It’s almost 2014. All you NBA junkies should know what that means.
Before we get to the power rankings, let’s take a minute to appreciate the outstanding 30 years David Stern gave us.
Hopefully, most of you would agree that the NBA is by far the most exciting and entertaining pro sport. Basketball can bring a chill down your spine, but it can also bring a big smile to your face.
Hats off to the excellent job David Stern has done as commissioner of this worldwide league.
Now, the era of his succeeder, Adam Silver, begins. Silver has been Stern’s Assistant Commissioner for some time and is expected to do just as good a job.
Now, it’s time to turn the page and rank each team’s progress at the end of the year 2013.
We hope 2014 brings better opportunities to come for all teams. There is always something that can be improved. That even goes for the back-to-back Champion Miami Heat.
This article will include teams 16 through 30 as tomorrow’s will feature my top 15 teams of 2013.
NBA’s New Year’s Resolution: We need Adam Silver to give us a positive vibe and ensure he’ll be the right man for this job moving forward.
30. Milwaukee Bucks (6-24, Down 1):
Resolution: How big a market is shouldn’t matter. Look at Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Indiana. Continue to put in forth effort this season and land a superstar player in the draft. Build your team and have hope in your players and your future.
29. Philadelphia 76ers (9-21, Up 1):
Resolution: Let’s all stop focusing so much on how much money a player makes. Philly has signed, acquired, or drafted several players to (near) minimum contracts and each one has done an excellent job holding his own: Tony Wroten, James Anderson, Hollis Thompson, Darius Morris, Daniel Orton, etc.
28. Utah Jazz (9-24, Down 1):
Resolution: Trey Burke will continue to improve and he will win Rookie of the Year. Utah has gone 8-13 with its rookie point guard and 1-11 without him. What more needs to be said?
27. New York Knicks (9-21, Down 2):
Resolution: The Knicks were 21-9 including 12-2 at home at this point last year. A year later, they’re the exact opposite. They are 9-21 with a miserable 4-12 home record. They need to clear their minds, buckle down, and play hard.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (10-20, Down 2):
Resolution: Cut out the locker room drama. It only hurts the team. Team chemistry is everything. The front office made a lot of moves to build up this young team. Start focusing on executing on the court. Take it one step at a time. Improvements aren’t made overnight.
25. Sacramento Kings (9-20, Up 1):
Resolution: New year, new team, and it’s meant to be a new era of Kings basketball. This team’s been down in the dirt long enough. Each player must go in with a good attitude. Fight for every game and make the losses competitive.
24. Orlando Magic (10-20, Up 4):
Resolution: 2014 is a critical year for developing young, potential All-Stars in Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Nikola Vucevic. All three players have the potential to be great. The only thing standing between them and success is experience.
23. Brooklyn Nets (10-20, Down 3):
Resolution: Remember when Jason Kidd was one of the ultimate player-coaches? Yeah, he played that role from the mid 90’s all the way past 2010. So why is this head coaching job so difficult for him? Maybe he should think back to tactics he used as a player to guide or coach his team. The Nets should not be winning one of every three games.
22. L.A. Lakers (13-18, Down 6):
Resolution: The Lakers have shown flashes of being a capable team. Steve Nash hasn’t been able to contribute because of injuries. Pau Gasol is also struggling with injuries. Nick Young is doing a very good job as a go-to guy (when the team uses him that way). This team really does need a miracle in Kobe Bryant returning in a couple weeks and torching opponents every single game.
21. Boston Celtics (13-17, Up 2):
Resolution: Rajon Rondo is targeting a late January or early February return. If he’s feeling ready to play by then, it’s not really fair just to sit the guy out. If Rondo comes back, this team should realistically make the playoffs. Things aren’t going as planned simply because the Eastern Conference is at an all-time low.
20. Chicago Bulls (11-17, Up 1):
Resolution: Just forget about Derrick Rose for the time-being. He likely won’t step on the court again until next season. Chicago just hasn’t seemed to get over their second loss of Rose. Play Tom Thibodeau grind it out-defense and start winning some games. I know this team is capable of doing a lot better than they’re doing now.
19. New Orleans Pelicans (13-15, Even):
Resolution: I’d like to hear a more confident attitude from Anthony Davis. You know how John Wall says he’s the best point guard in the league? There’s no reason for A.D. to feel like he isn’t the best center. He’s playing out of his mind: 19 points, ten rebounds, three blocks, 51 percent shooting, 80 percent free-throw shooting.
18. Detroit Pistons (14-18, Down 3):
Resolution: Consistency. That’s a word that should never leave any of the players’ minds. When the team plays a great game, take the positives from it and use those for the future. Detroit has been disappointingly inconsistent this season.
17. Denver Nuggets (14-15, Down 5):
Resolution: Denver has lost four of its last five home games. That is unacceptable. The Nuggets have been one of the league’s better home teams in the last few years. Although they’ve lost some All-Star players, there is still a ton of depth on this squad. The Nuggets need to relax and give the crowd the opportunity to be the great sixth man its been for the past few years.
16. Charlotte Bobcats (14-17, Up 1):
Resolution: It’s a brand new year in a couple days and that’s a definite positive for the Bobcats. Charlotte’s reputation as the league’s most pathetic team is slowly being wiped away. Charlotte certainly needs to consume more talent through the draft. However, competitiveness is something this hard-working team does not lack. Making the 2014 NBA Playoffs is a very real possibility.
Part Two to come tomorrow.