The Times' NBA rankings

RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY BIG THURSDAY 1. CLEVELAND (31-11) Lakers- Cavaliers non-rivalry about to be renewed there Thursday. (1) 2. LAKERS (31-9) Still a force unto himself, but Kobe gets Gamer Award of Week or All-Time. (2)UP AND COMING/ DOWN AND GOING 3. BOSTON (27-11) 1-2 with Wallace and KG out, leaving no one who's 6-9 in bare feet. (3) 4. ATLANTA (26-13) Team that bedeviled Celtics in '08 playoffs 3-0 against them this season. (9) 5. DENVER (25-14) All the work he puts in paying off for Afflalo, averaging 12 this month. (4) 6. DALLAS (26-13) Not good if you can't win at home vs. battered Lakers playing back to back. (6) 7. ORLANDO (26-14) Eastern finalists rolling and tumbling, 9-10 since 17-4 start. (5) 8. SAN ANTONIO (24-15) Not Tim's age: Parker down five points from last year, Ginobili shooting 40%. (8) 9. PHOENIX (24-17) Too bad schedule got so easy: Started 15-5 with 12 on road, 9-12 since. (7)10. PORTLAND (25-16) Somebody Up There Upset About Something: Now Roy's out with sore hamstring. (11)11. OKLAHOMA CITY (22-18) If not for one-point losses to Mavericks, Spurs, precocious kids would be 11-2. (10) 12. UTAH (23-17) Still win at home anyway: Just went 4-0, three at home, one over Cavaliers. (15)13. HOUSTON (22-18) Chinese voters missing Yao make TMac No. 2 among West guards. No, really. (13)14. NEW ORLEANS (21-18) 14-7 since CP3's return: Why he shouldn't ever be lower than No. 3 in MVP voting. (17)15. MEMPHIS (21-18)That's homecourt advantage: Empty arena, then come from 18 down vs. Clippers. (12) 16. MIAMI (20-19) Next point guard: After Chalmers, Arroyo bomb, Alston shoots 17 for 43, averages 6.0. (16)17. TORONTO (20-20) With GM Colangelo's contract running out, why would he trade Bosh this season? (14) 18. CHARLOTTE (19-19) 15-13 with Jackson averaging 21 there, showing how good he is when lucid. (21)19. CHICAGO (18-20) Just went 4-0 in Save Vinny rally with win over real team in Boston. (24)OOPS20. CLIPPERS (17-22) Wasn't their week. (18)21. MILWAUKEE (16-22) So much for their Redd Period: Skiles didn't dig him before he hurt knee. (20)22. SACRAMENTO (15-24) In good news, Martin back. In bad news, went 0-2 with him, 2-9 overall, (22)23. NEW YORK (16-24) D'Antoni on what Nate Robinson must do differently on defense: "Play it." (19)24. INDIANA (14-26) With Hibbert coming on, speculation about trading Murphy among others. (29)DISASTER AREA25. GOLDEN STATE (11-27) Looking as if he'll outlast Nellie, Ellis averaging 27 since Dec. 1. (23)26. DETROIT (14-25) Hamilton, Prince for sale in rebuilding project that needs lot more rebuilding. (25)27. WASHINGTON (13-26) They say JaVale McGee may be only untouchable -- but don't play him. (26)28. PHILADELPHIA (13-26)GM Stefanski on new Coach Jordan: "We're all accountable." (27)29. MINNESOTA (8-33) With power forward logjam, offered Jefferson to Pacers for Granger. (28)30. NEW JERSEY (3-36) Good thing this isn't old days or new Russian owner might have them shot. (30)

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