Posted Jan 1 2010 10:39AM
The excitement of a new season is long gone. More than a third of the schedule is already in the rearview mirror. But now that the ball has dropped in Times Square and the calendar flipped to 2010, there's still plenty of time to look in the mirror and make plans for improvement. Here are some New Year's resolutions for every team in the league:
We resolve to keep our heads down, our profiles low and not complain that we're overlooked as real contenders in the East. At least not until we can finish against LeBron and the Cavs.
I, Rasheed Wallace, do resolve to practice the pranayama breathing techniques taught by my yoga instructor anytime I'm within shouting distance of an NBA referee.
We resolve to stop driving coach Larry Brown up the wall and shooting ourselves in the foot by cutting down on our league-leading 17 turnovers per game.
The next time we have any team down by 35 points, we resolve to keep playing, so coach Vinny Del Negro can keep his job for a little bit longer.
We resolve to ignore everyone who says Shaq doesn't fit with LeBron and that we're not a better team this season and simply deliver our response in June.
With such a deep roster, we resolve that at least a few of us will show up every night and avoid those hiccups vs. Washington and Golden State and not file protests when we lose (Houston).
We resolve to stop thinking that our trip to the Western Conference finals last season means we've arrived and start taking every team seriously, since we're just 11-8 against teams below .500.
We resolve to keep Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince healthy the rest of the way, get Charlie Villanueva motivated and climb back where we belong in the East playoff race.
I, Don Nelson, resolve to take better care of my health, nurture my young players and foster harmony on the Warriors. Oh, never mind, I'll do it all again next season.
We resolve to keep pushing the tempo, running the floor, sharing the ball and being a thoroughly entertaining act while never looking back at Tracy Mcwhathisname.
We resolve that from this day forward our season-long commitment to defense will no longer mean giving up 100 or more points 20 times in 31 games.
We resolve not to panic, to get Blake Griffin onto the floor with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al Thornton and Marcus Camby and prove there is no such thing as a Clippers jinx.
We resolve to get something other than highlight reel dunks by Shannon Brown from our bench and have Jack Nicholson tell Kobe Bryant "you can't handle the truth" anytime that he puts up 32 shots in a game.
We resolve to do whatever it takes to get Rudy Gay to re-sign with us and continue what might finally be a rebuilding plan that works in Memphis.
We resolve to either get Dwyane Wade some real help or cut him loose next summer before we rattle all of his parts loose like a pickup truck over a bumpy road.
We resolve to stop living off that 55-point performance by rookie Brandon Jennings and try to get everyone on the 28th-best shooting team in the league pulling their weight.
We resolve to make more of an effort at the defensive end, occasionally beat someone other than the Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets and not draft another point guard in June.
Now that we have our roster healthy and together, we resolve to stop giving away games in the fourth quarter and making the 1972-73 Sixers feel like they were a juggernaut.
We, the rest of the roster, resolve to stop standing around and watching Chris Paul and David West play like they're the only ones who don't warm up for games at Happy Hour on Bourbon Street.
We resolve to someday get you talking again about something other than players who are not in our lineup and do not play for us -- i.e. LeBron James and Nate Robinson.
We resolve not to put the cart before the horse and get too caught up in ourselves right now as we steadily build something that can be special in the not-too-distant future.
I, Stan Van Gundy, resolve to be a ray of sunshine in the lives of every one of my players while gently requesting that someone besides Dwight Howard consider getting a rebound.
We resolve that if the second coming of Allen Iverson doesn't turn things around soon, we'll bring back 59-year-old Dr. J and maybe Darryl Dawkins to break a couple of backboards.
I, Steve Nash, resolve to keep my end of my secret bargain with Mephistopheles that allows a 35-year-old to exceed my previous MVP numbers and make the Suns fun again.
We resolve to not moan about the injuries to Greg Oden, Travis Outlaw, Rudy Fernandez, Joel Przyzbilla and coach Nate McMillan if the basketball gods will just leave Brandon Roy healthy for the playoffs.
We resolve not to be smug and gloat when Tyreke Evans wins Rookie of the Year over Brandon Jennings, just as long as we can get a new arena built to stay in Sacramento.
We resolve to stop reminding everyone that we often start slow and never panic and find a way to get the $15 million man Richard Jefferson fitting into the offense. Right now.
We resolve to show Chris Bosh there's a real reason to stay or else we'll just take up the court that covers the ice surface, teach Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani how to skate and give Toronto another hockey team.
I, Carlos Boozer, resolve to either tell the front office that I'd prefer to be elsewhere or get my head back in the game every night before the Jazz sink into mediocrity.
We resolve to stop doing our impersonation of Congress, alternately twiddling our thumbs and bickering while the house burns down.
Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here.
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