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How they rank

March 15, 2009|Mark Heisler

RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY

REMATCH THIS

1. CLEVELAND (52-13)

After 3-0 Western trip, 12 of last 17 at home, where Cavaliers are 28-1. (3)

2. LAKERS (52-13)

Post-Artest Kobe Rules: Spurs told to call him sir, ask about wife and kids. (1)

3. ORLANDO (48-17)

Just beat Celtics, whom they own . . . and lost to Pistons, who own them. (4)

4. BOSTON (50-16)

From martyr to stiff: Steph Marbury averaging 3.3, shooting 30%. (2)

WEST WILL RISE AGAIN . . . SOME DAY

5. SAN ANTONIO (44-21)

Almost famous: Win in Houston shows Spurs still better than 13 teams in West. (5)

6. HOUSTON (43-25)

That was best Artest ever, averaging 20 since break, until Kobe greased him. (6)

7. UTAH (41-24 25)

Still just scorers who are great at home: Losses at Atlanta, Miami end 12-0 run. (7)

8. NEW ORLEANS (41-24)

Not good to be the thinnest good team: Paul, West averaging 39, 41 minutes since break. (8)

9. DENVER (42-25)

Could still use Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince: Just lost eight of 13. (9)

10. PORTLAND (41-24)

After inspiring stand against Lakers, lost next game at home to Mavericks. (10)

11. DALLAS (40-26)

Howard out again -- amid buzz Cuban will offer him to Toronto for Bosh. (11)

12. MIAMI (36-29)

This is like Kobe in 2005-06: Wade just went for 41-35-42-25-48-32-50. (14)

13. ATLANTA (38-28)

Where have you been? Johnson gets 30-31-30 after long slump and Hawks go 4-0. (13)

14. DETROIT (33-31)

Went 4-12 with Hamilton on bench. Now 6-2 with Rip averaging 25 and AI Iverson out. (15)

15. PHILADELPHIA (32-31)

76ers win last game in Spectrum, may now ask to move back in until they lose. (16)

MAYBE SUNS CAN GET INTO EAST

16. PHOENIX (34 35-31)

D-I-V-O-R-C-E: Insiders say players want Shaq out as much as he wants to leave. (12)

17. CHICAGO (30-37)

You have to fold franchise to fall out of this race. No. 8 in East, just went 1-3. (17)

18. CHARLOTTE (28-38)

Meet the only team in East race over .500 in the last 10 games: Bobcats at 6-4. (18)

19. NEW YORK (28-37)

Either they won't quit or race won't let them: One game out of No. 8 after 3-0 run. (22)

20. INDIANA (28-39)

En fuego: Just went 5-5 but the race backed right up to them. (21)

21. NEW JERSEY (28-37)

Another red-hot contender: Nets just lost 10 of their last 14. (19)

22. MILWAUKEE (30-38)

Even colder than Nets with nine losses in last 12 -- but half a game out of No. 8. (20)

HATCHLINGS

23. OKLAHOMA CITY (18-47 48)

Kids really are all right: Just won six of eight with Durant out. (23 24)

24. MINNESOTA (20-46)

Despite late-season free fall (4-19), they'll be OK with Jefferson back. (25)

25. MEMPHIS (16-48)

GM Wallace at Pac-10 tourney. How about Jordan Hill if they don't get Griffin? (26)

MUTANTS

26. TORONTO (23-43)

Proving you can, too, fall out of race in East, Raptors did long ago. (23)

27. GOLDEN STATE (23-42)

Team officials upset at being called "dysfunctional." OK, how about "dopes"? (27)

28. CLIPPERS (15-50)

Say good-bye to Kaman's famous jump passes in his last five weeks here. (28)

29. WASHINGTON (14 15-51)

Not that Demar Derozan DeMar DeRozan isn't ready, but next to him, Nick Young was Larry Bird. (29)

30. SACRAMENTO (14-51)

Remember how scary Arco used to be? Just went 1-3 at home, losing to Thunder. (30)

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