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November 05, 2000|MARK HEISLER

Team (record) Comment (last week's position)

1. San Antonio (3-0) Derek Anderson off to flying start, averaging 19 points in first two games as Spur.

2. Utah (3-0) Ask the Lakers and Clippers how much that bionic Mailman has slowed.

3. Lakers (2-1) Not to worry you, but at 2-1 they're 12 wins behind last season's pace.

4. Philadelphia (4-0) After Larry Brown and Allen Iverson's discord-filled summer, season is like a vacation.

5. Seattle (1-2) New, large SuperSonics outrebound their first two opponents by total of 15.

6. Dallas (2-1) Better tie owner Mark Cuban down before he orders floats for Mavericks' victory parade.

7. Phoenix (2-1) The Suns are deep but not that deep: Hardaway, Gugliotta, start season on the injured list.

8. Minnesota (2-1) Just like always, Garnett, the gamer, keeps playing and teammates follow.

9. Portland (1-2) Unless the Trail Blazers need to plug a hole in a dam, Kemp may not help much for while.

10. Sacramento (2-2) Stojakovic breaks out, as expected. Webber looks to jump ship, also as expected.

11. Miami (1-2) If Tim Hardaway can resemble his old self, the Heat may surprise on the upside.

12. New York (2-1) Whoever had one game in how-long-will-it-take-them-to-miss-Ewing pool wins.

13. Charlotte (3-1) After burning up preseason, Baron Davis gets 20 in three of Hornets' first four.

14. Orlando (2-2) Oops: Hill is limping amid reports he may even have to sit out month or two.

15. Toronto (1-3) With McGrady and Christie gone, the Raptors need someone besides Carter to score.

16. Houston (1-2) Bad sign: Minnesota's Rasho Nesterovic outscores Olajuwon, 16-4, in opener.

17. Milwaukee (0-2) Alleged Eastern kingpin starts in usual style, giving up 97 and 115.

18. Indiana (1-2) Not quite ready for prime time: By second game, Bender plays three minutes.

19. Boston (2-1) Coming off his knifing, Paul Pierce averages 23 points in first three.

20. Cleveland (3-0) Ilgauskas is back but only to tune of 6.0 points, 4.7 rebounds a game.

21. Golden State (1-2) Team that slept since Nelson-Sprewell-Webber war of '94 is finally competing again.

22. Vancouver (2-1) New Coach Sidney Lowe had the Grizzlies looking pretty good until the Lakers hit town.

23. Denver (1-2) McBust: McDyess plays 35 minutes and scores 10 points in first two games.

24. Detroit (1-2) Something to count on in an uncertain world: Stackhouse getting off 20 shots.

25. New Jersey (1-2) "One sure thing in draft" Martin totals 24 points, 20 rebounds in first three.

26. Washington (1-3) Richmond, 35, who hasn't shot 45% since he was 32, off to another slow start.

27. Clippers (1-2) Darius Miles is real deal. Imagine a right-handed Lamar Odom, four years ago.

28. Atlanta (0-3) About now Lon Kruger has to be saying, "I left Champaign for this?"

29. Chicago (0-3) Third year of the rebuilding project: so how come nothing has been rebuilt?



* When--Wednesday. * Time--5 PST. TV--Ch. 9, TNT.

* Story line--If you want to know if these are last season's Lakers, here's the test. Last season, when they had to win a game, no matter where it was or who the opponent was, they almost always did. With O'Neal up for rival David Robinson, in the city where Shaq attended high school, the Lakers are 3-3 in the Alamodome the last three seasons.

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