Dick's Stock Watch identifies whose stock is up and whose is down over the past week across the world of sports.
STOCK UP: Kidd, Lakers, M's, Red Sox
New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd has shown why he's an MVP candidate with his performance so far in the playoffs. He went shot-for-shot with Reggie Miller in Game 5 against the Pacers, leading the Nets to the next round. Then he had another solid performance in the win over Charlotte in Game 1 on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Lakers look like the team to beat again in the NBA. Even with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant bothered by injuries, they beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 on Sunday.
The Seattle Mariners have really been hot, scoring 40 runs in the past four games, including a three-game sweep of the Yankees in the Bronx. Manager Lou Piniella's team has so many weapons, led by Ichiro Suzuki, plus a solid starting staff and bullpen.
I've said that the Boston Red Sox are going to surprise some people this season. I was in their clubhouse a few weeks back, and this team has a solid chemistry now behind the leadership of manager Grady Little. It also helps to have a healthy Nomar Garciaparra in the lineup. At 20-7, the Red Sox have their largest lead in the AL East since 1995 (4½ games).
STOCK DOWN: Iverson, NBA, Blue Jays
I love Allen Iverson's competitive nature. Pound-for-pound, he's the toughest player in the NBA. But there's something wrong when a superstar doesn't go to practice, and that's why Iverson gets stock down this week. One minute he says he loves Philadelphia 76ers coach Larry Brown, the next he pulls a stunt and acts like a baby by not showing up to practice.
The NBA has to do something about its rules at the end of the game. The league should go to instant replay to determine if a shot is good or if the clock ran out. Twice we've had situations in this year's playoffs where there was a questionable call. At least both times the team hurt by the call still won the game (the Nets and Hornets).
I love manager Buck Martinez, but the Toronto Blue Jays have struggled lately, winning just once in 11 games. Carlos Delgado, Raul Mondesi and company have to get it going.