2013 is almost over, which means it is time for most of us to establish our New Years Resolutions. While Resolutions are usually thrown out the door as quickly as that new Christmas sweater you got from Grandma, sometimes you pick something that will keep you focused and goal oriented in the New Year. That is our intention in this Los Angeles sports teams New Years resolutions article.
For every Los Angeles sports team we will write a short New Years Resolution for the team that will encompass what they should be focusing on and attempting to achieve in 2014. Let’s begin with the most decorated team in the Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers focus for 2014 should be on getting healthy and restructuring the franchise for the future. Without Kobe Bryant and with an inferior roster the Lakers focus shouldn’t be on making the playoffs this season. The Lakeshow should be focusing on evaluating the 2014 draft and finding creative ways to bring in more quality players via the draft and free agency in 2014 and 2015.
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles’ best basketball team at the moment should be competing for a Championship this season. The only way for the Clippers to win the NBA Finals this season is by acquiring a 3rd big man who can play crunch time instead of DeAndre Jordan. This big man must be a good free throw shooter, a rim protector and must be able to space the floor. If the Clippers acquire this type of player they should be able to compete with the Thunder and Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs.
Los Angeles Dodgers
October 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) scores a run in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers opportunity to win a World Series title is upon us. Sure, the Blue Crew had a legitimate chance to win the title last season; however, the 2014 team is going to be a little bit more mature and will have better depth in the rotation and in the bullpen. This is a make or break season for Don Mattingly and he will need to guide the Dodgers deep into the postseason once again to keep his job. If the Dodgers truly want to win the title in 2014 they are going to need at least one more starting pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka is out there. Should the Dodgers spend another $100 million on a starting pitcher? They have the money. I say yes.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels New Years resolution should be to acquire more pitching. The reason that the Angels went 78-84 last season was because of a lack of elite starting pitching. If the Halos have any dreams of October they should invest a hefty amount of time and energy into acquiring a pitcher like Masahiro Tanaka or David Price. Also, the Halos are going to need Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to be healthy and have comeback seasons. That’s not as much of a resolution as it is a prayer.
Los Angeles Kings
Win the Stanley Cup. It’s that simple. The Kings have all the pieces to win their second Stanley Cup in three years. Their resolution needs to be to take down the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs. It’s inevitable that the Blackhawks and Kings will meet up in the Western Conference playoffs. If the Kings are going to hoist the Cup again in 2014 they need to find a way to get past Chicago.
Win the Stanley Cup. At the time writing the Ducks have the best record in the NHL and are well positioned for a deep run in the playoffs. With the team Anaheim has constructed, there is no excuse for not making it into the second round and beyond in 2014.
Nov 30, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) eludes Southern California Trojans defensive end Leonard Williams (94) to score on a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
UCLA’s New Year resolution should be to somehow convince Brett Hundley that he could use another year in college. If the Bruins are successful in keeping Hundley then their goal for next season should be to win the Pac 12 and advance to the Rose Bowl. Jim Mora has done a fantastic job at rebuilding the UCLA program; however, has been able to advance to a BCS game. If the Bruins have Hundley there is no excuse for not competing for a Rose Bowl in 2014.
USC’s goal every single football season is to win the Pac 12 and get to the Rose Bowl. Under first year coach Steve Sarkisian the goal should be no different. USC is short on scholarships for one more season; however, the team has enough talent to compete with everyone in the Pac 12 South. A trip to the Rose Bowl in Sarkisian’s first year would do a ton for the future of the program.
Did UCLA hire the right replacement for Ben Howland when they hired Steve Alford from New Mexico? Only time will tell. The 2014 UCLA Bruins basketball team should be solid enough to advance to the NCAA Tournament and make an appearance in the 2nd round. Their New Years resolution should be to find a solid rotation and stick to it. While the Bruins may not be able to compete with the likes of Arizona and Oregon this season, anything short of 3rd place in the Pac 12 and an NCAA tournament appearance would be a disappointment.
New Coach Andy Enfield has a massive rebuilding job on his hands at USC. His New Years resolution should be to focus on recruiting and building up the young Trojans into players that can turn into solid rotational pieces for the future. This program is 2-3 years away from being relevant in the Pac 12. This year is, essentially, a throw away season. Enfield needs to focus on recruiting players that will excite the fan base and that will buy in to his exciting brand of basketball.
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Galaxy’s goal every year should be to win the MLS Cup. The goal will be no different in 2014. In order to advance to the MLS Cup the Galaxy are going to need to bring in some more playmakers. Their New Years resolution should be to go out and bring in a high quality foreign player that will, once again, excite the fan base and bring a 3rd title in 4 years back to Los Angeles.