Posted Dec 31 2010 9:44AM
Two months into the season, everybody could use a New Year's resolution.
We resolve to finally get the most out of Marvin Williams, even if it means the tough-love approach of ordering him to come off the bench. We know Marvin prefers to start, but he's only the fourth option in a lineup with Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith.
No matter the relative good news that he suffered only a strained calf muscle; we promise to be overly careful in getting Kevin Garnett back onto the floor. The only way we can compete for banner No. 18 is with a fully healthy K.G. That means no risks in January.
I, Michael Jordan, do finally resolve to take my ownership and management role as seriously as any pickup game during my playing career, when my only goal was to dance on the other guy's head.
We swear off any more rumor and innuendo about staying alive in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes and just concentrate on getting Tom Thibodeau's defensive principles down pat. Then we'll get Joakim Noah back healthy, ride Derrick Rose and see which one -- or two -- of the big dogs we can take down in the playoffs.
We resolve to get past the stiff upper lip stage and stop pretending we can overcome the loss of Whathisname just by hustling and scrapping. It's one thing to have the worst record in the Eastern Conference, but quite another to have no plan to start digging out of the hole.
We solemnly swear that if the basketball gods let Dirk Nowitzki finish up another MVP-caliber season, keep Tyson Chandler driven, get us past the Lakers and Spurs in the West and give us a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals ... well, we won't cough up another hairball.
We resolve to drag out the Affaire de Melo all the way past Valentine's Day, turn the bidding war into such a frenzy that Mikhail Prokhorov of the Nets offers the Kremlin, the Knicks offer Madison Square Garden and the Heat eventually win by spiking Pat Riley's mojito and convincing him to swap LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to Denver.
We will do everything that we can to get the team sold before the start of the 22nd century, maybe even trading Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince by then and allowing the once-proud and shining franchise to get up off its knees.
Look, we know that we have the best and most loyal fans in the league, and even though we'll never reward them by getting a plan or a clue, we promise to keep Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry together in the backcourt just for the sheer fun of watching them play.
We resolve to stop telling everybody about the big trades and Draft picks we coulda, shoulda, woulda, wanna, mighta, oughta have made and actually do something. All of our statistical charts from the seminars would be even more impressive if we had just one real star.
We promise to convince Danny Granger that the path to becoming an All-Star and leader of a playoff team is not by jacking up nearly three dozen more 3-pointers than free throws over the first two months of the season.
OK, if Baron Davis has to go, then we'll trade him. But I, Donald Sterling, do swear that from this day forward I will never boo a single member of the Clippers organization, unless I am standing in front of a mirror.
We resolve that the next time we lose two or -- gasp! -- three games in a row, we'll stay away from sharp objects, the roofs of tall buildings and go back to spreading the ball around and pounding it inside like we did to win two championships.
We swear on a slab of baby back ribs that next time we won't celebrate O.J. Mayo's supposed-game-winner with 1.5 seconds left and allow Tyreke Evans to toss in a half-court prayer.
We resolve to stop playing the role of the persecuted and simply go out onto the floor each night and play the style of end-to-end basketball that brought LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the circus to South Beach in the first place. And we resolve to see everyone in June.
We resolve to charter a bus, pack a picnic lunch, put on our flip-flops and sun lotion, go to the beach and take turns trying to see if any one of us can throw the ball into the ocean. Ranked 30th in scoring, we have our doubts.
We resolve that we're going to stop talking about getting Ricky Rubio -- combination Pistol Pete and Justin Bieber -- out of Spain and onto the court at the Target Center before the end of the decade and put a few more real players around Kevin Love and Michael Beasley.
We promise that one of these days we're going to stop embarrassing ourselves by swooning in front of an uninterested Carmelo Anthony and concentrate on developing the young core -- Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, Derrick Favors -- that is already on hand.
We resolve to get back to playing the solid defense that Monty Williams instilled in us at the start of the season, grab a solid hold on a playoff spot, win a surprising first round series and give the City of New Orleans one last chance to notice before we pack up and head to Kansas City or Seattle.
We do solemnly swear to fork over Rockefeller Center, half of Central Park and all of Donald Trump's hair secrets to bring Carmelo Anthony to the Garden and give Amar'e Stoudemire the playmate he deserves.
Entering the season as everyone's popular pick to make a deep run through the Western Conference playoff bracket, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green resolve not to get discouraged if the big breakthrough doesn't come this season. Remember how long even Michael Jordan knocked at the door.
If there are more moves to be made before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, we resolve to make them. Because with the deal to bring back Hedo Turkoglu and bring in Gilbert Arenas, we're already all-in for this season. In two years, if there's no banner in the Magic Kingdom, that Arenas contract is gonna hurt.
We pledge to keep the faith and keep believing in the things that Doug Collins is trying to do while we're losing all of these close games. Of course, it would help if Evan Turner would start to look remotely like the No. 2 pick in the Draft.
If Vince Carter doesn't discover the oasis of youth in the desert and lead a miracle run to a championship, we resolve to finally do what we should have done a year ago -- blow it all up and start from scratch and stop trying to fool ourselves.
We resolve to somehow pick up the pieces and go on as soon as our heads stop spinning. Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, what next? Our honeymoon was shorter than the Obama administration.
We have the worst record in the league, again. Our bundle of raw talent rookie doesn't grasp what it means to be a professional. We're still trying to get a new arena. What's to resolve, except we'll try to finish the season.
We resolve to ignore all of the worshippers who come to praise our fastest start in franchise history, our super-charged offense, our great 3-point shooting and excellent depth and try to tip-toe to a fifth championship when nobody is looking.
Winning in Dallas while playing without Andrea Bargnani and Sonny Weems, then losing Linas Kleiza and Jerryd Bayless, we resolve to drop a few more players from our lineup and then knock off the Heat and Lakers.
We firmly resolve to never look at the scoreboard, never peek up at the clock and never stop playing hard until we hear the sound of the horn, which is the gospel according to Jerry Sloan that's produced so many back-from-the-dead wins already this season.
Now that the distraction of Gilbert Arenas is gone and the John Wall Era begins unencumbered, we resolve to continue to pack our bags, boarding our charter flights and showing up at road games until we win at least one (0-15).
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.
|The Fast Break: Mar. 23|
Five games around the NBA for this Thursday night edition of The Fast Break.
|GAME RECAP: Trail Blazers 110, Knicks 95|
Damian Lillard scores 30 points with five assists and four rebounds to lead the Blazers over the Knicks, 110-95.
|Mar. 23: Top 5|
Get ready for Thursday's top five plays from the NBA.
|Move of the Night: Alex Len|
Alex Len spins baseline to lose his defender and finishes with the nifty reverse lay-in.
|Nightly Notable: DeMar DeRozan|
DeMar DeRozan scores 40 points on 14-25 shooting against the Heat for back-to-back games of 40 points.