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February 18, 2008 6:00 AM

NBA Power Rankings

Posted by Percy Allen

Back by unpopular demand is the Times NBA Power rankings. Each week we'll take a look at the NBA and rank the teams every Monday morning.

1. Detroit: The Pistons, winners of their last 10, start at the top because they have best 8-man rotation.
2. Boston: Garnett slated to return Tues. as C's begin second half with tough 5-game West Coast trip.
3. LA Lakers: Kobe is making a big mistake and should have surgery on his dislocated pinkie finger.
4. Utah: Adding Korver gets overlooked in the wake of the mega-trades, but they're 18-3 with him.
5. Phoenix: Fire up the TiVo. Shaq makes Suns debut Wednesday against Kobe and the Lakers.
6. San Antonio: Bone spurs keeps Parker on sidelines, but Spurs are 6-2 w/o the Finals MVP.
7. Dallas: What are the chances free agent Devean George re-signs with the Mavs this summer?
8. Houston: Adelman had rep as a bad defensive coach, but Rockets allow 92.7 ppg., which is 4th best.
9. New Orleans: They own NBA all-time best 13-game OT win streak dating back to 2005-06 season.
10. Golden State: Ellis averaging 26.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4 apg and shooting 64%FG in last 10 games.
11. Cleveland: LeBron desperately wants GM Ferry to make a trade before Thursday's deadline.
12: Orlando: Kudos to dunk champion Howard. But seriously, Superman? Shaq wants to speak to you.
13. Denver: Last year's blockbuster trade for AI seems like a decade ago? Too good to be irrelevant.
14. Toronto: Three quality wins (at Spurs, Hornets and Boston), but still too young to contend.
15. Portland: Nixed 3-way trade w/Mavs,Nets that would have netted Harris because they like Outlaw.
16. Philadelphia: Houston and Denver could use Miller, 31, who doesn't fit into 76ers' rebuilding plans.
17. Sacramento: Bibby is last member from '02 Western Conference Finals team. Artest is next to go.
18. Washington: They can w/o Arenas, but when Butler goes down, then they're lottery bound.
19. New Jersey: Kidd says "I'm still a Net." But not for long. Soon he'll be a Maverick again.
20. Atlanta: Charles Barkley believes Al Horford should win Rookie of the Year rather than Durant.
21. Chicago: GM Paxson denies Philly Inquirer report that he contacted Larry Brown.
22. Indianapolis: O'Neal wants out, but he's still injured and will make $44M over the next two years.
23. LA Clippers: Expect Rookie Challenge snub Thornton to play big during the final 31 games.
24. Milwaukee: Coach K: "It's really easy right now to start separating. And it's happening."
25. Charlotte: Before beating Atlanta, lost seven straight games by average margin of 17.4 points.
26. Sonics: With Stern on his side, Bennett is likely to win approval from the NBA's relocaton committee.
27. Memphis: Gay leads sophs with 19.9 ppg. One of 2 players to rank top 50 in dunks and 3 FGM.
28. Minnesota: T-Wolves could make a deal. They've got too many young wings and Green wants out.
29. New York: Must find a trading partner this summer for Marbury and Jerome James.
30. Miami: All-Star Wade had the lowest winning percentage (.176) in the history of the NBA.

--- Percy Allen

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