Updated: Jan 12, 2022
Every year, around this time of the year our friends and family set goals for the new year. A lot of times the goal involves exercising or losing weight, maybe not to worry as much. It's really hard to stay consistent with these New Year's Resolutions as an individual. It takes teamwork to make these dreams work. This made me think about what each NBA team should aspire to do in the new year. Let's start with the eastern conference.
Photo via Pistonpowered.com
The goal for 2022 for the Detroit Pistons is to have patience. This is a very young team where the oldest players Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynik, and Rodney McGruder are all 30 years of age. Patience is required when you have a young team that is in a rebuild. The fans have to also show patience when it comes to rookie Cade Cunningham. He has not been very efficient shooting 38% from the floor. In 2022 just remember he is a rookie without much around him. Just Be Patient!
Photo courtesy of Action Network
The New Year's Resolution for the Orlando Magic should be to find out if Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs are the backcourt of the future. Suggs is hurt right now so this may not happen this season but this has to be the long time goal to find out if they can work together. Once you find that out you can either build around them or use one of them as a trade asset to build in a different direction.
Photo provided by 8 Points, 9 Seconds
The Indiana Pacers have been extremely disappointing this year with a record of 14-21. Many fans, including myself expected this team to be in the battle for one of the top six playoff spots in the eastern conference with their new head coach, Rick Carlisle. Looks like even with a new coach, this core has reached its limit. Its time to make big moves that include trading away Demontis Sabonis and/or Myles Turner. Its time to change it up because this team has become stagnant.
Photo via Page Six
Speaking of disappointing teams, the Atlanta Hawks fit that mold perfectly. Last season they made it to the eastern conference finals and were expected to be a top four team in the conference this season. That has not happened as the Hawks have started the season with a record of , 15-19. Their new year's resolution should be to play defense, at least pinch the offensive players as they drive to the hoop. They have no problems on the offensive end as they are second in the NBA in offensive rating. How is a team who scores at such a high clip under .500? Not playing on the other end. Atlanta is ranked 27th in defensive rating out of 30 teams. If they can become an average defense, the Trae Young led team will be a threat to make some noise come playoff time.
New York Knicks
Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports
The New York Knicks were a relevant NBA team last season due to the emergence of Julius Randle and Derrick Rose along with being one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. This year has not been the same as they are currently under .500. Their New Year's Resolution has to be to get back to playing that elite defense while also keeping Kemba Walker in the rotation. They need him to step up especially with the current injury to Derrick Rose.
Photo provided by CBS Sports
The Toronto Raptors do not have a roster that is built to win so their goal for the new year should be to make an in-season trade for more offense. A roster with Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes in the forward spots will struggle to score in today's NBA. They should try to move Siakam for some players who could fit in with Barnes and company.
Photo courtesy of Hardwood Houdini
The Boston Celtics have two of the most talented wing players on the same team with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Their goal for the new year should be to come up with creative ways for them to both score and get others involved. These two young players are great talents but they have to score their points in such tough fashions including lots of long two point shots and isolation plays. The Celtics need to run more actions so that these two can truly live up to their potential. A point guard who can control the tempo would be helpful as well but those type of players do not grow on trees.
Photo provided by Marca
The Charlotte Hornets are another young team that is on the rise with standouts LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. Their goal for the new year should be to add a defensive center to the roster. The Indiana Pacers look to be sellers this season. Hornets should trade Gordon Hayward for Myles Turner. The addition of Turner would improve their defense drastically. The current Pacer is an elite rim protector and would be a great pick and roll/pop partner with Ball. The Hornets are currently 30th in defense giving up 116 points per game. Turner would be the perfect addition.
Photo via Newsday
The Washington Wizards started off this season hot, shocking a lot of people, including the author of this article. Washington has since come back down to earth, slipping to eighth place in the eastern conference in the process. The main thing that has to improve in the new year for the Wizards to be competitive in the east is the play of Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie is averaging 13.1 points per game while shooting 39% from the floor. The former Brooklyn Net is supposed to be the consistent number two option for this team, without that, too much falls on the plate of Bradley Beal to create offense.
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated
We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers need to do in 2022, TRADE BEN SIMMONS!! The Philadelphia 76ers still having Simmons on their roster is like a couple breaking up but still living together. It has to be so awkward. Outside of that, it leaves a hole on your roster in a time where healthy bodies on the roster is a rare commodity due to Covid. The upper management for the Sixers needs to get the idea of equal value out of their head. If Portland is not willing to give them Damian Lillard, then you have to move on from that thought and take some role players and draft picks for Simmons. I am not saying you take 25 cents on the dollar for Simmons but to expect a nice crisp one back is not realistic. Once you get rid of Ben Simmons and maybe bring in a point guard who can score. The team will be much better off.
