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Inside the NBA

The Times' Rankings

January 28, 2007

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

*--* EXTREMELY BIG TWO 1. PHOENIX (35-8) I'm confused: If defense wins as pundits say, how come Suns never lose? (2) 2. DALLAS (36-9) Nowitzki taking over for ensemble, averaging 29 this month. (1) PRAYING BIG TWO COOL OFF 3. SAN ANTONIO (31-14) Of the last seven winning teams Spurs played, they've lost to six. (3) 4. UTAH (29-16) Announcing party time's over, Sloan imposes curfew on young Jazz. (5) 5. HOUSTON (27-16) Amazing but true: 16-11 when Yao left, 11-5 since. (7) 6. LAKERS (27-16) Odom's back, but the magic isn't quite yet. (4) JUST HAPPY EAST STILL GETS A FINALS BERTH 7. WASHINGTON (25-17) I know East is down, but this wild bunch has the best record? (10) 8. CHICAGO (26-19) Nowhere near as good as Pistons, but Bulls are way more into it. (10) 9. DETROIT (24-17) He's just OK, they're just OK: 3-2 with Webber, lost at home to Wizards. (6) 10. CLEVELAND (25-18) Not too soon to panic: Lost at home to Magic, 76ers, and James is out. (8) SHOULD BE HAPPY TO MAKE POSTSEASON 11. DENVER (22-19) So far no threat to that big enchilada: Iverson and Anthony are 2-2 together. (11) 12. INDIANA (23-20) Just won three in a row as post-Stephen Jackson esprit improves. (18) 13. TORONTO (22-23) 19-14 after 3-9 start with Nets sinking, Raptors are new Atlantic favorite. (17) 14. ORLANDO (23-21) What's Serbo-Croatian for "total bust?" Milicic still pouting on bench. (13) 15. MINNESOTA (21-22) Dwane Casey exits at 20-20. Randy Wittman debuts at 1-2. (14) 16. NEW JERSEY (21-23) Heartwarming post-divorce rally fades: Nets lose Jefferson, go 1-3. (12) 17. CLIPPERS (21-22) All trade moves they contemplate show this season is one long transition. (19) 18. GOLDEN STATE (21-23) Can't deal Richardson till broken hand heals, but Warriors need a big man. (16) 19. MIAMI (19-25) O'Neal gets 16 in first two as Heat goes 0-2, sits out as team makes it 0-3. (15) BEEN DOWN SO LONG, THIS LOOKS LIKE UP 20. NEW YORK (19-26) Jamal Crawford, world's bravest, craziest player, drops 52 on Heat. (20) 21. PORTLAND (19-26) Brandon Roy has a lot of clinkers but is still averaging 16 this month. (22) 22. NEW ORLEANS (18-25) Apparently no one told Hornets they're outmanned: 7-9 without Paul, Stojakovic. (21) 23. SEATTLE (17-26) Ray Allen in overdrive, averages 35 as SuperSonics win four of five. (24) 24. CHARLOTTE (15-28) Young guys are 8-7 since Carroll broke out vs. Lakers a month ago. (26) SHOULD BE HAPPY IT'S A GREAT DRAFT 25. SACRAMENTO (17-25) Gavin Maloof: "We can turn this thing around." Sure, in five or 10 years. (23) 26. MILWAUKEE (17-26) Not so good: Bogut averaging 13 this month with Redd, Mo Williams out. (25) 27. MEMPHIS (11-32) Jerry West, who deserves way better, saying this will be it for him. (27) 28. PHILADELPHIA (13-31) Remaining A.I. -- Andre Igoudala -- happening, averaging 24 over five. (30) 29. ATLANTA (15-26) Amazing but true: With NBA's weirdest jump shot, Josh Childress shoots 52%. (28) 30. BOSTON (12-30) Future is when? Telfair drops to No. 3 behind Delonte West, Rajon Rondo. (29)

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