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How they rank

February 15, 2009|MARK HEISLER



1. LAKERS (42-10)

Happily, Celtics or Cavaliers likelier to make Finals than Bobcats or Jazz. (1)

2. BOSTON (44-11)

Good news for old guys: Lots of chances to rest with 66 days to play last 29.(2)

3. CLEVELAND (40-11)

Cavaliers in hunt for Stoudemire. Amare. How scary would THAT be? (3)

4. ORLANDO (38-13)

Counting game in which he left after 19 minutes, 2-3 since losing Jameer Nelson. (4)


5. SAN ANTONIO (35-16)

What do you call coach who rests three starters, then wins in Boston? Genius.(5)

6. DENVER (36-17)

OK, let's see what you've got: They're healthy but seven of next 11 on road.(6)

7. PORTLAND (32-20)

Oden gets 33-22, nine blocks in last two, misses rookie game with sore knee.(8)

8. HOUSTON (32-21)

24th and possibly last update: Tracy out again amid reports this might do it. (7)

9. NEW ORLEANS (30-20)

Looked like D-League team but somehow went 2-2 without Chris Paul. CP3. (9)

10. UTAH (30-23)

Boozer due back, giving them their whole team for first time. (10)

11. DALLAS (31-21)

NOT saving cap room. If stars like Vince Carter are on block, Cuban wants in.(11)

12. PHILADELPHIA (27-24)

14-9 without Elton Brand, should make push in second half without him. (12)

13. ATLANTA (31-21)

Eight of next nine on road, starting with Tuesday's game vs. Lakers. (14)

14. MIAMI (28-24)

Could have let Marion walk and saved $17.2 mill, got Jermaine O'Neal instead. (16)

15. DETROIT (27-24)

WNBA Detroit Coach Bill Laimbeer, asked if Pistons can make late run: "No." (15)

16. PHOENIX (28-23)

Nothing like coming apart at the seams with the entire league in town. (13)


17. NEW JERSEY (24-29)

Do they want someone good for Carter or just draft pick and cap relief? (17)

18. MILWAUKEE (26-29)

With Redd, Bogut, Ridnour out, won last two, scoring 124-122. (20)

19. NEW YORK (21-31)

Pain is losing sixth in row on T in closing seconds for hanging on rim. (18)

20. CHICAGO (23-30)

This should be good: Uptight Bulls in running for high-maintenance Stoudemire. (19)

21. CHARLOTTE (21-31)

Our favorite Martian gets 21, makes five threes in his second game with Bobcats. (22)

22. TORONTO (21-34)

With two seasons to keep Bosh, just wasted half of one with Jermaine O'Neal. (24)

23. GOLDEN STATE (19-35)

Won't be fun to play from now on: 4-1 before break and Lakers are coming. (27)

24. INDIANA (21-33)

Not the Dunleavys' year: Mike Jr. out again as knee gets sore. (23)


25. CLIPPERS (13-40)

Who knew they had more problems than their coach? Oh yeah, everyone. (26)

26. OKLAHOMA CITY (13-40)

10-11 since 3-29 start with interim Coach Scottie Brooks looking good. (28)

27. MINNESOTA (17-34)

Season recap: Started 4-23, went 12-4 to show their promise, lost Jefferson. (21)

28. MEMPHIS (15-37)

Looking like he's turning corner, Conley averaged 15-6-6 in last five. (25)

29. SACRAMENTO (11-43)

Financial losses mounting and Maloofs are crazed enough in good times. (29)

30. WASHINGTON (11-42)

They kept saying Gilbert would play, but he doesn't look up for it. (30)

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