What’s a guy to do when the year turns over and he’s got a commentary due soon? Why write a New Year’s resolution piece over the topic he covers, that’s what! And in my case, that would be the Oklahoma City Thunder naturally, so here are five resolutions the team should put up in the locker room for 2011.
1. Play Cole Aldrich a little more.
Right now, Aldrich is back in Tulsa with the D-League 66ers. This is his second trip down to OKC’s affiliate, and it’s obvious the team is taking his development slow while letting Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka handle backup big-man duties. But surely in the next few months, there will be opportunities to sneak Aldrich on to the floor for some extended stretches.
2. Make Daequan Cook good. Or find someone who is. Watching the Thunder get thrashed by the San Antonio Spurs made me jealous. Watching Gary Neal and Matt Bonner stroke outside shots like it was nothing made me wonder why OKC can’t find a guy like that.
3. Get the freaking traffic under control downtown. I get it: It’s all part of the process in fixing up downtown. It’s part of MAPS. It’s part of the new Devon skyscraper. But holy crap in a basket, it shouldn’t take 45 minutes to get from Harvey to Sheridan. They are making some progress, but what comes with that is more streets being closed off at different times. Whenever I show up downtown and see that a section of Reno is blocked, it makes me want to just hop a curb and plow through the Myriad Gardens. I’m sure I’ll be thankful for all the improvements and I’ll look back on these few frustrating months of trying to get to Oklahoma City Arena or the movie theater as no big deal. But it sucks right now.
4. Find Thabo Sefolosha somewhat of a 3-point shot. How much better would life be if Thabo could semiconsistently knock down that corner 3-pointer? Let me answer that for you: much better.
5. Win home court in the first round. That requires the Thunder to finish in the top four in the West. That won’t be easy. With the Mavericks, Spurs and Lakers all being excellent teams, that means OKC will have to basically beat out the Jazz for the Northwest Division title. Is that possible? Absolutely. Will that be difficult?
But having the luxury of getting the opening two games of the first round at home — plus a potential Game 7 in front of the Thunder blue — would be a large advantage for OKC.
Young is the founder of DailyThunder.com.