NBA

DIME MAG HIT LIST: Spurs are scorching

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With so much attention focused on college ball this week, the celebrated Hit List becomes your one-stop source for tracking your favorite NBA team.
Hit List
Rank Last week Team Comment
29 29 Golden State Warriors Players can't wait to face Golden State, because that means a big numbers night is in the bag. The Warriors are the Rodney Dangerfields of the League, getting laughed at and being shown no respect. Golden State has lost five straight and allowed at least 107 points in each contest.
28 28 Graceland Grizzlies Fans and management alike were hoping for a late season improvement. Instead, Memphis has lost three in a row and 12 of 14. If Shane Battier looks a little out of it on the court, that's because he's dreaming of yesteryear when he was top dog on the Dukies championship squad.
27 27 Chicago Bulls Give Jalen Rose credit for playing hard every night given the dismal situation. He has to play babysitter to two high school kids and carry a team on his back while fans are itching for another banner to hang from the rafters at the United Center. His 44-point explosion in the double-OT win against Houston goes to show that he's not the crybaby many critics pegged him to be.
26 25 Denver Nuggets We already know that Antonio McDyess doesn't have to be told twice to sit out if his knee is bothering him, but now other Nugs players are trying new ways to save themselves the disgrace of playing for this ball club. Witness Tim Hardaway's ejection and TV toss onto mid-court that earned him a nice two-game break from game action.
25 23 Cleveland Cavs If you haven't marveled already at point god Andre Miller's outstanding skills, take a minute and do so now. The kid is dropping over a dollar's worth of dimes a game for a team with no talent or a consistent scorer. He plays through pain - the latest injury is an agonizing hip pointer - and rarely turns the ball over. There are about 25 teams in this league who would swap points in an instant if given the opportunity.
24 21 Toronto Raptors Here are a few factoids proving just how horrible the Raptors have become. Toronto has lost 16 of its last 17 games. They have managed a lone victory since the All-Star break. Air Canada has been grounded at home, losing nine straight north of the border.
23 26 New York Knicks What is with the LA-NY GM connection? First it was Jerry West who wanted to take over the reigns as general manager of the Knicks. Now Magic Johnson is making waves in the New York press that he'd like a similar role in the Knicks' organization. This remains mere speculation at the moment, but one thing is for sure, this team is in desperate need of a little magic to return to playoff contention.
22 22 Houston Rockets The Rockets were rolling with three straight wins over playoff bound teams from the West before being rudely upended by the Bulls in a double OT-thriller. They do have an excuse though because superstar guard Stevie Franchise was again sidelined by a migraine. Clutch City is now just 2-20 in the games where Wink has been MIA.
21 24 Atlanta Hawks Don't look now, but Hotlanta is making a playoff run. At least that's what Shareef Abdur-Rahim would have you believe. Please. The reality is that the Hawks are light years away from catching up to the eighth seed in the East. They are four and one half games back of the Raptors, for heaven's sake.
20 20 Washington Wizards Talk about a death trap. Already having lost four consecutive games, the Wiz recently embarked on a seven-game, 11 day, Western Conference road swing. This team is set to go from bad to miserable in six seconds flat and there ain't a damn thing MJ can do about it.
19 19 Phoenix Suns The season started out as very promising, but the Suns are quickly setting in Phoenix. This team has dropped five in a row and has failed to break the 90-point barrier in seven of its last eight games.
18 18 New Orleans Hornets Even though season tickets haven't been exactly selling like hot cakes in N'Awlins, the team is still set to ditch the Hive in Charlotte. That makes for an unfortunate situation given the fact that The Hornets have been buzzing as the final seed in the East. Things are beginning to click into place for B-Diddy and Co. and they should give the Nets a serious run for their money in a first round showdown.
17 16 Miami Heat Despite a glaring lack of offense, the Heat are refusing to concede the season. Pat Riley has the troops all fired up and they have been winning games at an incredible clip just to get into their current position. Zo's recent spat with Kenyon Martin has poured even more fuel on to the Heat's burning desire to reach the playoffs and silence all the early season cynics.
16 17 LA Clippers Los Angeles' other team has been playing stellar ball during the month of March, even without starters Lamar Odom and Corey Maggette. Although they were conquered in the intra-city affair, the Clip Joint did not back down and nearly earned the victory. The bad blood between the two teams grew thicker and provided a bitter taste in their mouths that the Clips will undoubtedly use as motivation to get to the second season and hopefully have themselves a little rematch.
15 15 Indiana Pacers The Pacers have utilized a stingy defense to reel off four consecutive triumphs. Where did the newfound defensive energy come from? Give credit to tough as nails center Brad Miller and the unorthodox Ron Artest who came over from the Bulls at the trading deadline. They finally understand the Pacers system and the entire team's play has improved as a result.
