It’s always been said that for the players, Christmas Day is the official start to the NBA season. With the holiday season in full effect, we take a look at what each team is wishing to come true in 2014.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
To host a Game 7 on their own court, this time eliminating the Heat to go to the NBA Finals.
A fourth straight Finals appearance and another regular-season MVP and Finals MVP for LeBron James.
San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors
Eric Bledsoe wins the Most Improved Player award.
A 7-footer by the name of Omer Asik, who would give the team a legit starting center and defensive force on the interior. Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley on the perimeter and Asik inside defensively? Teams would have a tough time scoring.
To have Deron Williams stay healthy and lead the team into the playoffs. It’s going to come down to his play, especially with Brook Lopez out for the remainder of the season and the ineffectiveness of veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant is able to return from the Achilles and knee injuries at least 75 percent of his normal self and the Lakers clinch the last playoff spot in the conference.
New York Knicks
To pull off a trade for Kyle Lowry, who would be a sizable upgrade over Raymond Felton. Lowry’s numbers this season: 15.2 points, 7.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds per game, 18.01 player efficiency rating. Felton’s numbers: 10.5 points, 5.1 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 11.54 PER.
Kevin Love to finish third in the MVP voting.
Ben McLemore establishes himself as a top up-and-coming shooting guard by the end of the season on a more consistent basis.
A playoff push is made one last time with this current group before reloading around Dirk Nowitzki in the summer through free agency.
John Wall makes the All-Star team and the Wizards win a first-round playoff matchup.
For Michael Carter-Williams to win Rookie of the Year and pair him with a top-five pick in the 2014 draft.
Trey Burke finishes third in the Rookie of the Year votings and Utah lands a top-three draft pick.
New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis wins Most Improved Player, the All-Star Game MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
To trade Lowry, win the No. 1 pick and then draft hometown freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins out of Kansas.
First and foremost, a speedy recovery for Derrick Rose, who’s hinted at a possible return later this season if his knee is healthy enough. Second, if they fall out of the playoff hunt, to trade one of their veteran contracts (Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer) and acquire draft picks.
Andre Drummond makes the All-Star team and continues to build upon his stellar sophomore season emerging as one of the game’s best young centers. Also, that Josh Smith stops attempting so many 3s a game (averaging 4.1 per game, the most of his career)
Ty Lawson is an All-Star and leads the Nuggets to another playoff berth.
To acquire a draft pick and a young player for Zach Randolph, jumpstarting the retooling process for the franchise.
To have Giannis Antetokounmpo thrive in his new starting role.
Michael Jordan sees his Bobcats make a return trip to the playoffs! How likely is that?