OKLAHOMA CITY, December 22, 2012—The world didn’t end so Christmas is a go. The NBA season also started on time this year, so here is the Western Conference wish list for Santa:
Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Martin to win the 6th Man of the Year.
It’s actually championship or bust for this team, but with all the naysayer sports writers out there that downed the Harden trade, Presti would love to show them that Martin was a great move.
LA Clippers: To become Los Angeles’s team.
The Lakers are atrocious and Blake and Chris Paul (CP) are rolling. It will never happen permanently, but the Clips have a chance to overtake the bumbling Lakers for now.
Memphis Grizzlies: Keep everybody healthy.
The Griz have a real chance to make some noise in the Western Conference. Two years ago Rudy Gay was injured and last year it was Z Bo. If they stay healthy they could sneak into the Finals.
San Antonio Spurs: For a few days off.
The Spurs would rather sacrifice a win and take a day as we saw last month against Miami. They don’t care about the regular season, only the postseason.
Golden State Warriors: To keep it rolling.
This team has lots of potential and a lot of young guys. If everyone stays healthy they could roll right into the playoffs with some nice momentum.
Minnesota Timberwolves: To get to full strength.
Last year the Wolves were putting it all together until Rubio tore his ACL. This year Love is banged up. Get them both at full strength and these guys could be listed as a possible contender.
Houston Rockets: For Harden and Lin to get on the same page.
It’s early, but some nights Harden is the star, some nights it’s Lin. If they can put it together they could make the leap. Both players like the ball in their hands. Share it and look out.
Denver Nuggets: For some home games.
In the preseason the Nuggets were talked about as one of the stronger teams in the West. They have started slowly, but virtually all of their games were on the road. Get them some home games and things will even out.
Utah Jazz: To get an identity.
Do you know anyone that plays for the Jazz? Yes, Big Al is strong. Gordon Hayward is pretty good. They seem like they make a trade every year.
Portland Trail Blazers: To also stay healthy.
This looked like the next young juggernaut and then it all fell apart last season. If they can stay healthy and put it all together, they could be dangerous.
LA Lakers: To stop being embarrassing.
On their third coach already (if you count interim Bickerstaff), and if they don’t improve, they might be on their fourth. This team was supposed to be the favorite in the West, now they may not be the favorite in a regular season game against the Warriors.
Dallas Mavericks: That this plan will work.
They’ve missed out on free agents the last two summers. They signed some guys to some short contracts and want to make a run (again) at D Howard and maybe CP3. Oh yeah, and Dirk needs to play this season.
Phoenix Suns: To feel like the old days.
The old Suns that were so fun to watch are all gone, but this young team needs to grow. The players are new, but they would love to see an up tempo team again.
Sacramento Kings: For some stability.
The Kings keep drafting high yet are going nowhere. Speaking of going somewhere are they going to move or stay in Sacramento?
New Orleans Hornets: To keep a healthy Eric Gordon.
They tried to lock up Gordon long term, but he turned them down. He hasn’t really been healthy since then, but if he could play, they would still love to keep him.
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