New Year Resolutions for NBA's Top 10 teams
What should each top team in the league focus on in 2018?
In the NBA, the New Year's is no celebration. While players and teams do take time off to celebrate the previous calendar year and welcome in the new one, it's a different ball game professionally. At the end of the calendar year, each team has roughly played about 35 games, which is not even half of the total regular season games (82). And the regular season isn't even the ultimate goal.
Every player that dreams of playing in the league, dreams of winning at least one NBA Championship. So right now, players and teams are only through about 30% of their journey to capturing the title in June. And everybody has new year resolutions, right?
So here are New Year resolution for the top 5 teams from each conference, which would help them have a long postseason and maybe even win the championship (Standings as of Jan. 9, 2018).
#10 Oklahoma City Thunder - Build a competitive bench
In the attempt to acquire Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this past offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder's bench has taken a hit. Led by reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, the team's starting line-up has enough firepower, maybe even more than required (given the crisis they suffered early in the season with the definition of roles).
The franchise signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson in the offseason to have somebody reliable coming off the bench but neither of these players are proving to be valuable, let alone reliable.
The Thunder's bench is tied for 29th in the league in points scored per game - 23.9.
Kyle Singler provides shooting but is a huge defensive liability, same with Alex Abrines. Jerami Grant gets the most minutes off the bench but he's more of a slasher and driver (50.7 FG% but 25.5 3P-FG%), something the team's starting line-up already has enough of. Next up in terms of minutes is Felton, who is a 6-foot 1 guard and weighs 205 pounds. Josh Huestis is the promising player on the reserves list but he only averages 14.4 minutes per game.
Now, how the team is going to bolster their bench is unknown but they have to make some moves in order to be competitive and have a deep Playoff run in the Western Conference.