Steinmetz: Resolutions to start the NBA’s new year

It’s January, which means it’s resolution time.

Here’s a quick look at a few NBA-related resolutions we’d like to see this new year.

» Minnesota Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale resolves to never again do business with friends.

It’s quite simple, really. By trading Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics and old pal Danny Ainge, McHale single-handedly changed the balance of power in the Eastern Conference and put the city of Boston back on the basketball map.

McHale helped lead the Celtics to three championships as a player. And now he’s steering them toward a championship as an executive — of another team.

Bottom line: Minnesota 4-26; Boston 26-3.

» Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman resolves to get a clue. Last week against the Warriors, Wittman actually inserted Antoine Walker into the game late for defensive purposes. Enough said.

» Toronto point guard Jose Calderon resolves to take a few more risks and live more dangerously. Calderon’s assist-to-turnover ratio is an astounding 6-to-1. With that kind of ratio, Calderon’s earned the right to make some bad decisions and take a few chances with some iffy passes for the rest of the season.

» The Portland Trail Blazers resolve to set their alarm clocks. A 13-game winning streak? Are you kidding me? The Blazers figured to be among the Western Conference bottom feeders after losing Greg Oden to injury. Instead, they’re smack dab in the middle of the playoff race.

It’s time for this team to wake up.

» Shaquille O’Neal resolves to be honest in the new year. We all love Shaq, no doubt. But why can’t he just admit he’s on the downside of his career. There’s no shame in that. It happens to everyone.

» Orlando’s Dwight Howard resolves to get a move. Howard is averaging 22.9 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. And he still has no discernible go-to move in the low post. If and when he does, trouble will really be brewing.

» Warriors coach Don Nelson resolves to come back for another year. C’mon, admit it. This whole Warriors’ thing under Nelson is a lot of fun and the best thing the Bay Area has going sportswise these days.

» Kobe Bryant resolves to forget about being a personnel director. It was this summer when Bryant lamented the fact that Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak wouldn’t pull the trigger on an Andrew Bynum-for-Jason Kidd trade.

Right about now, Bynum looks like the best young center in the NBA. And Kidd? He’ll be 35 in March.

» Houston guard Steve Francis resolves to finally look in the mirror. Francis, now out indefinitely with an injury, has complained about his lack of playing time this season. But the reality is that Francis is not the player he once was. And the player he once was wasn’t that special anyway.

Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.

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