A new year, a fresh start and a time for new goals.
Every person in the world has new goals and plans for 2021 but how about our favorite NBA teams?
What are their goals, wishes and resolutions this year?
Well, I’ve decided to give my take on what the 30 teams in the NBA would want for 2021.
#30. Houston Rockets – Keep James Harden
Houston have been having problems since entering the 2020-2021 season.
Interestingly, it’s not because of their game but it’s because of James Harden.
The former league Most Valuable Player (MVP) have been very vocal about wanting out of H-Town this season.
Despite all the issues, no one can deny what Harden was able to achieve as a member of the Rockets and now with John Wall on the team, Houston would still and should still want to keep Harden and keep trying to go for that title by building a better team.
After all, having a shot for the title is better than having not having any shot at all.
#29. Washington Wizards – Help for Beal and Westbrook
Washington is yet to have theirfirst win of the season.
It is certainly not because of the new dynamic duo of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook as the duo has been the only silver lining in the 0-5 run of the Wizards so far.
Westbrook has been averaging his usual triple-double of 19.0 points, 13.7 rebounds, 12.7 assists with 1.0 steal per game while Beal has been averaging 32.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists.
However, aside from the duo, no one else has stepped up for Washington.
Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant have been very inconsistent while Rui Hachimura is yet to make his debut this season because of bi-lateral epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.
The Wizards still have one game left for 2020 against Chicago and hopefully, we could finally see some help for Beal and Westbrook and see it be consistent in 2021.
#28. Detroit Pistons – Rookies shows brilliance
Let’s be real here, Detroit is just a footnote this season.
That’s the harsh reality.
Despite having Blake Griffin, their playoff chances aren’t that great.
However, in 2020 NBA draft, they drafted three rookies in the first round and for a team that has a low chance to become a playoff contender, the silver lining that they could have is the emergence of their three rookies.
The Pistons drafted Killian Hayes (5th Pick), Isaiah Stewart (16th Pick) and Saddiq Bey (19th Pick) in the recent draft and the trio hasn’t been putting up eye-popping numbers but has been showing promise early on.
And in 2021, Detroit surely is hoping that the trio will prove their worth as first rounders.
#27. Memphis Grizzlies – Morant recovers
Recently, NBA fans had quite a scare after seeing Ja Morant suffer a scary ankle injury in the game against Brooklyn.
On this one, I’m sure it’s not only Memphis but the whole NBA community wishing that the 21-year-old explosive guard will recover and comeback stronger than ever from this injury.
The Grizzlies has a bright future and the main reason for it is Morant, that’s why it’s very important to have him back on the line-up in 2021.
Ballers PH is praying for his fast recovery. Get well soon, Ja.
#26. Toronto Raptors – Siakam big season
Toronto has been lowkey terrible in the beginning of the season.
Sitting as the third worst team in the East with 0-3 record, the Raptors haven’t got it going yet.
I’m sure that they will have a better run in 2021 but in order for Toronto to once again become one of the favorites to win the title, Pascal Siakam will have to come out and play as “THE GUY” of the team.
Last season, he averaged 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists but he failed to maintain his high-level game in the playoffs.
This season, in the early part of their campaign, Siakam has been putting up 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists.
Toronto is now expecting a lot from Siakam and he would definitely need to step up in 2021 if they want to have a shot for the title in the tougher Eastern Conference.
#25. Denver Nuggets – MVP run for Jokić
Last season, Denver became the “Barangay Ginebra” of the NBA after showing their “Never Say Die” spirit and came back from a 3-1 deficit twice.
This season, it’s no question that the NBA title is still the clear target for the Nuggets.
However, in a much tougher Western Conference, Denver would have to pull off something bigger than them and in the center of it is their Center, Nikola Jokić.
Jokić had a strong run last season with averages of 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
This season, “The Joker” is off to a great start with averages of 24.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 13.5 assists while shooting 62.5% from the field and 40.0% from the three-point line.
If Jokić could continue this, we might have another non-American MVP this season.
#24. Chicago Bulls – Young guns starts firing
Chicago has one of the youngest core players in the league.
With 25-year-old Zach LaVine leading the way backed up by 23-year-old Lauri Markkanen, 20-year-old Coby White and 21-year-old Wendell Carter Jr. Along with the addition of rookie Patrick Williams (4th overall pick).
The Bulls have deadly young talents on the team and even though their playoff chances are not assured, having these young guns start balling on another level would just turn things around for the Windy City.
#23. Dallas Mavericks – Dončić MVP run and Porziņģis resurgence
Dallas had a very interesting offseason by adding the likes of Josh Richardson and James Johnson, two players that have great impact on both ends of the floor.
