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Lakers are No. 2 in Mark Heisler's NBA rankings

Times columnist Mark Heisler ranks the teams from 1-30.

    1. CLEVELAND (27-8)- Including win after donning paper party hats for LeBron's birthday — really — they're 7-0. (Last week: 4)
    Lakerslogo 2. LAKERS (26-6)- At this pace, Kobe will lock up MVP by March 1 and need IV fluids rest of way. (2)
    3. ORLANDO (24-9)- With defenses taking him away, Howard down to 9.0 shots, 17 points a game. (3)
    4. BOSTON (24-8)- Pierce gains in MVP race as Celtics turn into the Nets without him. (1)
    5. SAN ANTONIO (20-11)- Don't we know you guys from somewhere? Just went 8-1 with rookie Blair starting. (11)
    6. DALLAS (23-10)- Terry, Howard, Gooden get 195 off bench over five, making up for Nowitzki slump. (8)
    7. ATLANTA (21-11)- Only New Year's Day worse than Wizards': blew 14-point fourth-quarter lead vs. Knicks. (5)
    8. PHOENIX (21-14)- Looks who's back to where they were before Lakers got too big for them. (6)
    9. DENVER (21-12)- 2-5 since Billups left because of sore groin, as he tries to return, leaves again. (7)
    10. HOUSTON (20-14)- Tired of TMac's act, Rockets tell him to take a hike if he can't take a hint. (10)
    11. PORTLAND (22-13)- Can't go on like this: Just went 10-5 while losing Oden, Przybilla, Aldridge. (9)
    12. OKLAHOMA CITY (18-15)- Major move, given fact they were 3-29 a year ago and made no major deals. (14)
    13. MEMPHIS (16-16)- We're talking major surprise now after 1-8 start; just won in Phoenix. (16)
    14. UTAH (18-15)- Despite all the times in last two seasons I said they were back, they aren't. (12)
    15. MIAMI (16-15)- Fading: 7-10 since their 9-5 start with 19 of next 26 on road. (13)
    16. TORONTO (16-18)- Ended 2009 on 5-0 streak but it ends in Boston — with no KG, Pierce, Rondo. (19)
    17. CLIPPERS (14-18)- Hanging in there waiting for Griffin, even if debut was just nudged back again. (20)
    18. NEW ORLEANS (15-16)- Getting ready to move again? No. 11 in West as Shinn tries to dump salary. (15)
    19. CHICAGO (14-17)- Now for the comeback of the ages? Amid reports Vinny's gone, they go 4-0. (24)
    20. NEW YORK (13-20)- Krypto-Nate indeed: Gets 40 in first game in month as they stun Hawks. (23)
    21. SACRAMENTO (14-19)- If they won half their close games, they would be shocking the world too. (17)
    22. MILWAUKEE (13-18)- Yanked by Skiles as they lose 15th in 19, Bogut gets 23-15 in win over Thunder. (18)
    23. CHARLOTTE (12-18)- Augustin, whom Brown wanted over Brook Lopez, now chained to his bench. (21)
  24. PHILADELPHIA (9-23)- It works?! 2-0 with AI and clone Lou Williams starting before reality sets in. (26)
    25. DETROIT (11-21)- Not all they hoped for: Lost six in row, got Hamilton, Prince back, now up to nine. (22)
    26. INDIANA (10-22)- Not that they were in slump, but starters scored 26-46-50 to opponents' 76-63-105. (27)
    27. MINNESOTA (7-28)- Love is all you need, almost: Averaging 15-12, missed triple-double with 17-11-9 game. (28)
    28. GOLDEN STATE (9-23)- Anthony Randolph Tango: Averaging 12-7, still playing only 23 minutes a game. (29)
    29. WASHINGTON (10-21)- Nice knowing you. (25)
    30. NEW JERSEY (3-30)- Yi averaging 20 in five games since returning. Nets even won one! (30)

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%%^%$#$^&*i* cleveland!!!! That Darth David Stern &^^%$$# is at it again!

Makes sense. Christmas was convincing. Ball's in our court.

Cleveland's outside shooting was better than ours. When Williams hits shots, they win easier.

Conversely, when Fish hits at a good rate, we win easier. We haven't been winning easily.

It's not the only thing, but it is a thing.

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Mark Heisler breaks Don Sterling into pieces with his "Dear Don" letters and yet, he never address anything to Zen Phil. Too much respect to the coach with weak hips and Mr. Cool in coaching. What is he afraid of PJ? He is probably afraid of getting Simer's treatment during interviews with the coach.

