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The Times' NBA rankings

Heat remains in top spot while Spurs move up to No. 2.

February 23, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Miami's LeBron James, left, and Dwyane Wade enjoy the final minutes of the Heat's 114-90 over Philadelphia on Saturday from the bench.
Miami's LeBron James, left, and Dwyane Wade enjoy the final minutes… (Michael Perez / Associated…)

THE LAST EMPEROR

1. MIAMI (39-14) Not sure how Heat expects to win another title without Dexter Pittman. (1)

2. SAN ANTONIO (44-13) Prop bet that Baynes would outscore Paul renders Las Vegas bust. (3)

3. OKLAHOMA CITY (40-15) Paying luxury taxes might have been less costly than trading James Harden. (2)

4. CLIPPERS (40-18) Half-court shot-maker Hagop Blikian saves sorry showing at Staples Center. (4)

AMERICAN BEAUTY

5. MEMPHIS (36-18) Grizzlies’ surge otherwise known as the We’re Not Dead Yet Tour 2013. (7)

6. DENVER (35-22) George Karl playing Obi-Wan Kenobi to Danilo Gallinari’s Luke Skywalker. (6)

7. NEW YORK (32-20) Newcomer Kenyon Martin saving season would be a miracle on 33rd Street. (5)

8. INDIANA (35-21) Pacers may be ready for prime time except for ratings they would generate. (8)

9. GOLDEN STATE (32-23) The short sleeves are on, but the gloves come off in taut victory over Spurs. (9)

10. BROOKLYN (33-23) Imagine fallout in L.A. in July if Nets land Dwight Howard and Phil Jackson. (11)

11. CHICAGO (32-23) Reggie Rose’s input valued here about as much as that of Jerry Krause. (10)

12. UTAH (31-25) Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” becomes top song on Jazz playlist. (13)

ORDINARY PEOPLE

13. ATLANTA (31-23) Smith has to shoo away bevy of Bekins drivers lingering outside house. (12)

14. HOUSTON (31-27) Thomas Robinson getting a do-over only 51 games into his NBA career. (16)

15. BOSTON (29-26) Auerbach hands Buss a victory cigar in heaven for a job well done. (14)

16. MILWAUKEE (26-28) There weren’t many shots to go around even before J.J. Redick arrived. (15)

17. LAKERS (27-29) Who could have imagined that .500 would become the Promised Land? (17)

18. DALLAS (25-29) Mavericks owner putting thoughts on paper: a Cuban missive crisis. (19)

19. PORTLAND (25-30) Beating Lakers wouldn’t have made Blazers spoilers given spot in West. (18)

20. PHILADELPHIA (22-31) At least Bynum keeping fans entertained with his mountain of ’dos. (20)

UNFORGIVEN

21. TORONTO (23-33) Terrence Ross is first to win slam contest with more misses than makes. (21)

22. DETROIT (22-36) Pistons fans set to check out if underachieving Charlie Villanueva opts in. (22)

23. MINNESOTA (20-32) Rick Adelman must feel like Bill Cosby after release of “Leonard Part 6.” (23)

24. NEW ORLEANS (19-37) How did Pelicans land 2014 All-Star game? Oh, right, basketball reasons. (24)

25. SACRAMENTO (19-37) Kings’ Q score below that of parking-lot attendants outside arena. (25)

26. PHOENIX (18-38) Lineup had spring-training feel before pitchers, catchers reported. (26)

27. CLEVELAND (18-37) Teams call Quicken Loans Arena inquiring about quickie loan of Irving. (27)

28. WASHINGTON (17-37) Things are so bad there’s no cellphone reception inside Verizon Center. (28)

29. ORLANDO (15-41) Central Florida’s roster has officially surpassed the Magic’s in talent. (29)

CRASH

30. CHARLOTTE (13-43) Nuanced ESPN profile of M.J. makes blanket appraisal of team: It’s bad. (30)

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