Last season, with Luka Dončić leading the way, the Mavericks were very competitive, even giving the Clippers a run for their money in the first round of the playoffs.
This season, fans, especially Dallas fans, are wanting to see Dončić have a huge run and become the youngest MVP in NBA history by winning it at the age of 21-years-old, eclipsing Derrick Rose who won it at the age of 22-years-old.
Dončić, who will turn 22 on February, is off to a great start with 27.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists, and is on pace to have a huge run that could win him the MVP title.
Another wish that Mavericks would want is to see Kristaps Porziņģis return to his All-Star form and give Dončić the perfect help he needs.
So far, Porziņģis is averaging 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
#22. New York Knicks – Playoff run
For the first time in a couple of years, New York is looking like a team that could actually compete for a playoff spot this season.
With sophomore RJ Barrett showing why he is being recognized as a future star in this league, the Knicks seems to finally have a star in their hand.
Along with the addition of rookie Obi Toppin, New York has a dynamic duo for the future.
However, as early as now, the Knicks could finally see the effects of drafting top-tier talented players.
Aside from those two young stars, young veterans Dennis Smith Jr, Julius Randle, Reggie Bullock, Austin Rivers, Elfrid Payton will surely help New York have a run to secure a playoff spot and it’s surely what NYK fans would love to see in 2021.
#21. Oklahoma City Thunder – SGA All-Star season
With Chris Paul’s departure from OKC, all eyes are now on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Gilgeous-Alexander impressed a lot of people last season by putting up 19.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists and becoming a great partner for CP3 and helped the Thunder reach the playoffs.
Now, without Paul, SGA will now have more possession and are expected to become an all-star this season.
Surrounded by veterans like Al Horford, George Hill and Trevor Ariza, the 22-year-old guard has all the guide he needs but he will still be the guy of OKC.
So far, SGA is off to a great start averaging 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists.
Another playoff appearance maybe improbable for OKC but Gilgeous-Alexander is surely primed for a big run and OKC fans are hoping he could be the silver lining in this possible rough season.
#20. Charlotte Hornets – Trio Guard works
Charlotte had a busy offseason.
The Hornets signed Gordon Hayrward which gave them a B+ star and they also added highly-talented rookie LaMelo Ball.
Now, with Ball’s addition, that puts Charlotte in a situation where they have three guards with Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham.
Although, the trio gives something different individually on the table. That combination has proven to be a tough material to work with.
Just take a look at what happened with Phoenix when they had Isiah Thomas, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.
The Hornets are looking like a team that could compete for playoff spot, however, in order for them to make it. The Trio would have to play at a high-level since they will be heavily relied on to make the line-up work.
#19. Golden State Warriors – Oubre Jr and Wiggins’ growth
After acquiring Kelly Oubre Jr in the offseason, Golden State fans were optimistic since they will have a great duo in their wings with Andre Wiggins despite the absence of Klay Thompson.
However, it seems these two are the downfall of the Warriors as they yet to find their rhythm and get it going this season.
Just take a look at this graphic.
I’m sure GSW are hoping that these two could finally get it going in 2021 as they try to make it to championship form once again.
Or else, they might just have to build another arena with all those bricks.
#18. Orlando Magic – Consistency
Be ready for the next sentence you’re about to read.
Orlando is the only team that is still undefeated.
Yep, you read that right.
If you ask me, I really don’t know how they became so good at the start of the season.
As a team, they are third in points per game with 120.3 and 10th in rebounding with 46.5.
The players have been stepping up as well with Nikola Vucevic has been averaging 20.0 points and 11.5 rebounds, Terrence Ross is looking like an early candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year as he averages 21.0 points while Markell Fultz has been proving his worth with 18.3 points and 5.8 assists averages.
No matter what the reason is, the Magic’s wish is surely that they can be consistent all season long.
#17. San Antonio Spurs – Reclaim Glory
Last season, marked the first playoffs that San Antonio wasn’t in the playoffs since 1998.
This season, Spurs are hoping that they could finally make a return in the playoffs after disappointing run.
With DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay becoming the veteran leaders along with the young and talented players like Loonie Walker IV and Dejounte Murray, San Antonio is hoping that they could reclaim their glory and have a big run this season.
#16. Miami Heat – Another fiery run
Last season, Miami is the undisputedly most surprising team of the season.
With Jimmy Butler’s leadership, he helped Bam Adebayo become an all-star, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson play at a high level and make it to the NBA Finals.
This season, the Heat are looking to once again have that fiery run.
With their core intact and the addition of Maurice Harkless and Avery Bradley, Miami is looking like a team that could surprise the league once again make it in the playoffs.
A feat that they’d want to reach once again this season.
What do you think about this opinionated piece? Who do you think will have a big run in 2021? Sound off in the comment section.