Speaking of Don Sterling, his shortcomings as a franchise owner and as a fair landlord is reinvigorated by his generous philanthropic work from all causes in LA. You name it, he is there. What makes him different from others, his donations are well documented with his pictures appearing on LAT almost every other day with politicians and celebrities on his side. Is he the holy weirdo or the kingmaker in Los Angeles? I bet whatever happens, Clippers team will never move nor disappear at the Staples.

Did you read the Heisler column saying that David Stearns will play women in NBA? That could happen. At the start of NBA, I never imagine men will be wearing earrings so bring in Anna and Kloe on the court, that might improve the play of Sasha and LO for reality TV. To Stearns, anything that makes money, he will do it and call it amazing!

Why is Cleveland the No. 1? Lakers have the best percentage on W & L or the least losses, yet the Cavaliers got the No. 1 because they beat the Lakers on Christmas Day. It is Christmas, our team is a picture Santa Claus and his reindeer giving Cleveland a ray of hope in the dead of winter.

Have you noticed all the happiness of Cleveland fans came from LA. First, the Cavaliers dethroned the Champs on the 25th, then Ohio State won at the Rose Bowl....whatever is the weather in Cleveland and the state of unemployment, it was compensated by those Pyrrhic victories. By June, they are back to being losers, not in the Finals and ode of farewell to James while Shaq is rapping & counting his 20 million loot!

Mark is giving the Cavs the #1 spot cuz of Christmas?

Lets see what happens when the games really count. Anyone who watched that game(or any of the lakers past 6 0r seven games) would know that the Lakers are not playing their best basketball right now.

Cleveland was on fire in that game and the Lakers just couldn't match their focus. They HAD to win this game cuz we beat them so soundly last year. I'll give them credit for that one game, but the Lakers are clearly the best in the land when you talk about rank..

Just look at their record and the schedule they have played. Yeah, they have had a lot of home games, but they have been strong West teams.

The East is so weak it's pathetic!


This seems fair. The Cavs stumbled out with a 3-3 start. Drop that and they've gone 24-5, a higher winning % than the Lakers, with a tougher schedule and a better win % against tougher opponents so far.

It's January so who care about power rankings right now anyways? What counts is that the Lakers have their act together by around March. What this does tell you though is that the Cavs seem like the real deal and not the disaster many people predicted at the beginning of the year. I'm still not convinced they can get past the Celtics (if healthy), but they definitely have a shot.

is M Heisler a Shaq fan? i thought so

or maybe Hollinger's step brother

cousin of Mark Stein?

anyway, do WE care? i don't think so.

this morning i got in my Utube folder 2 "recommended" videos regarding the ONE & ONLY Kobe "just another index swish" Bryant. A few spalshes here and there. in the first one he painted Golden "toy boy Roy" Purple in his face. (65 points against Portland) the funny part is that the Portland players rotate to defend him and if U r watching, guess who is on him at the 3:37 mark? the one and only Ime "Lakers down syndrome" Udoka who played "there" before Scam Antonio borrowed him:

the second video is a highlight compilation called "the university of KB" and his students, the rest of the NBA players:

i hope these 2 will add a nice touch to your sunday's brunch or game snack preview.

Yeah, it stings, but objectively I've got no problem with Heisler putting the Cavs at #1 at this point in the season, and after they beat up on us on Christmas. I'd also offer a couple of observations about the Cavs that could make a difference if we end up facing them in the finals (we won't, because the Celtics or the Magic will take them down).

First, they are doing an excellent job of using Shaq exactly the right way against exactly the right opponents, namely limited minutes to keep his energy level high, and mainly against those opponents with serious bigs in the us. Frankly, that's exactly how we should be using Bynum. Stop trying to make him a full-time first string all-star until he can show and sustain the high enegy required. He usually looks great in the first quarter, sucks in the second and third, and then shows up again in spot usage at crunch time in the fourth. Great. Tell him flat out that's his gig from now on the rest of this season. Play all out, foul out, whateva, but start crashing the boards and trashing every punk PG who drives the lane, 18 minutes of fury...or else.

Second, the teams that have been beating up on the Cavs this year (Celts, Mavs, twice each) have exploited Shaq's perennial weakness...the Big Doofus cannot cover the high screen and roll to save his life. We need to adjust our triangle to take advantage of this huge weakness like these other teams have. When we play our usual low post entry, Shaq just hunkers down and clogs the paint. He's also in a position to rebound or to be helped by a teammate. Up top, he's helpless, and we should have a parade of layups or passes/dunks. Come on coaches. Stockton/Malone tore up the young Shaq, so Kobe/Pau should be able to hammer the old Shaq.

