Quantcast

NBA Sunday

Published: Saturday, Feb. 19 2011 8:45 p.m. MST

Top 10

1. Spurs: Finished nine-game rodeo road trip with loss to Chicago, but still ahead in West.

2. Celtics: Banged-up veteran team needs to get healthy to hold off younger teams in East.

3. Heat: Enter All-Star break having won 10 of 11 games, but still can't solve the Celtics.

4. Bulls: No doubting their legitimacy after they beat San Antonio on Thursday night.

5. Mavericks: Should start making the Spurs nervous after winning 13 of their last 14.

6. Magic: Haven't been the most consistent contender in East, but did win four of five before break.

7. Lakers: Were so bad during three-game losing streak they left coach Phil Jackson speechless.

8. Thunder: In command of Northwest Division thanks to struggles of Nuggets, Jazz.

9. Grizzlies: Hard-charging Memphis is 19-9 since Christmas, tied for eighth in West.

10. Trail Blazers: Suddenly Oklahoma City's biggest threat in the Northwest Division.

Game of the week

Jazz at Mavericks

The Jazz talked about the All-Star break coming at a perfect time so they could recharge. We'll see how much it helped when they play one of the league's hottest teams on Wednesday. To have a shot, Utah needs injured starters Raja Bell and Andrei Kirilenkoto to return.

24 second clock

MULLIN CLOSE TO ADDING TO DREAM TEAM LEGACY: With Chris Mullin being named a finalist for the basketball Hall of Fame, the Dream Team from the 1992 Olympics moved one step closer to perfection.

Inducted as a unit last year, the 1992 Dream Team has been nearly as dominant in individual Hall of Famers as it was on the court, with 10 of the 12 players on the team already enshrined.

Mullin, who retired after the 2000-01 season, would be the 11th if he is elected.

A dominant player for St. John's, Mullin went on to star for the Golden State Warriors. He was selected to five consecutive All-Star Games from 1988 to 1992, a stretch in which he never averaged less than 25.1 points.

The one holdout who may stop the Dream Team from unanimous election is Christian Laettner, the team's lone college player. Laettner had a steady if unspectacular 13-year NBA career, so his chances rest entirely on his career at Duke. Should he fail to be elected to the Hall of Fame, Laettner can fall back on the more than $61 million he earned during his NBA career.

MONEY FOR SOMETHING: After an off-season in which free agency dominated the headlines, it seems fitting that many who were high-profile free agents can be found on the statistical leader boards going into the All-Star break.

The biggest prize, Miami's LeBron James, is right where he was last season, trailing only Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, in scoring. Somewhat surprisingly, Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks' top off-season acquisition, is tied with James at 26.1 points a game.

The less-heralded Knicks free agent, Raymond Felton, has managed to crack the league's top five in assists (fifth at 9.0 a game) and steals (fifth at 1.8 a game).

Those things could have been predicted. But Darko Milicic, the enigmatic center for the Minnesota Timberwolves, was probably not picked by many to be among the league leaders in anything short of dollars per minute played.

But Milicic, a 7-foot Serb who was signed to a deal guaranteeing him $16 million, has shown a propensity for blocked shots that has him third in the league at 2.3 blocks a game, trailing only Andrew Bogut and JaVale McGee.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS