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New Year's resolutions for every NBA team - - The Now Legacy/CBS Sports

Every single NBA team has something it can hope for in 2021


By Michael Kaskey-Blomain, Sam Quinn, & James Herbert


As the calendar flips from one year to another, people often come up with resolutions -- things they would like to accomplish or do better, in the new year. Similarly, NBA teams also have resolutions, and while each would like to win a ring, that's not a realistic goal for all of them. For a handful of teams, it is. For others, their resolution could be something simpler, like staying healthy or developing young talent.

The thing with resolutions, though, is they don't always come to fruition, and that will likely be the case for many of the resolutions listed below. But hey, there's nothing wrong with starting the new year with some optimism. With that said. here's a look at the 2021 New Year's resolutions for every NBA team.


Atlanta Hawks

New Year's resolution: Find balance

So far, the Hawks have been everything we hoped they would be … on offense. On the other side of the floor, early returns have not been as encouraging -- they're not forcing turnovers, they're fouling too much and they're getting hurt in transition. Atlanta can make a jump in the standings through sheer firepower, but if it is going to be the best version of itself, it needs to find a better balance. The good news is the defense should improve when Clint Capela settles in and Onyeka Okongwu gets healthy. The bad news is that Kris Dunn just had surgery on his ankle. -- James Herbert


Boston Celtics

New Year's resolution: A healthier lifestyle

Boston is fortunate that Jaylen Brown has made a leap and that rookie Payton Pritchard has fit right in. In the new year, though, they need Kemba Walker to return from his knee injury refreshed and rejuvenated. The Celtics won't rush him back this time, and, once he's back on the floor, they're counting on him staying there. Walker's playmaking is even more essential now than it was with last season's roster. -- James Herbert


Brooklyn Nets

New Year's resolution: Stay free of chemistry issues

After a season's worth of anticipation, we finally got to see the duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving suit up for the Nets. The early returns have been extremely promising, and the Nets look like they could become the best team in the Eastern Conference. However, continued chemistry could be a concern, especially given Kyrie Irving's history of, um, mood swings. Things have started smoothly for Brooklyn, but how will the team respond when adversity hits? Just last season we saw a Clippers team with title expectations implode due to a lack of chemistry. These things happen. Brooklyn certainly has the talent to get to the NBA Finals, and potentially even win a ring. In 2021, it will be extremely interesting to see if the Nets will be able to continue to live up to its on-paper potential, or if they will be knocked off track by chemistry issues. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain


Charlotte Hornets

New Year's resolution: Continue to develop young talent

The Hornets aren't going to contend for a title this season as currently constructed, but they are set up well for the future -- as long as they continue to develop all the young talent they have amassed. In Devonte' Graham, P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball, the Hornets have four extremely talented players who are all 25 or younger. The future of the franchise depends largely on how good those players are ultimately able to become, so their development should be central for Charlotte in 2021. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain


Chicago Bulls

New Year's resolution: Stay confident

It has been a rough start for the Bulls, but they can't waver. They must trust the new offense, establish a defensive identity and continue to believe that they are better than they showed last season. A handful of players have a chance to take a step forward, but if there is one player to watch here it's Wendell Carter Jr., a center who can theoretically anchor the defense, stretch the floor and facilitate on offense. Carter has not proven that he can do these things consistently. -- James Herbert


Cleveland Cavaliers

New Year's resolution: Lower demands on a Kevin Love trade

A staple of New Year's resolutions is honesty. Resolving to change something means accepting that something needs to be changed in the first place. Cleveland has been holding out for genuine assets in a Love trade since he first appeared on the block last season. It's not going to happen. Nobody is giving anything up for a defensive liability in his 30s that's constantly injured and has three more expensive seasons on his contract. He clearly wants to play for a contender. The organization owes him that much after he helped them win a championship. Just send him to the first team willing to eat his contract and move on. -- Sam Quinn


Dallas Mavericks

New Year's resolution: Shoot better

Luka Doncic is ice cold (a shocking 2 for 21 from deep), but he's not the only Maverick off to a rough start: Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson, and Jalen Brunson have shot a combined 17 for 57 (29.8 percent) from 3-point range, which adds up to an offense that is still good, but not near the all-time greatness of last season. Seth Curry isn't walking through that door, but there are reasons to believe this will turn around: Doncic can't struggle like this forever, Kristaps Porzingis will eventually return and the offense is generating the same amount of wide-open 3s and catch-and-shoot 3s that it did in 2020-21. -- James Herbert


Denver Nuggets

New Year's resolution: Fix the little things

Early on, the sheer number of issues plaguing the Nuggets is overwhelming: Turnovers, defensive rebounding, fouls, transition defense, the bench. They're prone to dispiriting lulls, and they've scored a miserable 85.4 points per 100 possessions without Nikola Jokic on the court. In order to address all this, they have to keep it simple: Find some lineups that can be trusted defensively and still have some playmaking punch. Stop small runs before they become big ones. Avoid silly, costly mistakes. Denver is in the middle of a natural adjustment period, but it needs to get on the solid ground quickly. -- James Herbert


Detroit Pistons

New Year's resolution: No more centers

Are the Pistons planning to add any more centers? Probably not. But we all cave on our resolutions by Jan. 5, so it's up to all of us to hold the Pistons accountable. Mason has maxed out the Plumlee quota. Jahlil Okafor and