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Every Team Gets a Wish

Every year around this time, people around me love to inform me that I don't have enough holiday spirit.  To that end, we're killing two birds with one stone here: banging out today's column and garnering some of this spirit business.  A quick rundown of the most pressing wish for each team in the Association and we're out of here and happy to let all you faithful readers enjoy your holiday as well.  Ready?  Go.

Atlanta Hawks:  Somewhat improved point guard play; perhaps some quickened development from Acie Law.   And something from shooter Salim Stoudamire, who really could be an effective situational player in this league.

Boston Celtics: When the biggest controversy in town is how to address the issue of these "Scal-a-brine!" chants, it's hard to be too wanting.  The team isn't perfect, and there are some definite needs, but given where we stood a year ago, here's hoping all Celts fans out there are soaking this season in and enjoying it to the fullest.

Charlotte Bobcats:  Consistency.  Continued development for G-Force as an all-around stud, and continued shooting improvement from Ray Felton.

Chicago Bulls:  Seems kind of obvious right about now, no?  Thanks to John Paxson for making my job that much easier.

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Cleveland Cavaliers:  The return of last year's 4th-ranked defense (they sit at 26th in efficiency this season).

Dallas Mavericks:  A way to remove the cloud hanging over their heads.  Sadly, this one is impossible until spring.  They'll have to make it happen in the postseason.

Denver Nuggets:  Marcus Camby remaining healthy.

Detroit Pistons:  The anger management to keep working for Rasheed.  Sadly, we don't put out a "Postseason Wish List" in mid-April.  Because they won't need the new coach until then.

Golden State Warriors:  Even greater utilization of Mickael Pietrus's athleticism.  This guy can really get up.  Versatile, athletic, likes to run: Dude needs more minutes and more touches.

Houston Rockets:  Someone, anyone else who can help out the big two and shoot over 45 percent from the field.

Indiana Pacers:  The knowledge that all shooting done by Jamaal Tinsley will occur between the lines of the basketball court.

Los Angeles Clippers:  Good health in the new year.  Is there a more banged up team in basketball?  Methinks not.

Los Angeles Lakers:  Kobe is still in purple and gold, and he appears happy, and you think they get a wish?  Think again.

Memphis Grizzlies:  A happier Pau Gasol who more fully understands his role in Marc Iavaroni's offense.  On that note, good to see that Iavaroni is headed straight for Brian Billick territory: That of the wunderkind coach who comes in as a specialist in one part of the game only to see his team excel in the opposite area.  The Grizz are 28th in defensive efficiency -- Iavaroni's forte.

Miami Heat:  That Dwyane Wade doesn't realize that he probably has the grounds to be just as discontented right now as Shaq's last prominent swingman teammate was for a few years.

Milwaukee Bucks:  That nobody tells Mo Williams that he no longer has to play for a contract.  What a sad reflection of today's culture: That we're proud of Mo for continuing to bust his gut on the basketball floor even after signing his mega-contract extension.  This should be a given, not grounds for commendation.  But it is what it is.  Good work, Mo.

Minnesota Timberwolves:  That Sebastian Telfair doesn't play well enough for any stretch of time to suck the fans in.  It just won't end well.

New Jersey Nets:  The merciful end of the Jason Collins Era in the Swamp.  How this went on for as long as it did will forever be a mystery.

New Orleans Hornets:  Health, health and more health.  The happiness will come as a result.

New York Knicks:  Now that December 15th has passed, all they need is some even moderately appetizing offers for Zach Randolph, basketall's worst 'defender.'  Well, that and a whole host of other personnel moves, both on the court and off.

Orlando Magic:  Charity stripe love for Dwight Howard.  His 5-for-16 effort made a huge difference in the Celts' 103-91 win on Sunday.

Philadelphia 76ers:  Lots of draft picks and cap relief in exchange for Andre Miller.  Small steps, folks, small steps.

Phoenix Suns:  Some magical resolution to the increasingly problematic Amare-doesn't-help-them-stop-anyone (anyone!) issue.  Not sure exactly what that resolution is.  Hence the 'magical' qualifier.

Portland Trail Blazers:  That the Blazers can keep riding this wave that they are currently on.  Because the boys in Portland are playing the Association's best basketball right now.

Sacramento Kings:  A chance to move Mike Bibby and some of the other veterans (Ron Artest, Bard Miller?) for cap space and draft picks to build with for the future.  Because a mediocre record and the ensuing draft pick would be disastrous.

San Antonio Spurs:  Health and rest for Manu, TP and the Fundamental.

Seattle Sonics:  A new arena and continued residence on the Left Coast.

Toronto Raptors:  T.J. Ford's head to be able to swivel.  Best wishes to T.J. for yet another quick recovery from his latest scary upper body injury.

Utah Jazz:  Mo' Paul Millsap!  The man can play!

Washington Wizards:  That the NBA's best blogger (and one of its best and most refreshing players, for the benefit of anyone suddenly on the fence about this) can be the NBA's top cheerleader as his team continues to fight in his absence from the floor.


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