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How they rank

March 08, 2009|MARK HEISLER

RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY

THREE THEY ARE, AMIGOS THEY AIN'T

1. LAKERS (50-12)

East powers duke it out nightly and they think they're tired? Try bored. (1)

2. BOSTON (49-14)

Lead Cavaliers, 2-1, with better record in East, taking chokehold on tiebreaker. (2)

3. CLEVELAND (49-13)

Oops: Just found out how vulnerable they are inside without Ben Wallace. (3)

REST OF WEST LIVES!

4. ORLANDO (45-16)

Just pulled it together to go 3-0 . . . heading into Boston today. (4)

5. SAN ANTONIO (41-20)

People watch their Big Three, but defense is key, giving up 83 over last nine. (6)

6. HOUSTON (40-23)

10-2 in Tracy-Finally-Goes-Away-and-Leaves-Us-Alone Rally. (7)

7. UTAH (39-23)

Making a push: 10-0 with seven in emotional run since Larry Miller's death. (8)

8. NEW ORLEANS (39-22)

Dueling idiots: Since Thunder returned him, Chandler at 10-11, Hornets at 6-0.(9)

9. DENVER (40-23)

Still Nug-heads: Melo suspended for not coming out when Karl pulls him. (5)

10. PORTLAND (39-23)

Still no sign of large person who's difference between good and great. (10)

11. DALLAS (38-25)

Cuban says they can all go after loss to Thunder without Durant, Green. (11)

12. PHOENIX (34-28)

Team they say can't win in playoffs looks as if it won't have to worry about it. (12)

13. ATLANTA (35-28)

May never leave again: After going 3-8, just started seven-game home stand. (13)

14. MIAMI (33-29)

Beasley No. 26 in points per minute. Unfortunately, he plays only 24 minutes. (14)

SO-CALLED EAST RACE FOR NOS. 6-8

15. DETROIT (31-30)

Iverson benched as Hamilton regains starting job, averages 25 as they go 4-0. (16)

16. PHILADELPHIA (30-30)

Must get dizzy over .500: 10-2 run took them to 23-22, 7-8 since. (15)

17. CHICAGO (29-34)

Owner Reinsdorf's "disaster" may wind up in playoffs, since 37 wins may do it. (19)

18. CHARLOTTE (28-35)

Can you say p-p-playoff c-c-contenders? 6-0 run puts them right there. (22)

19. NEW JERSEY (27-35)

Harris, playing heavy minutes with twangy hamstring, averages 26-10 over five. (18)

20. MILWAUKEE (30-36)

Nets come from eight down in last 4:01 to jolt Redd-Bogut-less playoff run. (17)

HATCHLINGS/MUTANTS

21. INDIANA (28-37)

Showed enough for Larry Bird to say Jim O'Brien will be back next season. (20)

22. NEW YORK (25-36)

And then depression set in: With Marbury Steph gone, all they have are games. (21)

23. TORONTO (23-40)

Marion says he's upset at rout by Knicks -- and more so because teammates aren't. (23)

24. OKLAHOMA CITY (16-46)

LeBron Jr.: Westbrook averaged 21-6-6 last month. (24)

25. MINNESOTA (18-44)

Started 4-23, won 12 of 16 but they're 2-17 since, 1-10 without Jefferson. (25)

26. MEMPHIS (16-45)

Pau's "little" brother Marc is doing more than a little, averaging 11-7. may be backup on good team, but at 11-7, he's OK. (26)

27. GOLDEN STATE (21-42)

Tune in for socko ending: Where there's mushroom cloud, there must be a fire.(27)

28. CLIPPERS (15-48)

Donald was so right on, I'm taking his name off Crummy Exec of Year Award. (28)

29. WASHINGTON (14-49)

Not all they hoped for: Tapscott's 13-39 record not likely to keep him there. (29)

30. SACRAMENTO (13-49)

Not all they hoped for: At 7-31, Natt's lucky they let him finish season. (30)

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