- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Mike Jones ranks the top 10 NBA teams (last week in parentheses):

1. Celtics (1)

Boston looks to continue its dominance when Kevin Garnett is expected to return tonight.

2. Pistons (2)

Detroit, led by All-Stars Billups, Hamilton and Wallace, aims to extend its 10-game winning streak after the break.

3. Hornets (4)

Can Chris Paul and Co. hang on to first place in the Western Conference?

4. Suns (3)

The Shaq era begins Wednesday night, fittingly against Kobe and the Lakers.

5. Lakers (6)

Pau’s putting up 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds with Los Angeles. What an improvement over Kwame.

6. Spurs (5)

All these big trades, but the defending champs don’t flinch, performing business as usual.

7. Jazz (7)

Look for Deron Williams to go crazy in the second half after being snubbed as an All-Star.

8. Mavericks (8)

Is he or isn’t he? Dallas tries to maintain its focus despite the Kidd-related uncertainty.

9. Magic ()

SuperDwight and Co. begin the second half with a tough test against Detroit.

10. Warriors ()

The 120-118 win over Phoenix just before the break was a big plus. Now they try maintain the momentum against Utah.


1. LeBron James (Cleveland) — The Cavaliers are 0-6 this season without King James (30.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.07 steals.

2. Chris Paul (New Orleans) — The Hornets are riding CP3 (20.5 points, 10.9 assists, 2.57 steals) to the best record in the Western Conference.

3. Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers) — The Lakers’ hopes will crumble if Kobe (28.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists) pulls up lame.



After two snags foiled the original deal, Dallas’ trade for New Jersey’s Jason Kidd appears to be back on.


After a lack of cooperation from government officials in Seattle, David Stern and Sonics brass are done.


Dwight Howard steals the show, turning what has been a snoozer the last few years into an electrifying event.


28 Points in 18 minutes for Boston’s Ray Allen in Sunday’s All-Star Game, which the East won 134-128.

7 Past or present All-Stars — Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Pau Gasol, Mike Bibby, Shaquille O’Neal, Shawn Marion and Wally Szczerbiak — who have been traded this season.


“We had two people on him, but that still wasn’t enough.”

— Chris Paul on LeBron James and his momentum-swinging tomahawk dunk


L.A. Lakers AT Phoenix Wednesday, 9 p.m. ESPN

The new-look Suns welcome the Lakers to town in a possible Western Conference finals preview.

Boston AT Phoenix Friday, 10:30 p.m. ESPN

The top team in the East takes on the highest-scoring team in the West.

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