As NBA fans, we know what we're all thankful for. The endless drama, the secret tunnel in the Staples Center, burner accounts, Kevin Durant's insecurities (see: Burner accounts) and Cedi Osman are just a few to be named. However, it becomes a bit harder when you boil it down to every NBA team.
With that in mind, here's what every fanbase has to be thankful for with Thanksgiving just mere hours away. If you're a Warriors fan, you don't need to be reminded about how lucky you are. However, there are some team fanbases around the league that might need a little lift. This is to remind you that you don't have it so bad.
What to be thankful for: It's all part of the plan.
OK, so things don't look awesome in Atlanta. The Hawks are 3-13, Trae Young is shooting 24 percent from deep, and he's your leading scorer. But this team isn't supposed to be good -- not right now at least. The Hawks are looking to build a core through the draft, and you don't draft Young if you're looking for a guy to make an impact right away. Even though he's been bad from beyond the arc, he can only get better. That's the theme with this team. If the players get better but the team gets worse, that's ideal. Keep losing those games, and go get yourself a Zion Williamson. I suspect that Dewayne Dedmon isn't the long-term answer inside for the Hawks.
What to be thankful for: You're over .500, and you really shouldn't be.
I'm not going to lie. I'm very surprised to say this 17 games into the season for the Celtics, but this team has got some serious issues. The biggest being that the Celtics are shooting like garbage. They're 24th in the league in scoring, 26th in offensive rating and 27th in field goal percentage. Basically, the ball needs to go through the hoop more. However, they're 9-8 and sixth in the East, and Gordon Hayward is working his way back. He's been kind of thrown into the deep end, averaging 27 minutes per game, but as he gets healthier the Celtics should see those numbers go up. They also have too many good shooters to remain this awful on offense, so it can only get better! Right?
What to be thankful for: Caris LeVert doesn't need surgery!
Caris LeVert was looking like an early candidate for Most Improved Player early in the season before he suffered a brutal ankle injury that looked like it would need surgery and at least sideline him for this season. Thankfully, he could be back this season! There's no timetable for his return, but to be blunt the news is welcome for the Nets. They're 8-10 on the year, but the rest of the team needs to step up in a big way to make up for LeVert. That starts with D'Angelo Russell, who is undoubtedly just thankful not to be in Los Angeles anymore based on his level of play.
What to be thankful for: Kemba Walker, and that's it.
It's got to be frustrating to be a Hornets fan right now, but praise Jordan for Kemba. Walker is leading the NBA in scoring and three pointers made/attempted. He's been unbelievable this season, and he's coming off back-to-back 40-point games against the 76ers and Celtics. The Hornets lost against the Sixers after Walker dropped 60. That's the way it's going. The Hornets are 8-8 on the season, and the team's next leading scorer is Jeremy Lamb at just under 14 points per game. We want to see Walker succeed in Charlotte -- everyone loves a guy who sticks with his squad, but it's got to be frustrating watching other stars around the league feast.
What to be thankful for: Zach LaVine /
Marlo Stanfield Wendell Carter Jr.
The Bulls seem just a little bit closer than the other tanking squad right now, and that's thanks in large part to the emergence of Wendell Carter Jr. He's averaging just over 11 points in about 25 minutes per game, not to mention 2.3 assists. The Bulls needed to hit on this pick, and where Carter really shines is on defense. He was giving players stuffing way back in July.
LaVine has also been great, averaging 25.3 points per game for the Bulls. His three-point shooting percentage is a bit down, but at only 23 years old he looks more than capable of taking over games.
What to be thankful for: 2016 and a draft full of generational talent.
No one can ever take the good LeBron James years away from you. Don't forget that.
What to be thankful for: European basketball.
Slovenian forward Luka Doncic is easily the most impactful rookie in the NBA right now. He's averaging 19.2 points per game, along with 6.8 boards and 4.1 assists. He's the real deal. He has professional experience, and it shows. He's the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year, and more than the stats, he genuinely looks good. That is crazy hard to do as an NBA rookie. Dirk Nowitzki hasn't played yet, but he doesn't have to. The German is already a Mavs legend, and passing the torch to Doncic looks easy. The thought of seeing these two on the floor together is an exciting one, even if Dirk is near the end of his career.
What to be thankful for: Relevance and sick City jerseys.
The Nuggets barely missed the playoffs last year, and they don't look like they plan on doing so again. The Nuggets' entire starting five is averaging double digits, and Gary Harris and Jamal Murray look like a top tier backcourt. Sure, Nikola Jokic is terrible in crunch time -- but give it time. This team is finding its stride, and it looks like a threat in the West. As for the City jerseys, well, those are pretty self explanatory.
What to be thankful for: Diagrammed plays.
Pistons fans have to wondering what the deal is with all of this off-the-ball movement. Dwane Casey has completely leaned into the Pistons' roster, and it's showed. The Pistons are 10th in the NBA in points in the paint, just a year after finishing 21st. Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond seem to be relishing their roles in the offense, and when Casey wants to dip his hand into chaos, he tosses Ish Smith into the lineup. It's working for the team. Although they're only 4-6 in their last 10 games, they look a lot better, and they gave us one of the most thrilling finishes of the year in Casey's return to Toronto.
Golden State Warriors
What to be thankful for: Stephen Curry is somehow better than ever, and he should be back soon.
We all have those family members who want to be anywhere else on Thanksgiving. That's Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, respectively in Golden State. Durant is cussing at fans, Green is yelling at him about wanting to leave in free agency, the whole thing is a mess. Golden State has struggled as of late, but man. Stephen Curry is GOOD. He's shooting almost 50 percent from beyond the arc and averaging just under 30 points a game. His return should right a Warriors ship that might not even need righting. Frustrations are high with the Warriors right now, but their epicenter is returning soon.
What to be thankful for: October is over.
The Rockets started this season looking really, really bad. They were 1-5 in October, but since then they've won seven of their last nine. James Harden is playing at a level befitting a reigning MVP, Chris Paul isn't getting in fights and P.J. Tucker is shooting 44 percent from deep. It's unlikely that Eric Gordon will stay around 25 percent from deep, so the Rockets should only get better. They're above .500 for the first time all season, and they're hoping to have similar success heading into December. They just needed shots to start falling.
What to be thankful for: The rise of Bojan.
Yes, of course Victor Oladipo is the engine that makes the Pacers go, but Bojan Bogdanovic looks awesome early this year. He is running the floor better than he ever has. He's averaging 15.1 points per game, his 53.5 percent three-point shooting percentage is tops in the NBA and he's giving Oladipo something that he sorely needed: help. Oladipo and Bogdanovic have the Pacers third in the East, and it doesn't look like Oladipo is killing himself to do it.
Los Angeles Clippers
What to be thankful for: A core that doesn't seem to literally hate each other.
The Clippers are a solid 11-6 on the season, and it's a good looking core. Tobias Harris is a bona fide star, he and Boban Marjanovich are the NBA's power couple of today (move over Dwyane Wade/Gabrielle Union) and Montrezl Harrell has been outstanding. Patrick Beverley is a perennial pest. Lou Williams is the team glue. And it looks like the Clippers are having ... fun? That's crazy to think about, but it's a really good-looking squad, and it makes it that much more fun to watch when Chris Paul isn't sniping at DeAndre Jordan all game.
Los Angeles Lakers
What to be thankful for: Do I need to say it?
The Lakers got the world's biggest jumpstart on their so-called "rebuild" by signing LeBron James this offseason. Even though the team is only 9-7, we have to remember: James' squads tend to take a while to adjust to their new normal. If you look at the stat sheet, there's no question as to whose team this is. James lead the Lakers in points, rebounds, assists and steals. His facilitation has three of the other four starters in double digits, and Josh Hart is averaging double digits off the bench. He just makes players better. The Lakers aren't where they want to be yet, but the team does look like it's acclimating well. It just takes some time.
What to be thankful for: MIKE CONLEY IS SO GOOD.
As if last season wasn't proof enough, the Grizzlies desperately need Mike Conley. The team was able to tank while having a star on its roster last year, and his injury absolutely decimated the 2017 Grizzlies. Conley is scoring just under 20 points per game along with averaging 5.3 assists on the year. He's improved the team around him in every conceivable way. The Grizzlies are second in the NBA in defensive rating at 102.8 (they were 26th at 110.2 last season), and they're zagging while the rest of the league zigs. They're winning with defense, and despite 2017 being a wasted season, it kind of got them Jaren Jackson Jr. So who's laughing now?
What to be thankful for: The Dwyane Wade Farewell Tour.
