Resolution: Get the number one overall pick again
What do you want me to say? The Suns are getting destroyed once again despite adding Deandre Ayton to their team. Ryan Anderson’s $30 million contract will expire at the end of next season, which will help the cap situation. But at this point, the Suns need to continue to tank.
Portland Trail Blazers
Resolution: Move into homecourt advantages for the first round
The Trail Blazers are basically locked into the roster they have now for a couple more years and this group already looks like they could make a splash in the playoffs. However, the Blazers are 14-6 at home and just 8-10 on the road. The Blazers need to earn home court advantage in if they hope to advance in the playoffs. They are currently tied with the Rockets in the standings, but a tie-breaker has them as the fifth seed in the West.
Resolution: Continue to develop De’Aaron Fox
De’Aaron Fox is looking more and more like the best point guard from his draft class. The Kings may be 2.5 games from the playoffs, but I don’t see the Spurs or Lakers relinquishing their positions and I expect the Jazz, Mavericks, and possibly Timberwolves to make a push for a playoff run. The Kings look ahead of schedule, but for now, they need to keep their heads down, not look at the standings, and give Fox everything he needs to improve for next season. Fox is currently out-shooting, rebounding, scoring, and assisting his numbers from last year by a significant mark and big things are in his future.
San Antonio Spurs
Resolution: Make the playoffs
The Spurs missed the playoffs last year for the first time in an eternity by league standards. This year, the Spurs are led by DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge and are beginning to separate themselves from the lottery teams in the West, as they have won 7 of their last 10 games. Making the playoffs is a fair expectation of this team given their personnel and coach.
Resolution: Find the spark from last year
The Utah Jazz have essentially the same roster as last season (plus Kyle Korver) but they are not seeing the results and success they did a season ago. Donovan Mitchell appears to be a in a bit of a sophomore slump, as his stats are about the same but with lower shooting percentages from the field and three-point range. Rudy Gobert has continued to progress at a top level, but without long range firepower outside of Korver, Ingles and sometimes Jae Crowder, the Jazz are lacking the spark that made them so fun to watch just one season ago.
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