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How they rank

February 22, 2009|Mark Heisler

RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY

THE BIG FOUR MINUS ONE

1. LAKERS (45-10)

Meanwhile, on Earth: I know one Laker who won't be signing off on Shaq's return. (1)

2. CLEVELAND (42-11)

Couldn't deal, but sometimes you add by subtraction, like Boston losing Garnett. (3)

3. BOSTON (44-12)

KG got hurt last season too, but this one could mean Game 7 in Cleveland. (2)

HAPPILY, PLAYOFFS TWO MONTHS OFF

4. ORLANDO (40-14)

Alston, a 37% shooter, acquired to replace Nelson, a 50% shooter, or try to. (4)

5. SAN ANTONIO (37-17)

Ginobili hurt again: Luckily, they're pacing themselves or they'd have real trouble.(5)

6. DENVER (37-18)

55-win pace is best since 1976, when they had David Thompson and played in ABA. (6)

7. PORTLAND (34-20)

Ghost of Sam Bowie rides again as Oden discovers bone chip in his knee. (7)

8. HOUSTON (34-21)

TMac makes biggest contribution of season, going away and staying away. (8)

9. UTAH (33-23)

Tiny-market team that casts giant shadow all started with owner Larry Miller. (10)

10. DALLAS (33-22)

Cuban wants to re-sign Kidd, use his cap room this summer for fast turnaround. (11)

11. NEW ORLEANS (32-22)

With CP3 on market in 2011, Shinn had better aim higher than "respectable." (9)

12. PHOENIX (31-23)

Shaq didn't fit, but hiring Porter was like bringing in a Martian. (16)

13. ATLANTA (32-23)

On long and winding road: 1-2 on West Coast trip, heading to Utah, Denver. (13)

14. MIAMI (29-25)

That's him, all right: Jermaine O'Neal averages 15-6 as they go 1-1. (14)

15. PHILADELPHIA (27-27)

Depressed by All-Star snubs? Went into break on 14-4 run, came out 0-3. (12)

16. DETROIT (27-26)

So much for youth: McDyess starts as Kwame Brown, Amir Johnson auditions end.(15)

17. CHICAGO (25-30)

Embattled GM Paxson scores, landing Brad Miller, John Salmons. (20)

18. MILWAUKEE (27-31)

Not dead yet: Went 5-4 as Sessions, Villanueva replace Redd, Bogut. (18)

GLUB, GLUB, GLUB

19. NEW YORK (23-31)

Marbury has 10 days to make deal or forget springtime in Boston. (19)

20. CHARLOTTE (22-33)

Didn't deal Felton, but with Augustin, don't know if they'll re-sign him. (21)

21. NEW JERSEY (24-32)

As great as Carter has been, no one wanted three years, $51 million left on deal. (17)

22. INDIANA (23-34)

Dunleavy now out "indefinitely" and Granger's out for 2-3 weeks. (24)

23. GOLDEN STATE (20-36)

Wait till next year: Back on feet after 11-29 start, averaging 111 since then. (23)

24. TORONTO (21-36)

Back to Suns-style offense with Marion . . . and one season-plus to head off Bosh. (22)

25. OKLAHOMA CITY (13-43)

They returned a 26-year-old, 7-foot gift because of . . . turf toe? (26)

26. MINNESOTA (18-36)

Now starting center with Jefferson out, Love averaging 12-11 this month. (27)

FOULED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION

27. MEMPHIS (15-40)

4-21 plummet shows kids need veteran to stabilize things, like, oh, Pau Gasol. (28)

28. SACRAMENTO (12-45)

Five Kings go bye-bye as Maloofs, taking huge losses, dump all salary they can.(29)

29. WASHINGTON (13-43)

Nixed offers for Butler, Jamison, aiming to reunite them with Arenas in fall. (30)

DEJA VU, FUBAR, LAC 4EVER

30. CLIPPERS (13-42)

No, really, they still charge for admission? (25)

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