GAME OF THE WEEK
SACRAMENTO at MINNESOTA
*--* No. Team (Rec.) Comment (last week) 1 SACRAMENTO (37-13) Bibby, one of the Kings' two point guards who could be All-Stars, averages 24 this month. (1) 2 INDIANA (39-14) ESPN magazine says Shaq may not even be best O'Neal (Feb. 16 issue, p. 6.) (2) 3 MINNESOTA (37-15) With their luck, Timberwolves will be seeded No. 2 and the Lakers will fall to seventh. (3) 4 SAN ANTONIO (35-18) Spurs still need firepower, but they're second half-of-season team, on a 5-0 roll. (4) 5 NEW JERSEY (31-20) Doogie Howser, er, Lawrence Frank 9-0 as actual New York rivalry looms. (8) 6 DALLAS (33-19) Nelson took Mavericks from bad to good, but that's not enough in West under Cuban.(7) 7 HOUSTON (30-22) Too bad the Rocket kids can't grow up as fast as Jeff Van Gundy's aging. (9) 8 LAKERS (31-19) Could Buss let Jackson go? Put it this way, he once signed Dennis Rodman. (6) 9 DETROIT (33-21) More back-and-forth between Brown and Billups as Pistons go 0-5 into break. (5) 10 MEMPHIS (30-22) West could be third (after Bass, Petrie) to be executive of year with two teams. (11) 11 DENVER (31-23) Who asked him? Anthony keeps insisting he won't be All-Star injury sub. (10) 12 NEW ORLEANS (28-24) Good start, usual fade, Mashburn back OK, now to see who the Hornets really are. (12) 13 MILWAUKEE (27-24) There's a long list of coach-of the-year candidates, but Porter's way up it. (13) 14 NEW YORK (25-29) Dolan says Knicks could "go all the way." First they'd better get to .500. (14) 15 PORTLAND (24-27) New GM Nash gets new nucleus in deal for game's highest-maintenance player. (17) 16 TORONTO (25-26) O'Neill should get special award for best coaching job, smurf division. (18) 17 UTAH (26-27) In a conference where No. 8 team is on 46-win pace, Jazz is overmatched. (16) 18 SEATTLE (25-27) Anyone need a 44% three-point shooter? Looks like Brent Barry is gone. (15) 19 GOLDEN STATE (23-28) Thanks for coming: Musselman, who woke Warriors from long coma, now under gun. (21) 20 CLIPPERS (22-29) As any, or either, Clipper fan could tell you, it could have been worse. (19) 21 MIAMI (22-32) For $10 million a year, will Odom make Heat No. 8 team in East or No. 9? (20) 22 CLEVELAND (20-33) Looking out on his feet, James averages 15, shoots 32% over his last four. (22) 23 PHILADELPHIA (22-31) Not that 76ers aren't model of stability: Brown's successor lasted 52 games. (23) 24 BOSTON (23-31) Oops: Pierce doesn't look that happy about recent developments either. (24) 25 PHOENIX (18-37) Imagine the Suns with Emeka Okafor or high school sensation Dwight Howard. (25) 26 WASHINGTON (16-34) He's alive! Kwame Brown has averaged 14 points, nine rebounds since Jan. 1. (26) 27 ATLANTA (18-35) Oops: Stotts had won four of six when they traded his team to Portland. (27) 28 CHICAGO (15-38) After Curry's string of 20-point games, crack front office pulls him off market. (28) 29 ORLANDO (13-41) McGrady: "We went on vacation early." Try two weeks before Thanksgiving.
When -- Thursday. Time -- 4:30 p.m. PST. TV -- TNT.
Story line -- Take a break from the Lakers' troubles for a night and treat yourself to this game between two teams who aren't waiting until March or April.