Photo provided by CBS Sports
The Cleveland Cavaliers are good for this first time without Lebron James since the Mark Price and Brad Daugherty days. Their new year's resolution is DON'T SCREW THIS UP. Stay the course with this young team and let them develop. Don't make any moves chasing a big time star or old star to try to speed up the process. Cleveland may want to find a point guard with the injuries to Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton but outside of that, just don't screw this up.
Photo via Five Thirty Eight
The Miami Heat are currently fourth in the eastern conference rankings and look the part of a team that could make a run to the NBA Finals, if they stay healthy. There New Year's resolution is to get healthy and stay healthy. They are currently playing without Bam Adobayo, Markieff Morris, and Victor Oladipo. This does not include players currently in the health and safety protocols. If Miami can get healthy and stay healthy, they will be a team to watch out for.
Photo courtesy of Dairyland Express
The Milwaukee Bucks started off the year slowly as they were missing players but have now found their groove as they are mostly healthy outside of Brook Lopez being out of the lineup. The defending NBA champions new year's resolution should be to keep their chemistry in tact as they work Donte DiVincenzo back into the lineup. The Bucks should be one of the favorites, if not the favorite to come out of the east. As they have very few flaws as a team.
Photo provided by NBA
The Chicago Bulls were one of the most interesting heading into the season after they picked up Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Demar Derozan in the off-season. One thing that fans like myself were worried about was the defensive end of the floor. We were wrong to be concerned as the Bulls have been a top ten defense all year. So for the Bulls their goal in the new year should be to get Nikola Vucevic more involved on the offensive end. Vucevic is currently averaging 15.8 points per game on 42% from the floor. He needs more post touches to improve that percentage. Come playoff time, they are going to need that big man dimension, to be a part of the offensive arsenal.
Photo via The New York Post
The Brooklyn Nets have the best record in the eastern conference despite not playing with Kyrie Irving yet this year. Kevin Durant is Kevin Durant, you know who he is! He is balling like he does. James Harden is starting to get into a groove as of late as well, averaging 28.6 points, 11.2 assists and 8.6 rebounds in his last five games, while shooting 46% from the floor. The Nets goal in the new year has to be to find a way for Irving to play full time. Either convince Kyrie to get vaccinated or find a loophole in the state of New York Covid laws. Having Kyrie Irving half of the time will cost them a lost of cohesion all of the time.
Photo via Rockets Wire
The Houston Rockets are in the same boat as the Pistons. Their goal for the new year needs to be just Practicing Patience. They need to develop the young talent they have and acquire more young talent. The Rockets also need to trade John Wall for something. You are not going to get a good deal for a player with the contract and history injury of John Wall. They may need to do a buyout but there is no reason to have him around if he doesn't want to be there.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Photo provided by Thunderous Intentions
The Oklahoma City Thunder are also in rebuilding mode and patience will be key for them and the fan base going forward. Their wish for 2022 should be for one of their millions of draft picks to turn into a superstar.
New Orleans Pelicans
Photo via Pelican Debrief
The goal in the new year for the New Orleans Pelicans has to be to get Zion Williamson healthy and down in weight. It is reported that Williamson is no longer as heavy as he was to start the season. He is back down to his playing weight from last season which was around 285 pounds. I am no doctor but I know for a player with knee and foot issues it would be beneficial to take some weight off, taking pressure of the lower limbs. I would love to see Williamson get down to 260 pounds and come into next season fully healthy.
Photo provided by Marca
The Portland Trailblazers have been a playoff stable since Damian Lillard came into his own. This year, it looks like that will come to an end. Lillard has not been playing on the same level, as he is only shooting 40% from the floor and 33% from behind the three point line. CJ McCollum has also been dealing with injuries all year. Portland's new year's resolution should be to BLOW IT UP. The backcourt of Lillard and McCollum has done all they can do together. The Blazers should put McCollum in a package to get a player who changes the dynamic of their team. Ben Simmons would be an interesting shake up in the pacific northwest.
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated
The Sacramento Kings' new year's resolution should be TO FIND JESUS. The Kings have been bad for so long that I have no idea, outside of prayer, on how to make them better. The last time the Kings were good, Jay-Z was trying to get the dirt off his shoulder. The last time the Kings were good, Nelly was telling us to take off our clothes because it was hot in here. The last time the Kings were good, we thought it was cool to have a sidekick as a phone. The last time the Kings were good....ok I will stop, but I could do this all day.
