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The Times' Rankings

January 05, 2003|MARK HEISLER

NBA RANKINGS AND COMMENTS:

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LEAGUE LEADERS

*--* Rk Team (rec.) Comment (last week's position) 1 DALLAS (27-5) After Cuban gave LaFrentz $69 million, Mavericks just noticed Raef's laid-back. (1) 2 SACRAMENTO (24-9) Haven't had all top eight guys yet and now Bobby Jackson is out until Feb. 15. (2) 3 NEW JERSEY (25-9) Made this run with 11 of 14 at home, now taking it on road for 10 of 12. (3) 4 INDIANA (23-10) Best young whacko: Artest gets three games off for tossing a TV camera. (5) 5 DETROIT (21-10) After this they'll have $8 million of cap space, Grizzlies' No. 1 unless it's No. 1. (6) 6 SAN ANTONIO (20-13) Oops: Drive to top is interrupted by losses to the Knicks, Wizards and Hawks. (4) 7 PHOENIX (21-12) Stoudemire went from 8.4 in November to 15.4 last month and isn't done yet. (8) 8 PORTLAND (19-12) Wells has a lot of growing up to do, but he can play, averaging 23 in 9-1 spurt. (12) 9 HOUSTON (17-14) Remember Mo Taylor? For $7 million a year, Rockets get 6.1 points, 3.0 rebounds.(11) 10 BOSTON (19-13) Tony Battie, closest Celtics have to big man, looking at having knee 'scoped. (10) 11 UTAH (19-13) Aging gracefully but inevitably, Mailman at 18 points, career-low 42%. (14) 12 NEW ORLEANS (19-15) 2-7 since win over Lakers as Baron's back finally forces him to bench. (7) 13 PHILADELPHIA (19-14) 1-5 trip, three losses by 18 or more, drops 76ers from overachiever ranks. (9) 14 MINNESOTA (17-15) Miracle is Timberwolves this good with Sczcerbiak playing only four games. (13) 15 ORLANDO (18-17) Grant Hill's career, Magic's season again in limbo as puzzled doctors confer. (16) 16 SEATTLE (16-16) Payton reportedly set on leaving, SuperSonics reportedly set on starting over. (15) 17 WASHINGTON (16-17) After scoring 30 back-to-back, Jordan slides, before getting 41 Saturday. (19) 18 GOLDEN STATE (13-19) Once NBA's worst underachievers, Warriors just moved ahead of both L.A. teams. (23) 19 LAKERS (13-20) It's about schedule, opportunity now: With next four here, can use 4-0. (18) 20 ATLANTA (12-20) How'd you like your honeymoon? Stotts wins his debut, loses next three. (20) 21 MILWAUKEE (13-19) Only fact Bucks still owe Karl $7 million may keep him there past April. (21) 22 NEW YORK (12-17) Not exactly rebuilding with one starter under 30, but Knicks 11-8 with Sprewell.(22) 23 CLIPPERS (12-21) History says they'll wind up with LeBron James, then in five years, let him walk. (17) 24 CHICAGO (12-21) Krause, who said it was hard to build around guard, finds something harder. (24) 25 MEMPHIS (10-22) Long West Coast trip coming, but since their 2-18 start, Grizzlies have gone 8-4. (25) 26 MIAMI (12-20) Paranoia as motivational tool: 6-2 since Riley said refs are out to get him. (26) 27 CLEVELAND (7-28) Miles is bust to date with knee, back, jumper (37%), average (9.6) hurting. (28) 28 TORONTO (8-25) As if anyone would notice he was gone: Papers say Raptors shopping Carter. (27) 29 DENVER (7-25) Who are Lorinza Harrington, Donnell Harvey, Vincent Yarbrough? Starters. (29)

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Through Friday

SCORING AVERAGE

*--* Player, Team G FG FT Pts Avg McGrady, Orl....29 312 204 882 30.4 Iverson, Phil....32 306 210 861 26.9 Bryant, LAL...32 314 201 854 26.7 Pierce, Bos....32 257 257 816 25.5 Jamison, G.S....31 273 191 756 24.4 Francis, Hou....30 242 193 714 23.8 Davis, Clev....32 272 168 742 23.2 Duncan, S.A....33 293 174 763 23.1 Webber, Sac....29 281 101 664 22.9 Rose, Chi....32 256 170 732 22.9 Stackhouse, Wash....32 235 211 719 22.5 Allen, Mil....26 205 97 579 22.3 Nowitzki, Dall....29 218 165 642 22.1 Walker, Bos....32 261 95 703 22.0 Houston, N.Y....29 226 122 634 21.9

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