What every team in the NBA needs to be successful in 2015…
NBA Season Previews 2014/15: Breaking down every NBA team.
Anthony admits Bulls were perfect fit: Knicks star struggling in New York.
Cavaliers are the best in the East: (Analysis) Cleveland finding their feet.
With Christmas fast approaching, it is the season of good-will and we dish out a present to each NBA team to address what they need heading into 2015.
While some teams have been bitterly disappointing so far this season, others have exceeded expectations. However, each team still has room for improvement and here is what they are missing:
The secret to consistency. The Hawks have been hugely impressive so far this season and remain firmly placed in the top three in the East. Now the key will be to maintain their form over the year and and get as a high a seeding as possible.
Patience. With Rondo gone, the Celtics have taken another step into rebuild mode. They have been fairly impressive to this point and sit in the playoff spots at the time of writing, but with their star point guard gone, don’t expect that to last much longer.
A fresh start. With Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson all said to be on the trade block, it’s time for some new blood in Brooklyn and to concede that the expensive gamble was a failure.
The 2013/14 version of Lance Stephenson. Poor old Lance has endured a shooting slump so far this season after big expectations of being able to take Charlotte to the next level. It hasn’t quite worked out for him or the Hornets so far and speculation says he is on the trade block.
A first-aid kit. As well as the stomach-churning fear every time Derrick Rose falls to the floor, the Bulls have suffered with injuries across the team so far this season. Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Rose himself have all missed time. As a result, Chicago have been inconsistent and their defense has suffered. A healthy roster is just what coach Tom Thibodeau needs.
A rim protector. The Big Three are moving up the gears and the Cavs offense is looking irresistible. However, they can still be got at defensively, and with rumours of a trade deal involving Kostas Koufos from the Memphis Grizzlies, it appears as though they realise the requirement of a big defensive presence in the paint.
A team bonding trip. With Rondo arriving, it is now a case of meshing all the talent that they have together and ensuring that no player suffers in the system.
A new coach. The Nuggets are wildly inconsistent this season and injuries and key players returning from long lay-offs hasn’t helped. However, they have lacked discipline and leadership, and Brian Shaw will be under pressure.
A trade specialist. The Monroe-Smith-Drummond trio isn’t working for Stan Van Gundy, and the Pistons need to try and work out a deal that benefits them.
Golden State Warriors
Bulk order of energy drinks. What can you say about the Warriors? An NBA-best record, a franchise record for consecutive wins and coaching records for rookie Steve Kerr. Golden State have been sensational so far this season and all they need to do is maintain their momentum and ensure they have plenty left in the tank.
A healthy Dwight Howard. Houston surprisingly dealt with the absence of Howard quite well, but in order to compete for a top seeding heading into the playoffs, they will need their star center fully fit.
A Paul George comeback. George may not feature this season after breaking his leg on Team USA duty, but a return to full health is exactly what the Pacers need to rebuild and go again.
Los Angeles Clippers
A jump-start cable. With a coach like Doc Rivers and the talent on the roster, the Clippers are a certainty for the playoffs. However, they need some grit behind the flash to go all the way.
Los Angeles Lakers
A plan. The Lakers have improved in recent weeks with Kobe Bryant leading the charge, but the best thing for the franchise is to know what they are going to do in 2015 and beyond.
Cotton wool for Marc Gasol. The Spaniard is playing like an MVP contender this season and he will be key for the Griz in making the step up.
A time machine. No LeBron No Party for Miami this season, but injuries to Bosh, Wade and McRoberts have slowed their progress this year and they will want to fast forward to next season when they will be back stronger.
A hug. The Bucks emerged as one of the more exciting teams in the league behind Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, the rookie suffered a torn ACL and it is hard not to feel sad for Kidd and Co.
Rubio ankle healer. Having lost Kevin Love, it was down to Rubio and his crew of youngsters to play pacey basketball. However, a horrible ankle sprain has sidelined him for months and his return will be a welcome boost.
New Orleans Pelicans
A throne for Anthony Davis. There is a lot to like about the Pelicans and Davis is certainly establishing himself as one of the top players in the game at such a young age.
New York Knicks
New faces. Not much has gone right at MSG this season, and that is because there just isn’t enough talent on the roster.
Oklahoma City Thunder
A train. So that they can ride back into playoff contention as they continue to storm up the standings with KD and Westbrook back on the court.
Home comforts. Three wins in 10 games at home isn’t enough for a team that is going to struggle all year.
A winning formula. Just enough to ensure that they don’t go down as the worst in history.
‘How to share the ball’ seminar. Dragic, Bledsoe and Thomas need to figure it out in the backcourt.
Portland Trail Blazers
Bench mob t-shirts. Lillard, Aldridge and the rest of the starting five won’t get it done every night.
Trip to Boogie Wonderland. Thankfully, DeMarcus Cousins has recovered from his bout of viral meningitis and now hopefully he will be able to stay healthy for the rest of the year.
San Antonio Spurs
Minutes. All well and good Pop resting key players but the Spurs are kind of slumping and he needs all his starters playing regular minutes sooner rather than later.
Courage. Toronto have led the way in the East for most of the way after 27 games, time to step up and make sure they don’t slip.
More Hayward magic. The Jazz aren’t such a bad team but they will need time to become a good one. Gordon Hayward is the man to lead them forward.
A John Wall Christmas song. The point guard is playing very well and he can make the Wiz a legitimate contender.