San Antonio Spurs
Photo provided by Pounding The Rock
The San Antonio Spurs haven't been truly bad for over 20 years but also haven't been truly good since they traded away Kawhi Leonard. The goal for 2022 for the Spurs should be to be bad. It may sound crazy but they need to have an awful year and get a top draft pick. The last time the Spurs were bad and had a high pick, they got the greatest power forward of all time, Tim Duncan. San Antonio can't expect to get that same type of luck but they need a superstar talent to turn this around.
Photo via Sky Sports
The Minnesota Timberwolves are decent this season. They may make the playoffs for the only second time since they traded Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics. The New Year's resolution for Minnesota should be to have Anthony Edwards' personality rub off on Karl Anthony-Towns. KAT is one of the best talents in the NBA but has not been able to be the best player on a winning team. The one year Minnesota was good with KAT was with Jimmy Butler being the lead dog. If Towns adopts the confidence and swagger of Edwards, they can be a dynamic one, two punch for years to come.
Los Angeles Lakers
Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Lakers have two of the top ten players currently in the NBA with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They also have four to the top 75 players of all time with James, Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony. You can make a strong argument that it should be five because Dwight Howard was the biggest snub left off the NBA top 75 list. The Lakers on paper should be a great team but this game is not played on paper and the Lakers have been anything but great as they have a record that is under .500. The Lakers need to find a fountain of youth this new year. You may ask, why don't they trade for younger talent. I don't think they have tradeable assets outside of Talen Horton-Tucker who has been horrible this season, shooting 38% from the floor and 22% from three point range. No New Year's resolution can save the Lakers, not even a healthy Anthony Davis.
Los Angeles Clippers
Photo provided by Fox News
The Los Angeles Clippers' new year's resolution has to be to get healthy. Kawhi Leonard is still out with a torn ACL and now Paul George is set to miss a few weeks with an elbow injury. If they are able to fight against the losing current until George can come back, they will be a championship contender with a healthy George and Leonard in the playoffs. As they made it to the Western Conference Finals last season and lost to the Phoenix Suns in a very competitive six game series where did not have Kawhi Leonard.
Photo via USA Today
Last season after the Denver Nuggets traded to get Aaron Gordon added to the roster, they looked unstoppable then Jamal Murray went down with a season ending knee injury. Then coming into this season it was expected for Michael Porter Jr to pick up the slack until Murray came back. Porter signed a max level extension and is paid like a superstar but he also went down with a back injury. The Nuggets have an all-time great in the making in Nikola Jokic, who is balling at a level not seen by many this year. We wouldn't want to waste such a talent, so their New Year's resolution should be getting Murray back at 100%. If Murray is not back playing like his old self, this will be just a great stat season for Jokic that ends in a first round exit from the playoffs.
Photo provided by Grizzly Bear Blues
The Memphis Grizzlies are moving in a great direction and taking advantage of the finally down western conference. Memphis' new year goal should be to stay the course. The way they are currently constructed with the uptick in level of play for Ja Morant, the Grizzlies should end up be a team that makes the playoffs without the help of the play-in tournament this year. This young squad is on the right path.
Photo via Yahoo Sports
It is no surprise that the Utah Jazz are having another good REGULAR SEASON. The goal for the new year for this team should be to find a way to keep Rudy Gobert on the floor and playing well during the playoffs. when teams will use small lineups against them. If the Jazz fail again in the playoffs, some moves will be made to change the current make-up of the team.
Photo courtesy of the NBA
The Phoenix Suns currently have the second best record in the western conference. I honestly could not come up with a good new year's resolution for them. They are a very rounded team that has a versatile offense, good defense, and size. They are true championship contenders who just need to keep their core healthy.
Golden State Warriors
Photo via the New York Times
The Golden State Warriors currently have the best record in the NBA. Steph Curry is the front runner for the Most Valuable Player award for his offensive excellence while the team has the top ranked defense. The Warriors are definitely a true title contender but do have a challenge coming soon. Klay Thompson is set to return soon. So the new year's resolution for the Warriors should be to implement Thompson back into the lineup without messing up the current chemistry. Who will lose minutes? Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II, or any of the other players who have stepped up in his absence. Steve Kerr will have manage that rotation but he should have no trouble doing that.
I hope you enjoyed my NBA New Year's Resolutions. Please let me know how you liked the article and if you agree with my selections.