Dwyane Wade is the most beloved player in Heat history (yes, I'm including LeBron), and he's earned it. Wade is in the midst of one last season with the Heat, and sure he's only playing 24.5 minutes per game while averaging 13.4. But the Heat aren't contending this year. It's all about D-Wade. His story in the offseason was drawn out, but the announcement of his return hit not only the Heat, but the entire NBA. Wait until this season starts to wind down. It's going to be an emotional ride.
What to be thankful for: Not having Jason Kidd as a coach.
There's nothing like watching an NBA star reaffirm time and time again that he's a superstar. Giannis Antetokounmpo is following up his outstanding season with averages of 25.9 points and 12.7 boards that have helped lead to an impressive 12-4 Bucks record. He looks like one of the best forwards in the NBA right now, and the Bucks look like they could actually come out of the East. Now, back to what to be thankful for: Antetokounmpo seems to LOVE Mike Budenholzer. The Bucks look incredibly well-coached this year. They're fifth in the NBA in defensive rating after finishing 18th last year, their rotations look much better and they look consistent. The Bucks were a coach away from being a good team. Now they look dangerous.
What to be thankful for: Jimmy Butler is gone.
This isn't a slight toward the Timberwolves or Jimmy Butler, it's more a testament to the fact that not every NBA star is plug-n-play. Butler is a great player who didn't jive with the Timberwolves' young core. It could have been philosophical differences or styles of play clashing, but Andrew Wiggins in particular has played very well in the last three games for the Wolves. Consistency will be key moving forward, but Butler's departure might let this young core in Minnesota flourish. The Timberwolves might need to add another player to really be competitive in the loaded West, but if nothing else it feels like they have a good team with the potential to get better.
New Orleans Pelicans
What to be thankful for: The rotation up front.
Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle perfectly suit the style of basketball that the Pelicans want to play. They run the floor well, Davis and Mirotic can shoot and Randle is an early Sixth Man of the Year candidate. The Pelicans stumbled after a red-hot start due to an elbow injury that Davis suffered, and they're 8-1 at home vs. 2-6 on the road, but they're on a three-game win streak. They'll need to figure things out in visiting arenas if they're going to make it to the postseason this year, but Davis, Mirotic and Randle have all the potential in the world to take this team where it wants to go.
New York Knicks
What to be thankful for: Offseason rumors.
There is no league in which you can will something into existence quite like the NBA. Kevin Durant is going to be the player the Knicks focus all of their energy on this offseason, and he has reasons to go. A Knicks team that needs saving, a New York market starved for a superstar and an Eastern Conference ripe for taking over. Now, none of this means Durant will go, but the Knicks have promise in their own right. The backcourt of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke has been solid, Enes Kanter has played well this year and Kevin Knox is being eased into the Knicks' lineup nicely. There's potential here, and that's all without the injured Kristaps Porzingis, but ask any Knicks fan and they'll say the same thing: Durant is the prize moving forward.
Oklahoma City Thunder
What to be thankful for: Carmelo was probably the problem last year.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a player getting older and just not being good anymore. That appears to have been the case with Carmelo Anthony, who went to the Rockets this season and flamed out quickly. Russell Westbrook and Paul George are averaging just under 25 points per game apiece this season, and the Thunder look genuinely good. Jerami Grant has been a net positive for this team, and he earned a starting role just four games into the season. The Thunder getting George back was huge for them, and they look a lot more consistent this year than they have in seasons past.
What to be thankful for: You're ahead of schedule and your counter-intuitive style is working.
Nikola Vucevic has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Magic this year, but as a team their numbers really don't make sense. They're 23rd in the NBA in percentage of points in the paint at 41.2, Vucevic is averaging 20 points per game and hauling in 11.2 rebounds per game, and they're 9-9 on the year. If the playoffs started today, they'd be in as an eight-seed. Steve Clifford doesn't seem to have a consistent style for the Magic, but they feel like they're overachieving and ahead of schedule to start their season. Vucevic is averaging 11.1 points in the paint per game, and Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier have developed into a fun one-two punch for the Magic. The NBA isn't friendly to the Magic's brand of basketball, but they're making it work all the same.
What to be thankful for: Adding a superstar to help an MVP-caliber Joel Embiid.
Joel Embiid has only gotten better for the 76ers, and his level of play this year has been outrageous. The 76ers are 12-7 to start the year, and they're finding their stride after some hurdles out of the gate. Embiid is averaging 27.9 points and 13.1 boards, and now Jimmy Butler is in the mix. The Sixers could be poised to take over in the East this year, especially with the Celtics struggling so far. Defense is an area of concern, and the 76ers go as Embiid goes. His defensive rating is 97.8 in wins and 105.2 in losses, and he has improved dramatically from October (104.1) to November (98.1).
