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Inside the NBA

The Times' Rankings

November 24, 2002

MARK HEISLER'S NBA RANKINGS AND COMMENTS

GAME OF THE WEEK

DALLAS AT INDIANA

*--* Rank Team (rec.) Comment (last week's position) 1 DALLAS (13-0) Byron Scott on Mavericks: "They're serious challengers to the Lakers." (1) 2 SACRAMENTO (11-4) Kings still messing around more with Jackson than with Bibby. (2) 3 SAN ANTONIO (9-4) Good news: Willis breaks into rotation at 40. Bad news: As Admiral fades. (6) 4 DETROIT (11-3) East's mini-Beast: 6-8 Wallace gets 12 points, 19 rebounds, 10 blocks vs. Heat. (4) 5 NEW JERSEY (10-4) Not yet, the Nets aren't class of East: Scott steams as they fall at Boston by 17. (3) 6 INDIANA (10-2) If Pacers can't re-sign Reggie Miller, I know local team that can use him. (5) 7 NEW ORLEANS (10-3) Magloire a minor disappointment at 8.5 points, 9 rebounds, but Elden's back. (7) 8 PHILADELPHIA (9-4) Iverson goes off on cops, Brown in Year 5, Coleman's back: How are 76ers 9-4? (10) 9 BOSTON (9-4) Team that thought it invented game now Launch City, averaging 28 threes. (9) 10 HOUSTON (7-4) Barkley may be wrong, but I doubt he'll admit it: Yao's time has already begun. (15) 11 SEATTLE (8-5) Brent Barry averaging 13.5 points, 5.1 assists, shooting 51%, 50% on threes. (8) 12 LAKERS (4-9) Upgrade from Samaki/Samake to Shaq helps, but there's a long way to go. (21) 13 MINNESOTA (7-7) Local papers speculating on trouble between Garnett and Szczerbiak again. (12) 14 PHOENIX (5-6) Nice surprise: Marbury playing like point for first time since he left Minnesota. (13) 15 UTAH (7-7) Jazz retires Hornacek's number. Better the team should talk him into comeback. (22) 16 PORTLAND (6-7) Huh? Cheeks sits all three points, starts Pippen. Trail Blazers go 3-0. (16) 17 ATLANTA (6-7) The case for contraction, NBA style: 7,852 see Hawks lose to Timberwolves. (19) 18 MILWAUKEE (6-5) At least, he can still complain: Mason, averaging 7-7, says Bucks lack urgency. (17) 19 ORLANDO (7-7) Bottom threatens to drop out of season again as Grant sits with "tendinitis." (11) 20 WASHINGTON (6-7) Jordan's knee being tested with 11 of 17 on road, including four back-to-backs. (14) 21 TORONTO (4-8) Headline after N'diaye blocks eight: "Nobody blocks shots like your Mamadou." (18) 22 CLIPPERS (4-9) Not showing up? Brand, Olowokandi in league top 20 in nine categories. (20) 23 GOLDEN STATE (4-10) Musselman on the firing of Memphis' Sidney Lowe: "Better him than me." (27) 24 CHICAGO (4-10) Since Jordan left in '99, Bulls 0-19 on their annual November trip West. (23) 25 CLEVELAND (2-12) Not quite yet: Miles (38%) still has to learn to shoot, averaging 12 points. (24) 26 NEW YORK (2-9) Still losing with Sprewell -- so, of course, next order of business is trading him. (25) 27 MIAMI (2-9) Mourning hints at another comeback -- but he's a free agent, so it's not likely here. (26) 28 DENVER (4-9) Bzdelik's 77-a-game offense on track to break record low by four points. (28) 29 MEMPHIS (1-13) Grizzlies making biggest adjustment: Gasol averaged 21 for Lowe, 11 for Brown. (29)

*--*

When -- Thursday. Time -- 4 PST. TV -- TNT

Story line -- Hopefully, you'll have a better Thanksgiving than the Mavericks, sent to Indiana to play the Pacers for your enjoyment. Both teams are young, deep and off to tremendous starts.

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