NBA RANKINGS: Cavs run away from the field

By Mark Heisler/Los Angeles Times (MCT)

RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY

IN LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN(?)

1. Cleveland (41-11)- Way LeBron’s going, Kobe should be flattered just to be compared to him. (1)

BEST OF THE REST

2. Lakers (39-13)- Remember hunger? Nuggets have it. Lakers waiting for room service. (2)

3. Denver (34-17)- Billups, supposedly washed up at 31, averaging 24 since Jan. 1 at 33. (4)

4. Orlando (33-17)- Carter’s game still missing. Jameer Nelson tweaks sore knee again. (3)

5. Atlanta (32-17)- Johnson, Horford give them two All-Stars for first time since 1998. (5)

6. Boston (32-16)- Amid reports of imminent demise, they go 3-0 after loss to Lakers. (6)

7. Utah (31-18)- Just went 10-1. Millsap, starting for Boozer, has 32-25-12 in last three. (8)

8. Dallas (31-19)- Nowitzki benched for being late, doesn’t start, in loss at home to Minnesota. (7)

9. Phoenix (31-21)- They’re back? Amid reports Amare leaving any day now, went 4-0 — on road. (18)

10. San Antonio (29-20)- 2-1 on Rodeo Trip, just blew 11-point fourth-quarter lead in Portland. (9)

FIRST ROUND OR BUST

11. Okla. City (29-21)- Since ’87 only MJ, AI have longer streaks of scoring 25 than Durant’s 24. (13)

12. Portland (30-23)- Nate McMillan for coach of year: 7-7 in games without Roy, Oden, Przybilla. (10)

13. Houston (27-23)- Still no one to overlook: Just went into Memphis, beat hot Grizzlies by 18. (16)

14. Toronto (27-23)- Now 16-6 since 11-17 start, highest-scoring team in East at 104 a game. (14)

15. Memphis (26-24)- Gay, restricted free agent, isn’t going anywhere now, but summer’s possible. (12)

16. Charlotte (24-25)- Small fry no longer, went 3-3 on West Coast trip with win in Phoenix. (17)

17. Milwaukee (23-26)- East race back on: Bucks 3½ games out of No. 8 last week, one out Friday. (20)

18. Chicago (24-25)- Welcome back: Rose becomes first All-Star since Michael Jordan in 1998. (15)

19. Miami (24-27)- Oops: Bucks’ win in Miami bodes poorly for making playoffs, keeping Wade. (19)

20. New Orleans (27-24)- Seeking new level with vengeance with Paul out for month, just went 1-4. (11)

EARLY ENTRANTS, JOHN WALL DERBY

21. Clippers (21-29)- Hadn’t offed a coach in so long, apparently forgot how. (21)

22. New York (19-31)- Team that passed up Jennings and Lawson now starts former exile Nate Robinson. (22)

23. Indiana (18-33)- If not Jamison, Cavaliers eye Murphy as power forward who can spread floor. (25)

24. Washington (17-32)- Jamison: “After what we’ve been through, trade talk is like rocks in a pond.” (27)

25. Sacramento (16-33)- Jason Thompson, who averaged 17-9 in December, at 9-8 since. (23)

26. Detroit (17-32)- Sounds familiar: Wilcox benched for rookie Jerebko to get more energy. (26)

27. Philadelphia (19-31)- Fans decry “Three-Ed Monster”_owner Snider, GM Stefanski, Coach Jordan. (24)

28. Minnesota (13-38)- Another Bruin shall lead them? Just went 4-0 starting Ryan Hollins over Love. (29)

29. Golden State (13-36)- Nellie Alert: Anything can happen after seven losses in row, 18 of last 25. (28)

BLACK HOLE OF JERSEY

30. New Jersey (4-46)- If over-under for win No. 5 is two weeks, it’s now 10 days since win No. 4. (30)