Not for nuthin' but, the Lakers have lost to less bad teams than the Cavs have...just for the record.

The Cavs beat the Mavs by 16 on their home court, and lost in Dallas. Cavs have only played the Celtics once, a loss.

Huh. Bloggers are taking Heisler's rankings remarkably well. Personally, I was a little hacked when I saw that the Times, with a flock teetering on the edge, would put this thing on as a post in its entirety. The Kbros would have linked something like this, would have discussed and debated it but to just put it out there as a slap-in-the-face thread? Heisler deserves to be buried in foamie fingers at the least... maybe a date with tar, feathers and a cyber rail.

These rankings aren't worth the paper they're written on. Really, why the fuss over rankings put together by a so-called basketball "expert" in January? The only rankings that matter are those done at the end of June.

Man, seriously? I'm not talking about the rankings. I'm talking about this blog post. It is very bland. We know where to go for these rankings. It's like you guys are trying to satisfy our Lakers coverage appetite with fodder. Come up with something better and more original please.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I’m hoping you have marketing people who understand that to win an audience, you have to give them something unique, something they cannot get anywhere else. That’s the secret that’s obvious, isn’t it? Why were the KamBros so successful? Yes, part of it was the power of the LA Times name but just as much were the unique personalities and direct communication via exchanging comments that took advantage of the power of the Times to bring visitors to taste the site.
I am hoping the candidate you have targeted to take over the blog is Kevin Ding of the OC Register. He is without peer as the smartest, most insightful, and most respected reporter following the Lakers. The decision makers at the LA Times ought to be asking themselves why are these bloggers all so supportive of Kevin Ding taking over for the KamBros. The answer is that they have a direct pipeline into the most intelligent and vocal collection of serious Lakers fans in the world. They know all the personalities and journalists that follow and write about the team. They know about Kevin Ding.
I am hoping you have gone back and read the articles that Kevin has published the last two years for the OC Register. What you will immediately notice is this guy just doesn’t write the obvious same trite stuff you see everywhere else. Instead, Kevin goes that extra mile to seek out the salient bits of info and inside perspective that creates immediate interest and dialog. His style and personality are just perfect for the blog, which is the home of the smartest and best experience for Lakers fans.
I am hoping someone at the Times has the vision and foresight to see how to keep the blog a winner. The answer is simply to hire Kevin Ding. You want to win us over, then prove it by doing it.
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I'm with Heisler, CornerJ, VMan and others here. We can't all whine about the way the Lakers have played lately AND whine about being ranked #2. Well..... we can, but we shouldn't. Cleveland rapped the Lakers hard on Christmas.

Tom Daniels

I've been following this blog for a couple of years, since we stole el espaniol, and I've only stuck around because of the blog familia, but I'm sick and tired of these so called "beat writers", tj simmers, heisler, etc no wonder the "times" is facing extintion and other blogs are gainning strenght.


The answer on your query on the previous thread, where is Green Valley? It is located at the foot of Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino. The elevation is about 7,000 ft., so the lowlands people of SoCal spend their holiday in snow. Really funny because my sister in CT is wondering why we are fond while they're tired of snow.

You got right on Mark Heisler, if Lakers are placed No. 1 in Dec and all year round, who will be interested of Heisler column outside of LA. It is the 'beat LA" syndrome to get attention. On the contrary if he said that Mo Williams is than better than any of the Laker PG, I definitely agree. It was the Jamario Moon and Delonte West that delivered the final blow on Christmas Day while the Lakers have Vujacic, Farmar and Morrison were just running around the court good for t/o's or ton of bricks. lol!

Good job, Heisler.

Did you happen to catch the Cavs' game against the Bobcats or the Lakers dismantling of the Mavericks? I'm sure you predicted said results.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Edwin Gueco,

"Is [Donald Sterling] the holy weirdo or the kingmaker in Los Angeles?"

To be honest with you, I think Donald Sterling is a schrewd businessman who really wants to be loved and respected and doesn't quite understand that Los Angelenans don't love or respect people simply because they're rich and/or make ostentacious displays of money. There are too many rich people in California for that to be the case.

Los Angelenans respect and admire people because they creatively produce excellence. Making money and showing you've got money (e.g. giving money to charity because you've got it to give) is one thing, but being dedicated to creative excellence is another. I'm not sure The Donald gets that.

He's kept the Clippers a consistently profitable franchise while at the same time (until recently) doing everything possible passive-aggressively to hinder the non-financial success of the franchise. People are smart enough to see that and are disgusted instead of being impressed.

Go Clippers!!!!




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