The San Antonio Spurs scored 132 points on Saturday night in Charlotte, where Michael Jordan is going to change the team’s name — although he is advised in this column not to go back to “Hornets” once that becomes available after New Orleans changes its nickname to Pelicans.
Of those 132 points, Tim Duncan had just 11. Does he get penalty points for that?
Not around here, he doesn’t.
The Spurs (17-4) are sitting atop the Western Conference standings again, just as they were a week ago when Duncan took over the No. 1 spot in these rankings, and they haven’t lost a game during that span. In fact, they haven’t lost a game in which Duncan played since Nov. 19 (nine in a row, with the loss to the Heat thrown out.)
So the shuffling comes below that, and penalty points are indeed being handed out.
LeBron James, for instance, isn’t going to get off easily for that inexcusable loss at Washington. I am extremely down on the Heat, and I have gone so far as to declare, without reservation, that Miami will lose to the New York Knicks if the two teams meet in a playoff series. It is in the final 2 minutes of this episode of SheridanHoopsRadio from Friday, when we had Jamal Crawford as our featured guest.
The thing about the Knicks is that they have been built specifically to defeat the Heat.
Where is Miami vulnerable? Down low, where Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem are the Big Three when it comes to bigs. If you wanna include Jorts, they have four.
The Knicks have them beat in the low post from a personnel standpoint with Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Amare Stoudemire, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas, and the Knicks excel at two other things that are needed to defeat the Heat — 3-point shooting (.405, 3rd in the NBA), and protecting the ball (11 turnovers per game, the fewest of any team).
But I digress.
This is an MVP rankings column, not a playoff prediction column.
So let’s switch gears and get right to the risers, fallers, newcomers and dropouts in this week’s Top 10 list.