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The Times' Rankings

MARK HEISLER'S NBA RANKINGS, COMMENTS (Last week's rank)

January 21, 2007

*--* ROYALS 1. DALLAS (33-8) Mavericks have lost one game since Dec. 11. (1) 2. PHOENIX (31-8) They have lost two games since Nov. 18. (2) COURTIERS 3. SAN ANTONIO (28-13) If loss to Mavericks shook Spurs up, loss to Lakers must have them petrified. (3) 4. LAKERS (26-15) If only they could go to four corners until Odom's back. (5) 5. UTAH (27-14) Not fade away: Jazz just won in Detroit, Toronto and Chicago. (7) TOWNSPEOPLE 6. DETROIT (23-16) Of course, Nazr Mohammed, whom Webber replaces, isn't exactly Bill Russell. (10) 7. HOUSTON (25-16) Blowing eight-point lead with 2:36 left vs. Denver puts kink in Rockets' weekend. (4) 8. CLEVELAND (24-16) Coach Mike Brown "ashamed" as West Coast trip goes south. (6) 9. CHICAGO (23-18) Ben Gordon back starting as Bulls plateau at 8-8 over four weeks. (11) 10. WASHINGTON (24-16) Arenas saga (cont.): Slump ends with 51 and (yawn) game-winning three. (13) 11. DENVER (20-17) Melo back Monday. Now to see what he and Iverson can do to, or for, each other. (17) 12. NEW JERSEY (20-20) Now 6-1 in post-divorce rally, back on top in Atlantic Division. (19) 13. ORLANDO (22-19) Young guys feeling heat: Since starting 13-4, Magic is 9-15. (8) 14. MINNESOTA (20-18) Webber says he wanted to play with Garnett but "the situation wasn't good." (9) 15. MIAMI (18-21) Key to rally: Kapono, No. 1 in NBA at 54% on three-pointers, got Walker's shots. (14) 16. GOLDEN STATE (19-22) Trade makes Warriors so deep, struggling Jason Richardson is available. (15) 17. TORONTO (19-22) Morris Peterson, 37% career three-point shooter, seeks new gig. (18) 18. INDIANA (20-20) This isn't Pacers' new era, just their transition out of their old one. (12) 19. CLIPPERS (19-21) Puzzle: No Cassell, no post game. No Livingston, no defense. (16) SERFS 20. NEW YORK (18-24) Would have gone 4-0 except for last-second shots by Wizards, Nets. (21) 21. NEW ORLEANS (16-23) Byron Scott's teams don't quit: Just went 4-1 without Paul, Stojakovic. (24) 22. PORTLAND (16-25) Rookie Sergio Rodriguez nicknamed "Spanish Chocolate" after big game. (23) 23. SACRAMENTO (15-23) Just a matter of who goes first: Artest, Bibby or Musselman, who just arrived. (20) 24. SEATTLE (16-25) New owner says he needs $300-million arena or they'll be Oklahoma City Sonics. (25) 25. MILWAUKEE (17-22) No Michael Redd, no Mo Williams, no Charlie Villanueva, no way. (22) 26. CHARLOTTE (14-25) Ryan Hollins gets seven points, five fouls in 10 minutes in NBA debut. (26) 27. MEMPHIS (10-31) Could waive Eddie Jones, now 35, who'd still look good in purple and gold. (27) 28. ATLANTA (13-25) Marvin Williams, second pick in '05, averaging 12, shooting 37%. (28) 29. BOSTON (12-27) Pierce return set at All-Star break. Of course Celtics may be 12-40 by then. (29) 30. PHILADELPHIA (11-29) 12,380 (announced) see loss to Raptors. Soon it may be just friends and family. (30)

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