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The Times' NBA rankings

Miami is still the best team in the league.

March 16, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • LeBron James and the Miami Heat are still slamming the rest of the NBA.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat are still slamming the rest of the NBA. (Matt Slocum / Associated…)

THANKS-A-LOT

1. MIAMI (50-14)     Heat would qualify for NCAA tournament on strength of winning streak alone. (1)

2. SAN ANTONIO (51-16)     Dept. of Labor inquiring about extra days off for Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard. (2)

SHOUT OUTS!

3. OKLAHOMA CITY (49-17)     Stars sitting out so many fourth quarters they’ll need refresher before playoffs. (3)

4. DENVER (45-22)     Equating Dwight Howard to Kosta Koufos a while back an unintended compliment. (4)

5. MEMPHIS (44-21)     Grizzlies and Clippers could be headed for another epic first-round matchup. (6)

6. CLIPPERS (45-21)     Team that once had NBA’s best record could become biggest disappointment. (5)

7. INDIANA (40-26)     Pacers aren’t Fab even with Paul George, George Hill playing well against Lakers. (7)

8. NEW YORK (38-25)     Daylight savings time ushers in desperate hours for badly slumping Knicks. (8)

9. BROOKLYN (38-27)     There’s no faking portrayal of Kris Humphries in season of harsh reality. (9)

CARAMEL DE LITES

10. GOLDEN STATE (37-30)     Warriors’ playoff outlook goes from doubts of seed to seeds of doubt. (10)

11. ATLANTA (36-29)     F. Lee Bailey wouldn’t even take on defense of Dahntay Jones. (11)

12. LAKERS (35-32)     Kobe Bryant’s body parts are sponsored by Cyberdyne Systems. (13)

13. CHICAGO (36-29)     Bulls exhibit split personality with 42-point loss, 18-point win in two-day span. (12)

14. HOUSTON (36-30)     Rockets must get lucky on seven-game homestand to retain playoff spot. (15)

15. BOSTON (36-29)     Refrain in playoffs could be “Help me Rondo! Help, help me Rondo!” (14)

16. UTAH (34-32)     Cruel intentions? Timing of Raja Bell’s release guarantees no playoffs. (16)

17. MILWAUKEE (32-32)     Bucks wonder whether Heat will lose again before likely first-round matchup. (17)

18. DALLAS (31-34)     Chris Kaman lecture series: “How to handle playing two minutes as NBA starter.” (19)

19. PORTLAND (31-34)     Blazers to Raymond Felton: Don’t blame us for being out of shape last year. (18)

THIN MINTS

20. TORONTO (26-40)     At least with Andrea Bargnani out for the season he can no longer disappoint. (20)

21. PHILADELPHIA (25-40)     Underwriters mine fine print in Andrew Bynum insurance policy for bowling clause. (21)

22. MINNESOTA (22-41)     Ricky Rubio’s triple-double is rare respite for fans doubling down on distress. (23)

23. WASHINGTON (23-42)     When Jan Vesely sits out, his fantasy owners mark it as DNP—Whew. (26)

24. SACRAMENTO (23-43)     Seattle fans curiously join wait list to watch DeMarcus Cousins next season. (28)

25. DETROIT (23-45)     At this point, Pistons would sign 51-year-old Isiah Thomas to 10-day contract. (22)

26. CLEVELAND (22-44)     Luuuke! The impossible can happen if Cavs re-sign resurgent Luke Walton. (25)

27. NEW ORLEANS (22-44)     Hornets don’t even get brotherly love as Brook Lopez dunks on Robin. (24)

28. PHOENIX (22-45)     Goran Dragic wonders why he didn’t get video tribute in return to Houston. (27)

29. ORLANDO (18-48)     Dwight Howard says hello to Magic fans, possibly goodbye to Hack-a-Howard. (29)

SHORTBREAD
30. CHARLOTTE (14-52)     Ben Gordon showing he still has bounce in games as well as shoot-arounds. (30)

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