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The Times' NBA rankings

Miami takes over the top spot. Clippers are at No. 4 and Lakers hold on at No. 18.

January 26, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Miami's LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts after a fan sank a half-court shot for $75,000 during Friday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Miami's LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts after a fan sank a half-court… (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images )

WOULD RATHER PLAY THROUGH ALL-STAR BREAK

1. MIAMI (28-12) LeBron James seeks 10-day contract for 50-year-old who made halfcourt shot. (3)

2. OKLAHOMA CITY (34-10) Sounds of season-long trip include cowbells of Sacramento, alarm bells of L.A. (1)

3. SAN ANTONIO (36-11) Coach Gregg Popovich might irk All-Stars by demanding effort. (4)

4. CLIPPERS (32-13) What does a coach have to do around here to get a contract extension? (2)

SHOULD BE WELL-REPRESENTED IN HOUSTON

5. NEW YORK (26-15) Having to fend off those pesky Nets again for back-page tabloid treatment. (5)

6. GOLDEN STATE (26-17) Hoping to catch new rival Clippers in the four-five first-round playoff matchup. (6)

7. MEMPHIS (28-14) Beating the Lakers these days means being just part of the crowd. (7)

8. INDIANA (26-18) David West should show up at Toyota Center next month with resume in hand. (8)

9. BROOKLYN (26-18) P.J. Carlesimo’s magic reminiscent of another coach whose initials are P.J. (9)

10. CHICAGO (26-17) Surging Bulls suddenly worry about how Derrick Rose may affect chemistry. (11)

11. DENVER (27-18) Pepsi Center hard to beat except for Atari 2600 graphics on scoreboard. (12)

12. ATLANTA (25-18) Annual All-Star snub getting old real fast for 27-year-old Josh Smith. (10)

ALREADY PLAYING DEFENSE AT ALL-STAR LEVEL

13. MILWAUKEE (23-19) It’s always Bucks season the way Monta Ellis keeps shooting. (16)

14. UTAH (24-20) Paul Millsap’s testy exchange may have awoken a slumbering giant in Pau Gasol. (17)

15. HOUSTON (24-22) Temporary home of Boeing’s Dreamliner and nightmarish stretch for Rockets. (13)

16. PORTLAND (22-21) LaMarcus Aldridge may not return from Houston after seeing so much talent. (15)

17. BOSTON (20-23) Could face Lakers in June in Venice Beach if neither team makes playoffs. (14)

18. LAKERS (18-25) Call season “Kobe’s Karma: The Revenge of Smush Parker and Kwame Brown.” (18)

19. MINNESOTA (17-24) Woebegone franchise back to being the land of 10,000 losses. (19)

20. DALLAS (18-25) Chris Kaman pushes Mark Cuban, Morton Downey Jr. for top loudmouth honors. (20)

21. PHILADELPHIA (18-25) Jrue Holiday’s success could spawn new legion of UCLA one-and-done players. (21)

WILL GLADLY TAKE THE WEEKEND OFF

22. TORONTO (16-28) Ron Artest sneaks into Canada under an assumed identity. (22)

23. DETROIT (16-27) Tayshaun Prince may feel like a Model T trying to vie for relevancy in 2013. (24)

24. ORLANDO (14-28) Nothing adds up except misery for team with twice as many losses as victories. (23)

25. SACRAMENTO (16-29) File team’s back-and-forth flirtation with Seattle as “Tell us when it’s over.” (25)

26. PHOENIX (15-29) Proper sendoff for Alvin Gentry would have entailed final game against Clippers. (27)

27. NEW ORLEANS (14-29) Should play clip of Al Pacino saying “Come on, Pelicans!” before games. (26)

28. CLEVELAND (13-32) Some might look at record and dub Kyrie Irving The Accidental All-Star. (29)

29. CHARLOTTE (11-32) Saying they’re going through motions would give Bobcats too much credit. (28)

COULD HAVE AN ALL-STAR THIS CENTURY

30. WASHINGTON (11-31) Reaching 10 wins now means you’re a double-digit doozy of a disaster. (30)

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