The prognosis from early case of playoff fever

A week of wild West showdowns taught us what we already knew: That Shaq and the Lakers are still the team to beat.

Updated: March 28, 2002, 10:22 AM ET
By Marc Stein | Special to ESPN.com

It's a week that started and ended with the Los Angeles Lakers scraping out a significant victory on a Sunday against a wannabe rival.

It's a week that featured a Best In The West Round Robin in the middle.

In sum, it's a week that made March feel a little like the playoffs. It's also a week that made you feel like those playoffs are going to be pretty good, even if those blasted Lakers are still the heavy favorites.

It's a week that merits a day-by-day review of what just happened, ...

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