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Team (Record)Comment (Last week’s position)

1. Utah (10-2) They don’t think they’re playing well.

Shows how bad everyone else is. (1)

2. Orlando (10-3) Best guard rotation going: Penny,

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Nick Anderson, Darrell Armstrong. (3)

3. Indiana (9-4) No secret how they’re doing it: won

five in row, holding four under 85. (7)

4. Miami (8-4) No secret how they’re doing it: won

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eight in row, holding all under 85. (8)

5. Seattle (8-4) Not quite as good as it looks: SuperSonics

played seven of first nine at home. (2)

6. Lakers (8-6) NBA version of Jenny Jones: No truth

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to rumor NBC will carry all their games. (4)

7. Houston (8-5) Nine games in 13 days in seven cities

has old guys looking like old guys. (5)

8. Minnesota (8-4) Things are looking so bright, Marbury

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is now hinting that he may stay. (11)

9. Portland (8-3) Still just the Trail Blazers: looking good

. . . until they crash at Charlotte. (12)

10. New York (8-4) On the other hand, Knicks’ OT win over

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Timberwolves was first vs. winning team. (15)

11. Phoenix (7-5) If Jason Kidd could just shoot ball

as well as he retrieves it . . . (13)

12. Milwaukee (6-4) Big Dog has won two games at the end,

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almost did it again at Denver. (6)

13. Atlanta (8-5) Without Smith, Henderson, Hawks have

to hold teams to 80 to have a chance. (9)

14. Boston (6-5) Another $30 million mistake: ‘Toine, Kenny

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argue. Guess which is on way out? (18)

15. Sacramento (6-7) Better than it looks: The Kings played

10 of their first 13 on road. (10)

16. Philadelphia (7-5) Look out Shaq: Since first week, Iverson

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is averaging 33.9 points a game. (16)

17. Detroit (7-6) Where had you gone, Joe D? Dumars back

from injury, gets 63 in three wins. (19)

18. San Antonio (6-7) Who woke him up? Admiral scores 29 in win

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vs. SuperSonics, 10 in loss in rematch. (14)

19. Cleveland (5-6) Outgunned: Without Ilgauskas, Person,

Cavaliers total 147 in two losses. (17)

20. New Jersey (2-10) First player-Cal outbursts with Burrell

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and Gatling. More expected soon. (20)

21. Golden State (6-6) They’re alive! Of course, Warriors have

played nine of their games at home. (23)

22. Washington (4-7) Bickerstaff wonders why his big guys are

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so soft. Question: What big guys? (21)

23. Vancouver (4-8) Subtract Bibby’s first two games and

he’s averaging 14, shooting 44%. (22)

24. Denver (4-9) They’re alive! Nuggets come from 12 down

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in fourth quarters to beat Lakes, Bucks. (24)

25. Toronto (4-7) Rookie Vince Carter happening big-time:

scores 83 points in last four games. (25)

26. Chicago (3-10) Krause frets as whiz kid Floyd goes

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three down on Clippers in race for top pick. (26)

27. Dallas (4-10) Wunderkind Nowitzki just a kind. Benched

averaging 6.6 points, shooting 32%. (28)

28. Charlotte (2-9) Just Coleman’s luck: The moment he gets

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there, everything falls apart again. (27)

29. Clippers (0-12) Lost at home to Grizzlies, Warriors, Mavericks,

who are combined 1-13 on road elsewhere. (29)

GAME OF THE WEEK

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HOUSTON AT LAKERS

When--Today. Time--2:30 p.m. TV--Channel 4.

* Story line--I hate to keep tabbing every Sunday’s Laker game as the best of the week, but this is where the action is and never as much as now. Of course, the Lakers have lost all these Sunday games, so far. This one looks much more doable. Sunday combatants are usually allowed a day off to rest, but not this season. The Rockets played Saturday in Vancouver.


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