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Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Updated: April 16, 2:13 PM ET
Kings' men putting it all together

ESPN.com

Pardon the interruption -- How's that for a blatant plug? -- but the Power Rankings are back for the season's final sprint to the finish line. Right now, everyone's chasing the Kings -- yes, including the world champion Lakers.


Team/Record Prev rank/
Last 2 weeks
Skinny
THE TEAM TO BEAT
1. Kings 58-19 3/9-0
Chris Webber

The best show in television? "The Sopranos?" No, try the Kings. Watching Chris Webber and Co. pass the ball with aplomb is a real treat. Hard to believe Sactown can play any better.

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2. Lakers 55-23 2/4-3 Phil, Shaq and Kobe aren't about to let us see them sweat, but deep down, they know a three-peat won't be a 15-1 stroll.
3. Spurs 53-24 1/4-3 Tim Duncan sure had the look of an MVP after burying the game-winning jumper in Nowitzki's face last Saturday.
4. Mavericks 54-23 4/6-2 When you're this good, you can nitpick: Raef LaFrentz is just 3-for-16 on 3-pointers the last five games.
5. Nets 50-28 6/5-3 It's always a good week when Mount Kenyon Martin doesn't get called for a flagrant foul.
ENTITLED SOME RESPECT
6. Pistons 47-30 7/6-2 Rick Carlisle doesn't have to call reporters to sell them on Big Ben for Defensive Player of the Year.
7. Celtics 45-33 8/5-2 Paul Pierce became the fifth Celtic to score 2,000 in a season. The others: Sam Jones, Havlicek, Bird and McHale.
8. T-Wolves 48-30 9/6-3 The Marc Jackson trade hasn't exactly worked out the way Kevin McHale envisioned it.
9. Blazers 46-32 5/3-5 More embarrassing than their pre-playoff implosion was Pippen's pansy swipe at Van Exel. What was that?
10. 76ers 41-36 10/4-4 Got to give these guys credit. Their postseason plans weren't shattered by Iverson's broken hand after all.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT US
11. Hornets 41-36 12/5-3 David Stern knows New Orleans would be a bad move. He's just too scared of Shinnridge lawsuit.
12. Sonics 44-35 11/4-4 He's not getting much ink, but Nate McMillan deserves Coach of the Year consideration for making the playoffs.
13. Magic 43-34 14/6-4 Thanks to the amazing McGrady, Orlando may have homecourt in the first round of the playoffs.
14. Jazz 42-36 13/4-4 It could get ugly really quick if the Jazz have to play Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs.
15. Raptors 39-38 21/7-0 It's ludicrous to think they're better without Vince Carter, but for team chemistry's sake, they're better off without him.
BUBBLE TROUBLE
16. Bucks 39-38 15/2-7 OK, Cassell had fouled out. But why in the world were Anthony and Thomas taking the last shots against the Sixers?
17. Pacers 37-40 16/2-6 Sorry Isiah, but you can't blame recent lack of rebounding and flops in the fourth quarter on Indiana's inexperience.
ONE WORD: LOTTERY
18. Heat 34-43 17/3-5 Pat Riley the team president gave Pat Riley the head coach a vote of confidence this week.
19. Clippers 38-40 18/2-5 The Clippers have a good thing going with their young guns. But it looks like Donald Sterling is going to screw this up, too.
20. Wizards 35-43 19/3-5 If Gasol was wearing Wizards blue -- instead of Kwame -- Collins may have had enough talent to get to the playoffs.
21. Suns 35-43 20/4-5 They're finding out if they have a couple of big men in the Two Jakes (Tsakalidis and Voskuhl).
22. Hawks 31-46 22/3-5 Their 15-13 second-half record proves that they, too, could've joined the East's playoff "race" had they just stayed healthy.
23. Knicks 29-48 23/3-5 Knicks fans got to hold a Garden parting for Patrick Ewing, one of the greatest Knicks ever.
24. Cavaliers 28-49 24/3-4 There's a reason to watch Cavs games now, and his name is Ricky Davis, a human dunk highlight every night.
25. Rockets 27-50 25/1-7 Talk about your late-season collapses for the lottery: They have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
TOUGH TO WATCH
26. Nuggets 24-53 26/3-6 GM Kiki Vandeweghe has a plan in place, but you've really got to be a hoops fan to watch this bunch play out the string.
27. Grizzlies 21-56 27/3-4 It's not like he needs it, but Pau Gasol is finishing his Rookie of the Year season with quite a flurry.
28. Warriors 20-57 29/3-5 The Warriors need a ball distributor, not a shoot-first, pass-second point guard like Duke's Jason Williams.
29. Bulls 18-59 28/1-6 Would Shanghai Sharks be satisfied with Jerry Krause taking Yao Ming under his wing?