I love this part of the season. No matter how bad the team has been (and boy has it been bad), I can still hope for certain things to break our way and turn our team into a contender. They're pipe dreams for the most part, but I entertain them just the same. I look at our squad now and I'm watching and hoping for the following (in order of some combination of optimism/desire for it to happen):
1. Wall makes the leap and proves himself to be a legit franchise player.
2. Blatche comes to camp in shape and focused and maintains the last two season-end performances for a whole season, giving us our answer at PF and/or making his contract a valuable asset.
3. Singleton shames at least a half-dozen teams by proving himself to be a stellar defender and capable-all around player, even as a rookie. Becomes the obvious solution at SF.
4. Javale settles down and bodies up and becomes our answer at center, disrupting other team's offensive schemes with his defensive play around the rim. He improves his defensive rebounding and develops two deadly post moves which capitalize on his insane length and vertical.
5. Crawford improves tremendously on his rookie campaign with much better shot selection and overall improvement, demonstrating clear all-star potential and giving us the best two guards from the 2010 draft.
6. Nick Young returns and improves on last year by rounding out his game and becoming a noteworthy defender, earning serious all-star consideration.
7. Shelvin Mack steps in from day 1 as our backup PG and proves himself to be a very good NBA player, a hard-nosed defender and shot-maker. He wins at least two games for us with clutch play at the end.
8. Veseley shocks everyone by being a stellar all-around player and winning rookie of the year.
9. Booker develops some range and gets comfortable with the SF position, transforming himself into a very valuable Artest-type player.
10. Lewis reverts to form among an improving group of youngsters and plays a crucial role in pushing us through to the second round of the playoffs.
And I haven't even mentioned Seraphin, Mason, Owens, N'Daiye, Turiaf or potential signings. Obviously all of these things can't happen, but any one of them COULD happen, which is why this is such a fun part of the season for me. By the new year, at least some of these dreams will already have died, but for now, I have hope!
So what kind of things are you all looking for and hoping for this season?
Or am I just torturing myself by even considering these possibilities?