14 13 Utah Jazz The Jazz mix of young and old are blending together to form a legit playoff contender. They certainly lack the athleticism of other teams but can get by on smarts and tried and true techniques like the pick and roll. Yet turnovers are a new problem and could prevent Utah from advancing to the second round. Stockton and Co. simply need to take better care of the rock for them to even have a shot at a ring.
13 12 Milwaukee Bucks The Bucks are now looking up at the Pistons after losing a vital battle with the division foe last week. Perhaps George Karl should focus more on coaching his team and less on other teams' coaches. Maybe then his team can achieve some consistency in an up and down season.
12 14 Orlando Magic When last season's ROY, Mike Miller, went down with a bum ankle, many expected Orlando to fall on its face. Instead T-Mac and the Magic have risen to the challenge to go 4-0 without the team's second-leading scorer. Not coincidentally, Dee Brown discarded his business suit for a jersey to step in and plug the hole for the team. So far, so good.
11 8 Minnesota T-Wolves It must still be winter in Minnesota, because the T-Wolves have been ice cold. The once ferocious Wolves are now more like T-Puppies, rolling over for any team that plays with them. Minny doesn't even know what a W feels like it has been so long since their last one, having been beaten in seven straight games.
10 10 Seattle Sonics Given the situation heading into the season, it is amazing that the Sonics are in playoff contention. It is even more inconceivable given the amount of injuries this team has had to endure. Yet GP has been as steady as ever, and the influx of a couple of foreign players in Radmanovic and Drobnjak has the Sonics fantasizing about what could be.
9 5 Philly 76ers Even though their record might not indicate it, the Sixers are still the most feared team in the East. No team wants to deal with Allen Iverson blowing up for a 50-spot or watch Dik erase shot after shot. Despite constant injury problems, this team is still dangerous.
8 11 Boston Celtics The C's strung together seven straight wins before San Antonio halted their fun. As long as Pierce and Walker don't suddenly develop a conscience, Beantown will bomb its way through the rest of the season and into the playoffs until their arms fall off from overuse. We wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it actually happened.
7 9 Detroit Pistons Whether they want to admit it or not, the Pistons are a better team without Jerry Stackhouse. We're not suggesting they should cut him outright, but every possibility should be considered if Motown continue to rack up victories while the UNC product is chilling in street clothes.
6 7 New Jersey Nets The Nets have looked more like last year's team than this year in their last 11 games, going just 4-7 in that span. The good news is things are improving as Jersey picked up their first road win in over three weeks by beating Memphis on Sunday. Here's an interesting piece of trivia: J-Kidd has either tied or led the Nets in dimes in every game this year.
5 3 Dallas Mavs Nellie and Cuban built this team to compete with the Lakers, and Sunday night the Mavs passed their first test. Though they lost by two at the Staples Center, the Mavs' five-headed scoring machine gave Shaq and Co. all they could handle.
4 6 Portland Blazers The Blazers have cracked the Top 5 of the Hit List thanks to an outstanding stretch of 14 victories in 15 games. They jump ahead of the Mavs after spiggity spanking Dallas 132-106 last Thursday. During their run, in addition to whooping the Mavs, the Blazers have beaten the likes of the Lakers, Sixers, Bucks, Kings, T-Wolves and Nets.
3 2 Sac-town Kings The Kings return home this week after an extremely successful five-game road trip where they went 4-1, proving they can indeed win away from Arco. The trip wasn't all good news as C-Webb dislocated his finger and is again dealing with a minor injury, though it doesn't seem to affect his numbers as indicated by his 31-point, 15-board performance against Toronto.
2 4 San Antonio Spurs Don't stand too close to the Spurs, cause you're liable to get burned. This team is scorching, winners of nine games in a row. Tim Duncan is obviously the main reason for their continued success but give credit to Parker for running a tight ship and to the Admiral for helping ease some of the weight on Duncan's shoulders.
1 1 L.A. Lakers Any way you slice it, the Lake Show is still the team to beat. They have two of the top four scorer's in the L in Shaq and Kobe, and can get it done either inside or outside. Jax provides a calming hand if tempers start to flare and always makes the correct substitution for a particular need or situation on the court. They are still the kings until further notice.

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Tagged: Hawks, Pelicans, Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Nets, Magic, 76ers, Suns, Kings, Spurs, Jazz, Wizards, Raptors, Grizzlies, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Brad Miller, Metta World Peace, Andre Miller, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Jalen Rose, Lamar Odom, Mike Miller, Tim Duncan, Shane Battier

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