It is amazing the seamless transition the team has made in going from Mark Jackson to Kerr. But for as much of a smooth transition that the team as made, Kerr’s relationship with the referees as a coach has been all but smooth. The former player and first-time coach has been seen this season losing a little on the sidelines. I, for one, can say that I am surprised at his demeanor at times. I thought he would be a quiet coach on the sideline, but he can be seen getting held back by his assistants. And even with that, he leads all NBA coaches in technical fouls this season. For the new year, he has got to exercise a better way of speaking to the officials or he will end up getting a technical that will cost his team at the wrong time in a game they may need.

  1. Atlanta Hawks-Move Forward And Don’t Look Back

The Atlanta Hawks are smoking right now. They are near the top of the Eastern Conference and they are playing really well. But as well as they are playing, it is easy to go back to what they used to be in their past. The Hawks have been a borderline playoff team that has overachieved for the past few years. And in most of those seasons, they started well only to fall back to the pack. They must not remember the past and look forward to what they can create this season. If they don’t fall back into the doldrums of the past failures, then maybe they can make it further than they have before as a franchise. If not, then you could see the frustration of Hawks fans come back out again. And that would not be a good thing for a franchise that has always struggled with their fan base.

  1. Chris Paul- Commit to Being Better When It Counts

Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the NBA. His floor leadership is unquestioned and he seems to do everything the team needs during the regular season. But when it comes to the postseason, the star point guard always comes up short. Whether it be him having an untimely turnover or his team not giving him support when he is carrying them offensively, many things have led to the demise of Chris Paul come playoff time. But in the end, the onus is on Paul to make it happen for his team come playoff time. If he is indeed one of the best, he has to make it happen when it matters the most. Time is running short for Paul and his career, although spectacular, is under the microscope right now. It seems like he has avoided the microscope while others have focused on Carmelo Anthony, but there is no avoiding it anymore. Tick…tick…tick…time is running out Chris Paul.

  1. Oklahoma City- Play Like There Is No Tomorrow

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been a team that has been injury-riddled all year long. Both their stars, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, have missed significant time. And add to it the injuries to some of their support players and we find the Thunder out of the playoffs if they were to start today. The good thing for the Thunder is the season is not over today. But the bad news is they play in the NBA’s Western Conference. The Thunder, I believe, will make the playoffs. But they will have to play great down the stretch of the season to make it above a seven seed, which is not where they want to be.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans-Help Your Fellow Man

Anthony Davis has been a monster for the Pelicans this season. He is averaging career-bests in points, rebounds and blocks and has been the leader for New Orleans all season long. But with all he has done, he is only one man. There has not been any consistent help for Davis this year in New Orleans. Jrue Holiday has been there at times, but he has been inconsistent. Tyreke Evans has been inconsistent as well for the Pelicans. And Eric Gordon has been holding Milk Carton Status all year long. Well, we are not sure if Gordon will ever be found or be healthy for the Hornets, but Holiday and Evans need to show up more consistently if this team wants to make the playoffs. It cannot be all on Davis’ shoulders every single game to do everything. The supporting cast has to show up. If they don’t, then this team will be on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. And hopefully they find Gordon one day. They paid him a lot of money to go missing in action.

  1. NBA Rookie Class-Show Up

If you look around the NBA, you will notice one thing: the rookies have not shown up and shown out as much. The top rookies this season were supposed to be Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. Well, Randle got hurt the first game and was pronounced out for the season, Parker was doing pretty well until he tore his ACL versus Phoenix and was pronounced out for the year and Wiggins has been inconsistent at best. And there are countless other rookies out there that have not even made any impact on the teams they play for. Maybe one day they will show up this season. But for the most part, they are all sitting on the bench, playing D-League basketball or about to be sent down to the D-League. Hopefully some members of the rookie class will show up sometime. Or they could go down as one of the most overhyped classes of all-time. Agree or disagree with the resolutions or do you have any to add to this list? For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

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