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SPECIAL WEEKEND EDITION
The greats on No. 8

Updated: January 29, 2006, 11:42 PM ET
By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

(Editor's note: ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein supplies each item for this around-the-league notebook edition of the Daily Dime.)

An air of inevitability no longer smothers the NBA season.

The reflex response hasn't changed: You still expect a Pistons-Spurs rematch in the Finals, even with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili hobbling.

However ...

There is this for variety and intrigue: Who knows what Kobe Bryant has planned for the next 40 games?

There ...

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