- In honor of the holiday, The Crossover is dishing out New Year's resolutions for all 30 teams in this week's NBA Power Rankings. What should the Warriors, Cavs and others vow to do in 2018?
Well, that strange time of the year is upon us once again. The new year. Our lives remain relatively unchanged, but due to the flipping of the calendar, we feel as if we must be better. Every NBA team feels this way, too, though instead of swearing off sweets they’re probably committed to something more important. What, exactly, should they change about their lives?
I decided to take a stab at answering that very question. Here are my New Year's resolutions for all 30 teams and our first NBA Power Rankings of 2018.
(All stats and records through Dec. 31).
30. Memphis Grizzlies (12–25)
Last Week: 29
Clean house. This team is lucky to have Tyreke Evans. That said, they can probably get a decent return for him, something they likely didn’t anticipate last summer.
29. Atlanta Hawks (10–26)
Last Week: 30
Give Quavo more comp tickets. This one is simple.
28. Orlando Magic (12–25)
Last Week: 28
Give Mario Hezonja 27+ minutes per game. Orlando needs to see if it has something with him. I mean, I’m convinced, but only because of select YouTube videos.
27. Brooklyn Nets (13–23)
Last Week: 24
Remain committed to Jahlil Okafor’s fitness. Brooklyn says Okafor’s not going to play until he gets into shape, and it should not bend.
26. Phoenix Suns (14–24)
Last Week: 27
Help Devin Booker drop at least 60 again. Just because he can, and Suns fans need something to be proud of this season.
25. Utah Jazz (16–21)
Last Week: 22
Enter full tank mode. This team had a nice winning streak earlier in the year, but it’s clear by now they’re not making the playoffs. If they put the pedal to the metal, they might still be able to land a top-five pick.
24. Los Angeles Lakers (11–24)
Last Week: 23
Wear those powder blue Minneapolis Lakers jerseys more. They’re dope.
23. Dallas Mavericks (13–25)
Last Week: 26
Throw Dirk a kick-ass going away party (if he retires). His final game better be memorable!
22. Sacramento Kings (12–24)
Last Week: 21
Get Vince Carter in the dunk contest. Wasn’t Flight White like 32 when he entered a few years ago? So Vince is 40, same thing. Even if he doesn’t win, it’d be sweet to see him compete one more time. Maybe he can be a judge when he retires, too.
21. Charlotte Hornets (13–23)
Last Week: 20
Revive Cardiac Kemba. Charlotte is is currently 6–13 in games where the score’s within five points in the final five minutes (otherwise known as crunch time), which is the third-worst winning percentage in the league. Imagine if the Hornets had a guy who was a great closer!
20. Chicago Bulls (13–23)
Last Week: 25
Secure the best draft lottery odds. Chicago was the favorite to land this honor entering the season, but a hot run in the last month has really made the race to the bottom an interesting one.
19. New Orleans Pelicans (18–18)
Last Week: 17
Keep Rajon Rondo happy. They need him to reach their potential. Plus, we've seen what an unhappy Rondo can do to a team.
18. Philadelphia 76ers (17–19)
Last Week: 18
Establish a new rallying cry. Not sure how hot this take is, but ‘Trust The Process’ is kinda getting stale, right?
17. L.A. Clippers (16–19)
Last Week: 19
Make sure Milos Teodosic plays at least 20 minutes per game. This seems counterintuitive if you’re trying to build for the future, but look at the way Austin Rivers and Lou Williams are playing! Mix in Blake Griffin and Pat Beverley and you never know…
16. Denver Nuggets (19–17)
Last Week: 13
Win three of their eight road games against Golden State, Toronto, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota and OKC. They’ve been unspectacular on the road (7–13), but have battled against good teams and even picked up a win against the Warriors. Three road wins over these tough teams would help separate themselves from the pack and make life just a little bit easier.
15. Indiana Pacers (19–18)
Last Week: 11
Never let Lance Stephenson go ever again. It’s obvious that Lance belongs in Indy.
14. Portland Trail Blazers (18–17)
Last Week: 14
Win the Nick Young rap beef. If Damian Lillard does not dust Swaggy P in his response track, this season has been a failure.
13. New York Knicks (18–18)
Last Week: 10
Don’t trade Enes Kanter. That’s assuming a team would be willing to take on his massive contract, anyway. He’s still just 25, he’s been one of their most important players and he can still be part of the team’s future.
12. Miami Heat (19–17)
Last Week: 16
Get Dion Waiters on an Instagram-and-Philly-Cheesesteak-only diet. Something is wrong with this man and this is the only idea I have to get him back on track.
11. Milwaukee Bucks (19–15)
Last Week: 15
Get a center. The Bucks have been rumored to be interested in a slew of centers, including Zaza Pachuia and JaVale McGee. Milwaukee should make a move to give Giannis a little muscle.
10. Washington Wizards (21–16)
Last Week: 12
Kelly Oubre should vow to out-dress Russell Westbrook. Even if it’s just for one game. We need a changing of the guard and Oubre’s a prime candidate.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder (20–17)
Last Week: 7
Get Ray Felton the ball more. He’s a god amongst men.
8. Detroit Pistons (20–15)
Last Week: 9
Finally find consistency. Especially with Andre Drummond. Under Stan Van Gundy so far, it’s been anyone’s guess as to how this team will perform on any given night.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves (23–14)
Last Week: 8
Don’t burn out Jimmy Butler. Your potential MVP contender is third in the league with over 37 minutes per game. He’s 28. Please, Thibs, preserve him. Don’t ruin him.
6. San Antonio Spurs (25–12)
Last Week: 5
Make sure Manu Ginobili shares his secret to remaining spry at 40 with the rest of the team. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working!
5. Boston Celtics (30–10)
Last Week: 6
Set up a fake blog for Kyrie Irving like Ryan did for Creed in The Office. The world’s becoming oversaturated with Kyrie takes.
4. Toronto Raptors (24–10)
Last Week: 4
Find a scorer on the bench. Whether it happens to be Fred VanVleet, CJ Miles, Norm Powell...hell, it could be Jakob Poeltl. Someone needs to score consistently on that bench!
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (24–12)
Last Week: 3
No LeBron subtweets. Things have been going so well for this team without Isaiah Thomas, I’d hate to see LeBron let his followers know he needs to try to “FIT-IN” instead of “FIT-OUT.”
2. Houston Rockets (26–9)
Last Week: 2
Grab the top seed in the West. With Golden State pacing itself and Chris Paul and Daryl Morey's "obsession" with beating the Warriors, the Rockets should go all-out to claim home court in the playoffs.
1. Golden State Warriors (29–8)
Last Week: 1
Keep on keeping on. The Warriors were smart not to rush Steph Curry back to the floor—and they should do the same with anyone else who suffers any bumps or bruises. Golden State isn't chasing history this year. Instead, everyone else is chasing them. Given this team's injury history, the Warriors should err on the side of caution down the stretch run.