New Year’s Resolutions
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Jan. 2, 2008 -- I have some advice for those of you who work out. Stay away from the gym for the next two weeks. Health clubs everywhere will be overcrowded by people who made the New Year’s resolution to get into shape.

It normally takes the equivalent of a pay period for these good-intentioned people to break their commitment and stop exercising. Trust me, I know. Been there, done that.

Simply wait out the “slimming-down-is-harder-than-I-thought-period” and you will be sweating on your favorite aerobic machine without having to wait in line in no time.
Line of the Week
Chris Paul, Hornets
Win vs. Grizzlies, December 26
40 points, nine assists, five steals


Here are four resolutions I made for 2008 and the players who could make the same lifestyle changes.

1. Spend More Time With Family
The holidays made me realize just how much I enjoy being around my relatives. In the past, my busy schedule has made it difficult to see my family on a consistent basis. This year that is going to change.
This could also apply to: New York's Stephon Marbury and Minnesota's Sebastian Telfair (cousins), Houston’s Tracy McGrady and New Jersey’s Vince Carter (cousins), Utah’s Jarron Collins and New Jersey’s Jason Collins (brothers), the Lakers’ Coby Karl and Denver’s George Karl (father-son), the Clipper’s Mike Dunleavy and Indiana’s Mike Dunleavy (father-son).

2. See If Hard Work Really Pays Off
I haven’t given over 80 percent in anything I’ve done since I stopped playing football in college 12 years ago. No more taking plays off. I’m going to start going all out (or close to it) in everything I do from now on.
This could also apply to: The Clippers’ Chris Kaman, who with averages of 18.3 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game, deserves serious All-Star consideration.

3. Stop Showing Off My Rings
In today’s society, it is not a good idea to be walking around with a lot of bling. With that being said, I think it is time to permanently retire my high school and college class rings. The only ring I’ll keep wearing is my wedding ring (my wife would kill me if I didn’t.).
This could also apply to: the Clippers’ Sam Cassell, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, the Heat’s Pat Riley and Shaquille O'Neal, the Spurs' Gregg Popovich, Robert Horry, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. (And yes, I know there are other current players and coaches with multiple championship rings).

4. Help Others Succeed
I’m a big believer in karma. If only I would have done a few more good deeds over the past 12 months, my 2007 probably would have been a lot better. Therefore, I’ve decided I'm going to start making things easier for everyone around me.
This could also apply to: Phoenix’s Steve Nash (12.4 assists per game), New Jersey’s Jason Kidd (10.6 assists), New Orleans’ Chris Paul (10.2 assists), Orlando’s Dwight “The Glass Cleaner” Howard (15.5 rebounds per game) and Marcus “I Got Your Back” Camby (3.7 blocks per game).

  • E-mail your feedback or talk about it in the R2MVP open forum.

    Biggest drop of the week: Manu Ginobili, Spurs (-10).
    Biggest rise of the week: Brandon Roy, Blazers (+8).

    Race to the MVP - The Top 10
    1. Kevin Garnett, Boston | Team Record: 26-3
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.8 10.5 3.6 1.7 1.5 .550 .791
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    KG has led the Celtics to eight straight road wins, the longest such streak in the NBA since the 1980-81 season. Boston, which has won six in a row and 15 of 16, is still on pace to reach the 70-win mark.

  • 2. Dwight Howard, Orlando | Team Record: 22-11
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.9 15.5 1.5 0.9 2.8 .609 .595
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    Beast of the East has grabbed at least 20 rebounds in seven of Orlando's 33 games this season. The Magic have regained their winning ways, running off four straight victories.

  • 3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers | Team Record: 19-11
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    27.1 6.2 4.9 2.2 0.6 .442 .853
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    During a recent hot streak, Kobe reminded us why he is the greatest offensive player on the planet. He put up 39, 38 and 31 points in three consecutive games (all Los Angeles wins) while handing out a combined 22 assists.

  • 4. Chris Paul, New Orleans | Team Record: 20-11
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    21.5 4.0 10.2 3.0 0.0 .483 .884
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    Talk about surprises. The Hornets are tied for the third best record in the Western Conference and there is no doubt about the No. 1 reason why. CP3 is still on pace to become the first player to ever average over 20 points, 10 assists and three steals per game in a season.

  • 5. Steve Nash, Phoenix | Team Record: 22-9
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.8 3.7 12.4 0.7 0.1 .504 .904
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    In his last 16 games, Nash has failed to reach double digits in assists just once. He has only scored a total of 31 points in his last three games, but who cares? The Suns won all three of those contests.

  • 6. Paul Pierce, Boston | Team Record: 26-3
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    21.6 5.4 4.9 1.6 0.3 .441 .833
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    Pierce, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, is playing his best ball of the season. Three days after scoring a season-high 37 points against the Sonics, he poured in 33 vs. the Lakers.

  • 7. Allen Iverson, Denver | Team Record: 18-12
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    26.3 3.0 7.1 2.4 0.1 .457 .828
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    Iverson has scored 30 or more points in five of his past eight games for the Nuggets, who have won three of four.

  • 8. LeBron James, Cleveland | Team Record: 14-17
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    28.8 7.2 7.6 1.9 1.1 .475 .709
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    After a torrid start to the season, LBJ has finally cooled off. Still, it is hard to find fault in his game although his stat stuffing hasn’t been enough to get the Cavaliers to .500.

  • 9. Baron Davis, Golden State | Team Record: 19-13
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.3 4.9 8.1 2.5 0.6 .416 .770
  • Last Week's Rank - 11
    So this is what happens when B-Diddy stays healthy all season (knock on wood)? He has scored at least 23 points in his last five games for the Warriors, who have won four of the past five. The only thing he needs to work on is his shooting percentage.

  • 10. Caron Butler, Washington | Team Record: 15-14
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.1 6.9 4.4 2.2 0.4 .499 .873
  • Last Week's Rank - 10
    After missing a contest because of sore ankles, he has returned to his dominant ways. In the three games since sitting out, he is averaging 23 points and more than six rebounds and six assists per game.
  • On the Outside Looking In (averages - last week's rank)
    11. Brandon Roy (POR): 19.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.6 APG - (19)
    12. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL): 21.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.9 APG - (12)
    13. Carlos Boozer (UTA): 24.1 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 3.1 APG - (14)
    14. Carmelo Anthony (DEN): 25.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.6 APG - (15)
    15. Tim Duncan (SAS): 18.3 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.0 APG - (18)
    16. Stephen Jackson (GSW): 21.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.8 APG - (17)
    17. Chauncey Billups (DET): 17.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 7.7 APG - (NR)
    18. Chris Bosh (TOR): 20.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.2 APG - (20)
    19. Manu Ginobili (SAS): 19.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG. 4.4 APG - (9)
    20. Joe Johnson (ATL): 22.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.6 APG - (NR)
  • Dropped out: Tracy McGrady (Rockets), Yao Ming (Rockets).

  • Running the Floor

    McGrady
    Of the 20 names in the R2MVP rankings this week, there is only one player listed that is on a team with a losing record: LeBron James. If you have been following this column for the past two seasons, you know that in this writer’s humble opinion, winning and being named the MVP go hand in hand. LBJ’s statistics have been so impressive through the first two months of the season that he was hard to overlook. With that being said, you will notice that Houston’s Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming have been replaced by Atlanta’s Joe Johnson and Detroit’s Chauncey Billups. The Rockets have lost six of 10 and are currently below .500. Under first-year coach Rick Adelman, I expected a lot more.