New Year's resolutions for all 30 NBA teams

The arrival of a new year offers a time for reflection and resolution.

The NBA season to date can be seen through two prisms — comparing teams to where they were at the same point last season or in respect to this season’s expectations.

For year-to-year improvement, Minnesota, Miami and Philadelphia have come the furthest. For performance exceeding expectations, Indiana, Detroit, New York and Toronto have stood out.

On the flip side, Memphis, Charlotte, Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers are the teams furthest off their win paces of last season and their Las Vegas-projected win totals for this season.

With the season midpoint approaching, time remains for turnarounds or downfalls. Here is where each team stands versus last season’s record at the same point and versus the Las Vegas SportsBook’s preseason win projection, along with a New Year’s resolution for each team:

ATLANTA

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Keep the NBA’s worst record for a draft rebuild while developing rare bright spot Taurean Prince.

BOSTON

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Have Gordon Hayward’s broken ankle heal enough for him to be on the playoff roster for a late-round return.

BROOKLYN

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Have D’Angelo Russell return with better three-point shooting than he showed to start the season in a fire-away offense.

CHARLOTTE

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Fare better on the road, where the losing is as disappointing as the Hornets’ bench play.

CHICAGO

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Enjoy that a turnaround replaced tanking because Kris Dunn is evolving from draft bust to a core piece.

CLEVELAND

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Maintain Kevin Love’s career-best shooting when there are two other stars again once Isaiah Thomas returns.

DALLAS

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: To close games, because Dallas has won once when the score margin is five points or less with five minutes or less to play.

DENVER

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Find a trade destination for Kenneth Faried, who has been a stellar Nugget but no longer fits into the rotation.

DETROIT

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Become more efficient on offense, which was helped by Reggie Bullock starting in place of Stanley Johnson.

GOLDEN STATE

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Heal Stephen Curry’s ankle, even though the Warriors’ only loss without him came when Kevin Durant was out too.

HOUSTON

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Have James Harden keep cool about officiating after becoming unraveled at the end of two recent losses.

INDIANA

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Muscle up to stop allowing gaudy stats from opposing big men and high tallies of opposing points in the paint.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: See what Milos Teodosic’s passing and Blake Griffin’s scoring look like paired for the first time since the opening two games.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Improve shooting from somewhere — either the league-worst clip on free throws or the league-worst clip on 3-pointers.

MEMPHIS

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Evaluate Marc Gasol’s value as a maximum-contract player as he regresses at both ends and approaches his 33rd birthday.

MIAMI

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Get a time machine and repair Dion Waiters’ ankle injury that shut him down last season and has affected him this season.

MILWAUKEE

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Hit the boards, perhaps with the help of a Jabari Parker return, to not be the second-worst rebounding team to Orlando.

MINNESOTA

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Be the sort of defense that Tom Thibodeau is known for coaching rather than the one yielding the highest opponent shooting percentage.

NEW ORLEANS

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Recapture Rajon Rondo’s former defensive presence to go with what his passing has done for Jrue Holiday.

NEW YORK

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Change the league’s largest disparity between success at home and failure on the road.

OKLAHOMA CITY

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Maintain the turnaround to avoid having to ponder trading Paul George or Carmelo Anthony.

ORLANDO

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Maintain belief in Mario Hezonja after the third-year player made the most of Magic injuries for his best play yet.

PHILADELPHIA

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Find a way to play with league-high pace but not league-high turnovers, for which Joel Embiid is the worst culprit.

PHOENIX

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Stop fouling or the Suns, as youth is prone to do, could lead the NBA in fouls for a third consecutive season.

PORTLAND

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Have better playmaking rather than relying on guards to create scores without being surrounded by finishers.

SACRAMENTO

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: near.

Resolution: Let more three-pointers fly because the guards have shot them well in moderation.

SAN ANTONIO

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Reassemble what the Spurs had going in the playoffs against Golden State before Kawhi Leonard got hurt.

TORONTO

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: near.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: ahead.

Resolution: Convert more three-pointers to make the new offense’s increased pace and passing stand up.

UTAH

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: behind.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Change your road ways as 2018 opens with a slew of away action for a historically poor road franchise.

WASHINGTON

Vs. 2016-17 win pace: ahead.

Vs. 2017-18 win projection: behind.

Resolution: Stop having a losing record (9-10) against teams with losing records.

Looking ahead

CLEVELAND at BOSTON: Wednesday at 5 p.m. PST. TV: ESPN.

This would make for the juiciest of return dates for Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas, just as his discontent with how the Celtics handled his offseason trade and March hip injury have come out recently. The Eastern Conference powers have not met since opening night, when Gordon Hayward broke his ankle in his Boston debut and the Cavaliers won 102-99. Cleveland experienced recent road issues in the West while Boston also had a 1-3 slip but appeared to shake it off Thursday night when the Celtics rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat Houston. If Thomas does return, he will be restricted by playing time and Marcus Smart’s defense.

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