A time for improvements
January 1. Many circle it on their calendars and make endless lists of ways to change their lives for the better. For some, the list holds true; for many, the goals go unchecked.
Some sit back and ponder after the calendar switches over as to how exactly they are going to go about these changes before actually setting forth on their journey. On the other hand, some are quite content with what they have and live by the old adage: if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
The same can be said for our Northwest hoop stars.
For some, change has been great. For others, not so much.
What if they could go back and do it again? Do they live with regret? Is there an opportunity for change coming down the road?
With about 10 games to go before we do a mid-season report card, let’s take a quick look as to how our hardcourt heroes can prosper in 2013.
Steve Nash – A continued season of health and success (read: Championship) with the Lakers. After one of the worst starts in team history, in which Nash was on the pine for 24 of the first 26 games, Kid Canada has returned to the lineup and the Lakers fortunes have turned for the better.
Aaron Brooks / Isaiah Thomas – For all the talent that the Kings have, they haven’t been able to produce in the standings. Having both Brooks and Thomas is actually counter productive for the Kings. Come the February trade deadline, chances are one of these guys will be listed under a new zip code, which will be the best for everyone involved.
Nate Robinson – Robinson has performed adequately in the absence of Derrick Rose. Sure, he is a bit wild and consistently inconsistent; but he has produced nonetheless. Rose is expected to return somewhere toward the end of the month at the earliest (expected after the All-Star break). While Kirk Hinrich might be more of a traditional point that coach Tom Thibodeau can lean on, Nate brings the athleticism and energy the Bulls need.
Rodney Stuckey – After needing a month to find his shot, Stuckey surprised many by accepting the role of the Detroit Pistons sixth man and has flurished ever since. While still struggling with his shooting percentages, Stuckey’s other numbers across the board are on par with his career averages.
Luke Ridnour – Coming back from injury, Ricky Rubio still isn’t where the Timberwolves need him to be in order to find success. Keeping Ridnour, JJ Barea and Alexey Shved makes for a crowded roster. There is a good chance that Rubio won’t start the rest of the season, so look for Rids to hold down the spot as Minnesota looks for their first playoff berth since KG was in town.
Combo Guards (PG/SG)
Jamal Crawford – Not much else can be said for Crawford, other than Sixth Man Of The Year, as his actions have proven to be worth more than words.
Jason Terry – A return to Dallas. It hasn’t been a smooth flight for the “Jet” in Beantown, and the Mavs can use some help in the scoring department.
Brandon Roy – “A” for effort. Roy did everything that he could physically do in order to go down fighting. If the Blazers had a “Ring of Honor” he would certainly be justified. Unfortunately, the once great career has officially come to an end……or the Timberwolves can trade him to Phoenix, where their medical staff does some unworldly things (just ask Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Shaq).
Avery Bradley – The chance to take hold of the starting shooting guard spot is up for grabs, as Terry and Courtney Lee struggle. After letting go of Ray Allen in the off season, combined with a extended spot on the sidelines due to double shoulder surgery, now is the time for Bradley to prove his worth.
Combo Guard (SG/SF)
Martell Webster - The Wizards flat out stink. However, Webster is playing his best basketball since the 2007-08 season. Too bad nobody really cares. The positive spin is that after signing a one-year contract with Washington last summer, Webster is playing well enough for another club to take a chance on him next season, possibly on an extended basis.
Kevin Love - Kevin Love needs to duct tape his mouth shut and start playing hoops. Usually after the Olympics, most USA players come back taking their game up a notch. Love ,unfortunately, has seen his season fall a notch or two (or three or four). Recently, Love has been know more for talking about what his team is lacking, rather than producing himself.
Combo Forward (PF/C)
Spencer Hawes - After a slow start to the season, Hawes’ numbers made a huge jump in December as a result of more playing time—or his playing time made a huge jump in December as a result of his numbers. Either way, here is hoping that the big man from Seattle continues to produce for the Sixers and helps them get over trading for Andrew Bynum.
Tony Wroten - Simply said, just given the opportunity to play with the big boys for the remainder of the year. He was just called up from Reno on New Years Eve.
Terrence Jones – As with Wroten, just an opportunity to play is all that is asked. Jones has shown that when given an opportunity to play he can contribute, but in Houston’s crowded front court, minutes are scarce.
Terrence Ross - The Raps need to give their rook a starting role.
One of their best players over the last month, running Ross and Demar DeRozen would fill the stat sheet and highlight reels, as the Raptors battle for one of the final playoff spots in the East.
Rob Sacre – As much as West Coast fans would love to see Big Rob on the court, his actions on the sideline are far more entertaining.