What to be thankful for: Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
There's another process underway in Phoenix. The early pieces are in place, but there's a lot of work to do. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton still look very good for this team, but the Suns just don't have the depth around them yet. Ayton has been very good in his extremely young career, and Booker is proving that last year wasn't a fluke. The team doesn't have the results to show for it, but there's promise on this team. Trevor Ariza hasn't lived up to his contract to this point, but T.J. Warren has been playing excellent forward ball off the bench himself, even earning himself a starting role.
Portland Trail Blazers
What to be thankful for: The NBA's best backcourt.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum caught a lot of flack for how last season ended, but the Trail Blazers have started this season 12-5 because of them. With both players averaging over 20 points per game and Lillard averaging 6.2 assists, this team has been thrilling. It's not a flashy backcourt either. It's just good players playing good basketball. The Blazers are also third in the NBA in net rating (offensive and defensive rating differential), and their net rating for guards is also third. Lillard and McCollum are doing it on both sides of the ball, a rare sight from guards in today's NBA, and it's paying dividends early. They're 15th in the NBA in pace, succeeding in both halfcourt and fastbreak scenarios, which makes those numbers look far more sustainable.
What to be thankful for: The emergence of Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox.
It's no longer a fire take to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the Kings won the trade with the Pelicans that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans and netted them Buddy Hield. Hield leads the team with 19.2 points per game, he's shooting threes confidently and he's young enough that he can only get better if he keeps working on his game. Hield is shooting 44.3 percent from beyond the arc, and he led the Kings to a five-game win streak early this year. Hield is looking like a key factor for the Kings, but De'Aaron Fox is looking like a leader. He's averaging 18.2 points per game and 7.4 assists, facilitating the Kings' offense phenomenally well. The Sacramento backcourt looks very good so far this season, and although the team has struggled of late, the hot start is a hopeful sign of things to come for the Kings.
San Antonio Spurs
What to be thankful for: Your best player is actually on the floor.
Sure, it isn't Kawhi Leonard, but DeMar DeRozan has been fantastic for the Spurs after they traded for him in the offseason. He's leading the team with 24.9 points per game, while LaMarcus Aldridge still looks like a dominant force inside. Where we've really seen DeRozan evolve, however, is in the passing game. He's averaging a career-high 6.4 assists. It's clearly been a focus for him in the past two seasons, and it's paid off. The Spurs are 8-8 and they've clearly missed the likes of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, at least in spirit, but DeRozan has been tremendous.
What to be thankful for: You have the best record in basketball, and you look like it.
The Raptors were rightfully questioned for trading DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard, but that was ignoring a key aspect of the trade: They got Kawhi Leonard. Everyone loves DeRozan, and for good reason, but Leonard has been terrific. He's still the two-way superstar he's always been, and he's been more than happy to share the leader role with veteran Kyle Lowry, who's averaging over 10 assists per game. The Raptors have been terrific. They're 14-4 this year, good for the best record in the league. Even though DeRozan is clearly missed, the trade for Leonard has paid off early. Who knows if Leonard will be a Raptor come next year, but for this year it's championship or bust in Toronto.
What to be thankful for: There's a lot of room for improvement.
The Jazz are a better team than they've shown so far this year. They're 8-9, but they've beaten some legitimately good teams. They've defeated the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Rockets, and they ran with the Warriors. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert aren't going to let this team keep struggling. Mitchell is back above 20 points per game, Gobert is leading the team in rebounds and Ricky Rubio is leading them in assists. With each player solidly filling a role, this team is built for the long haul. The Jazz will improve, there's no question, but the onus is on Mitchell to make sure it's sooner than later. That's a lot of pressure on a second-year player, but he shouldered it fine as a rookie.
What to be thankful for: The NBA news cycle moves fast.
The Wizards are kind of the laughingstock of the NBA right this moment. With the team reportedly saying everyone is on the trading block moving forward and an anonymous player saying that star guard John Wall is impossible to coach, things are looking bleak. However, it won't be long until we get some other drama for people to move on from this. The Wizards came back from 24 points down to beat the Clippers on Tuesday. All it takes is a few more wins to make people forget about the absolute insanity of the last week in Washington D.C.