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Inside the NBA

The Times' Rankings

November 10, 2002|Mark Heisler

MARK HEISLER'S NBA COMMENTS AND RANKINGS:

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GAME OF THE WEEK

*--* Rk Team (record) Comment (last week's position) 1 SAN ANTONIO (4-2) Anyone can have off night: Duncan has one point in second half against Trail Blazers. (3) 2 SACRAMENTO (4-3) Oops: World's Best Bench gets outscored in New York by Lee Nailon, 20-13. (1) 3 LAKERS (2-5) Beats 0-7, anyway. This was only Phil's next-to-next-to-worst-case scenario. (21) 4 DALLAS (6-0) Averaging usual 107 but didn't play winning team until Saturday night. (4) 5 NEW JERSEY (5-2) Earliest concession on record: George Karl says Nets "have a walk" in East. (2) 6 ORLANDO (5-1) Fear ebbs as Hill, whose ankle got sore vs. Bucks, gets 49 vs. Kings, SuperSonics. (17) 7 NEW ORLEANS (4-1) So much for honeymoon: Crowds drop into 13,000s for third, fourth games. (8) 8 DETROIT (5-2) Defense was doing outstanding job until running into Mavericks. (5) 9 INDIANA (5-1) Lost first one to new archrival Nets amid 9 technicals, 4 flagrants, 3 ejections. (6) 10 PHILADELPHIA (4-2) At this point, what could it hurt? Iverson, shooting 35%, sprains right thumb. (9) 11 BOSTON (4-2) Walker breaks out of three-point slump with nine against Timberwolves. (22) 12 MINNESOTA (4-3) With Brandon, Szczerbiak out, ex-Clipper Hudson kept them going, averaging 18. (7) 13 UTAH (2-4) Even Mailmen get flu: Malone hits Hawks with 27-11-7 to celebrate return. (14) 14 SEATTLE (5-2) Payton mad he didn't get new deal. Anderson wants out of old one. (10) 15 PHOENIX (3-3) Celtics' No. 1 pick Joe Johnson just failed audition as starter with second team. (13) 16 HOUSTON (3-2) Cuttino (Upwardly) Mobley: Averaged 10 as a rookie, then 16, 20, 22, now at 23. (15) 17 ATLANTA (3-3) Big Dog (25 a game) joins new big three with Jason Terry (22), Shareef (17). (19) 18 CLIPPERS (1-4) Don Casey, who put in zone for Gentry, could tell him about Donald too. (24) 19 PORTLAND (3-4) Imagine that: Sub point guards Daniels, McInnis get into a fight on bench. (11) 20 WASHINGTON (4-3) Collins has to figure out how to turn Stackhouse into MJ and MJ into Scottie. (12) 21 MILWAUKEE (3-3) Insider: Karl lost them even faster than he lost U.S. team in summer. (18) 22 TORONTO (2-4) Let's just say Vince hasn't shown 'em yet: averaged 13 for three, got hurt. (16) 23 CHICAGO (3-4) Chandler, Curry start, average 15-10. Unfortunately, that's combined. (20) 24 CLEVELAND (2-5) Wagner due back soon but figures to struggle, as most of rookies are. (23) 25 NEW YORK (1-5) Sprewell due back soon, so things will get better. Well, a little better. (28) 26 MIAMI (1-4) Riley, who had Kareem in post, then Ewing and Mourning, now has Malik Allen. (25) 27 GOLDEN STATE (1-6) So much for honeymoon: Musselman's bunch upset Spurs in debut, lost rest. (27) 28 DENVER (2-4) Nuggets score 63 as Barkley asks what they're doing on TNT. (29) 29 MEMPHIS (0-7) West says Lowe's safe -- after Grizzlies go 0-4 and he has coach in for meeting. (26)

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SAN ANTONIO AT NEW JERSEY

When -- Wednesday. Time -- 4 PST. TV -- ESPN.

Two challengers to Laker dominance meet in a test of who's more challenging. The Nets, who got Dikembe Mutombo to go against Shaquille O'Neal, get to see him play against the next-best big man, the Tim Duncan-David Robinson tandem.

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