The Miami Heat remain in the No. 1 spot.

“Please Lord, don’t let this be the final shot of the game.”

By Ben Bolch

March 3, 2012, 9:40 p.m.


1. MIAMI (28-8) Kobe Bryant will be a masked man, Dwyane Wade a marked one in showdown. (1) Heat by 10 is my prediction, but I’ve been incorrect (I’m never wrong) before.
2. CHICAGO (30-8) Bulls celebrate being first to turn 30, hope to reach 50 by season’s end. (2) 50 wins in a 66-game season seems impossible, but then again, I never thought Escalade was the best name for a Cadillac truck.
3. OKLA. CITY (29-8) Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook may one day combine to score 100 points. (3) Proof positive that you don’t HAVE to be in LA or NYC to make a mark in today’s digitally-driven media world.
4. SAN ANTONIO (25-11) Didn’t need Manu Ginobili . . . or just about anyone else to beat Bobcats. (4) The Spurs are the NBA’s version of the Rolling Stones; you simply can’t outlive them!
5. CLIPPERS (21-13) Clipper Darrell suddenly feels like half the man he used to be. (5) When your #1 accomplishment in life is being the unofficial mascot for a pro team…
6. ORLANDO (24-14) Soundtrack to Dwight Howard‘s season provided by the Clash. (6) This story got boring WEEKS ago for me.
7. INDIANA (23-12) Danny Granger among the ones who get it done for Pacers. (7) I wish I knew who the hell Danny Granger is.
8. PHILADELPHIA (22-15) Fans treated to free Big Macs on night 76ers pay tribute to Big Dipper. (8) 50 years later, we still remember Wilt Chamberlain.
9. LAKERS (22-14) Hard to climb rankings when you’re 1-7 against teams above you. (9) The key to this season is making the playoffs and the Lakers will do that.
10. DALLAS (22-16) Lamar Odom takes a pass on filming of “My life in the D-League.” (10) There has to be a reasonable explanation for this, right? I mean, besides the “K Kurse.”
11. MEMPHIS (22-15) Last few weeks have been a “W” wonderland for Grizzlies. (13) Grizz are so good, Hubie Brown’s threatening to come back from the dead and coach the team in the playoffs.
12. HOUSTON (21-16) Feeling “Sorry!” after losing board game against Denver. (11) Never a good sign when your coach is tallest one on the team.
13. ATLANTA (22-15) “Space cadet” Vladimir Radmanovic can still occasionally provide liftoff. (12) My hand to God, I thought he was playing in the European D-League.
14. DENVER (20-17) Nuggets mining for usable bodies with starters Nene, Danilo Gallinari out. (15) George Karl this close to asking team to trade for Carmelo Anthony.
15. MINNESOTA (19-19) Michael Beasley could make more than a stopover at Staples Center. (16) Meta World Peace is the max weirdo any team can safely handle at one time.
16. PORTLAND (18-19) Bring back Brandon Roy? At this rate, Blazers could use Bill Walton too. (14) Arvydas Sabonis is still alive, right?
17. NEW YORK (18-18) Knicks win Oscar for Best Waiver Acquisitions in Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak. (17) Even James Dolan can’t screw this up, right?…Of course he can; he’s James Dolan!
18. BOSTON (18-17) Lose five in a row, win three in a row . . . Celtics not too old to go streaking. (18) Somebody’s leaving before March 15; only question is who.
19. UTAH (17-19) Fans congratulate Jeremy Evans on dunk contest win, ask if he’ll ever play. (19) At least they know who he is.
20. PHOENIX (16-20) Could factor in Pacific Division race after all — as a spoiler. (21) Hard to believe both Grant Hill and Steve Nash are wasting the last years of their careers wandering in the desert.
21. GOLDEN STATE (14-19) On 50th anniversary of Wilt’s 100-point game, 11 Warriors muster only 83. (20) I’m stunned they scored that many.
22. MILWAUKEE (14-23) At least the Ryan Braun saga takes some of the focus off fading Bucks. (22) Brandon Jennings to the Lakers?
23. CLEVELAND (13-22) When Kyrie Irving is out, Cavaliers are over and done. (23) I don’t care what owner Dan Gilbert says; he’d carry LeBron on his back from Miami if it meant a return to respectability.
24. SACRAMETO (12-24) Kings not fit for Monowi, Neb. (pop.: 1), much less Seattle or Anaheim. (24)
25. TORONTO (11-25) Season highlight film won’t include late-game images of Rudy Gay. (25)
26. DETROIT (12-26) Easy victory over Bobcats a reminder that things could be worse. (26)
27. NEW JERSEY (11-26) Nets aren’t even trending inside Prudential Center anymore. (27)
28. NEW ORLEANS (9-28) Chris Kaman tweet: “Well hey @clipperdarrell at least u got a phone call!” (28)
29. WASH. (7-28) Fixing team in his backyard should be Obama’s focus, not Blake Griffin‘s jumper. (29) I don’t care about any of these teams.
30. CHARLOTTE (4-30) Fore! Golfing buddy Charles Barkley takes five-iron to Michael Jordan‘s credibility. (30) Yeah, like His Airness cares what “The Clown of TNT” thinks.


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