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The second half

November 15, 2009|Mark Heisler

Looking ahead

ORLANDO AT BOSTON

5 p.m. Friday, I hope; ESPN

As Keith Jackson used to note weekly, these are two teams that . . . don't like each other very much.

If this feature used to be the Lakers Game of the Week, it's not hard to find a glamour matchup a week.

The East now has four or five elite teams by itself, with Cleveland coming off back-to-back wins in Orlando and Miami, and Atlanta winning in Boston.

Nor is the West last season's Lakers lake, as the Nuggets just suggested pointedly.

A week ago, Boston and Orlando were in the top three in the league. Now with their bubbles pricked, they're back to showing, or finding out, who they are.

These teams met in last spring's second round, with Orlando coming from 3-2 down and winning Game 7 in Boston -- without Kevin Garnett, of course.

--

Quotage

EXACTLY

Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler, on the "personal problems" that obliged Allen Iverson to leave the Memphis Grizzlies:

"He has personal problems, all right. He personally doesn't want to come off the bench."

THAT TOO

ESPN's Josh Elliott:

"Iverson left the team Saturday after receiving permission from owner Michael Heisley to deal with a personnel matter."

MY LIFE AS A BUG

Minnesota Coach Kurt Rambis, on telling role players they're "parasites" who feed off stars:

"I was a parasite, so if it doesn't bug me, it shouldn't bug anyone else. . . . Most of the players in the league need an offense, some sort of system, or they need other players to create things for them."

YOU OTHER GUYS CAN REBOUND

Miami's Dwyane Wade, on starting forward Michael Beasley:

"I like my shots. Michael loves his shots. That's the difference."

YOU GOT A POINT THERE, JUDGE

ESPN'S Jeff Van Gundy, after his brother, Stan, the Orlando coach, asked his players, "Why can't we go on a 10-0 roll?" late in their 102-93 loss to Cleveland:

"I can answer that question. Because LeBron James is coming back."

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