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Inside The Nba

The second half

November 08, 2009|MARK HEISLER

Quotage

WHY THEY SHOPPED THE LITTLE JERK

Boston spokesman Jeff Twiss to the media after the Rajon Rondo-Chris Paul incident: "Rajon has requested you not ask anything about Chris Paul now, tomorrow or any other time."

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WHY I LOVE THE CELTICS

Glen Davis, explaining how he broke his thumb in a fight with the driver of their moving car. "It was . . ." General Manager Danny Ainge, finishing his sentence for him: "Stupid."

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OR MAYBE YOU COULD JUST ZIP IT UP

Orlando's Dwight Howard, on getting three technical fouls in his first five games: "I think when I'm frustrated out there, the refs feed off that. They know that they can get me going."

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QUICK LEARNER

Spur guard George Hill, to the San Antonio News-Express, on Coach Gregg Popovich's high regard for him: "TD [Tim Duncan] tells me Pop's favorite player used to be Rasho Nesterovic and he's no longer here, so 'favorite player' sort of rolls off my back. . . ."

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BAT OUT OF HELL

San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, denounced by PETA and obliged to get painful rabies shots after murdering a bat flying around the court: "Don't do this at home. Don't handle bats, don't slap them, don't do anything -- or raccoons -- because you're going to end up like me."

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Looking ahead

CLEVELAND AT ORLANDO

Wednesday, 5 p.m., ESPN

LAKERS AT DENVER

Friday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

It's with no small embarrassment I acknowledge that last week's tab, Cleveland at Orlando, is actually this week.

Imagine the anticipation by now!

Since I have no excuse whatsoever, I'm going to handle it as the players do: I'm moving forward and I won't discuss it after this.

While the Cavaliers and Magic will show more about who's who in the East, I probably owe readers another tab since I've used that one. (Actually, it never came up before.)

The Lakers and Nuggets will show a lot about who's who in the West (I hope). The Lakers won the conference by 10 games last season but with Carmelo Anthony averaging 31.7 points, rookie Ty Lawson a major surprise and suspended J.R. Smith on his way back, this doesn't look like last season.

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How They Rank

SO MUCH FOR PERFECT SEASON

1. Boston (7-1); Better tell Rasheed they can only lose eight more and beat Bulls' record. (1)

2. Lakers (5-1); Khloe & Lamar, now Sasha & Maria Sharapova!!! Season going OK, too. (4)

3. Phoenix (5-1); Suns ride again? Just scored 110 on Celtics who hadn't allowed 90. (9)

4. Denver (5-2);Top point guard tandem: Billups (21) and Lawson (12) averaging 33. (3)

5. Orlando (5-1); Off and running with Rashard Lewis set to make belated debut. (2)

FIVE OF TOP SEVEN

ARE IN EAST?

6. Atlanta (5-2); Won in Portland, upended Nuggets at home. Not just highlight show any more. (7)

7. Miami (5-1); Just beat Denver: Standing Pat, er, pat looking shrewder all the time. (10)

8. Dallas (4-2); Dirk gets 29 in fourth quarter as they come from 16 down to beat Jazz. (8)

9. Houston (4-2); Small lineup that bedeviled Lakers last spring deviling everyone now. (19)

10. Cleveland (4-3); 1-3 in last four at home over two seasons, after winning 39 of 40. (15)

11. Portland (3-3); Kids not all right: Aldridge averaging 14.6, Oden 4.8 fouls in 23 minutes. (14)

12. San Antonio (2-3); Manu struggles, either getting in shape or grief-stricken after killing bat. (5)

13. Chicago (4-2); Rose by another name: Coming off injury, averaging 12 vs. last season's 17.(18)

14. Toronto (3-3); Calderon missed three FTs last season (151-154), already missed five (12-17).(17)

15. Philadelphia (3-2); Problem for team that spreads floor: They have 25 threes to opponents' 55. (13)

16. Charlotte (3-3); Brown up for coach of year at .500 while team scores 84 a game. (21)

17. Utah (2-4); Sloan may bite someone's neck: Giving up 04 a game, lost at home to Kings. 6)

18. New Orleans (2-4); Bottom falls out as Paul's exasperation shows for first time on 0-2 East trip.(16)

19. Oklahoma City (2-3); Up past bedtime: At 2-0, lost at at home to Trail Blazers, Lakers. (12)

20. Clippers (2-4); Southern California passes out en masse at news they won two games in row. (26)

21. Washington (2-4); Injured Jamison pitches fit after they lose by 16 in Indianapolis. (11)

22. Milwaukee (3-2); Nice backcourt if it ever gets on floor: Jennings on fire, Redd out two weeks.(22)

23. Detroit (2-4); So much for Kwame as starter... forever? Loses job to 35-year-old Ben Wallace. (20)

24. Indiana (2-3); Hansbrough makes debt, getting 13 points, five rebounds in 14 minutes. (25)

CAN BOOK TENTS FOR

LOTTERY PARTY

25. Minnesota (1-5); Good thing Rambis won debut because they've lost all the rest. (23)

26. Sacramento (2-4); Wince if you've heard this one: Martin, averaging 31, out 6-8 weeks.(27)

27. Golden State (1-3); Beating 2008-09 pace of 46 lineups in 82 games, Nelson is four for four. (28)

28. Memphis (1-5); Iverson leaves for 'personal reasons.' Is this the end of Rico? (24)

29. New York (1-6); Italian Bird, Gallinari hits 18 threes in first three. Teams now guard him. (30)

30. New Jersey (0-7); After all their injuries (Harris, Hayes, Yi) swine flu? Douglas-Roberts has it. (29)

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