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Texas holds 'em (cont.)

Posted: Monday November 5, 2007 3:03PM; Updated: Monday November 5, 2007 3:08PM
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More Rankings: 11-20

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11 - Dwight Howard had 16 points, 12 boards and seven blocked shots in their opening win over the Bucks, and Rashard Lewis is averaging 21.7 points (on 56.4 percent shooting) over the first three games. But their best player so far might be Hedo Turkoglu, who has been a set-up man as well as shooter.
12 - It's nothing to panic about, but Amaré Stoudemire sat out Sunday's win over the Cavs with lingering soreness in his surgically repaired knee. For now, coach Mike D'Antoni is probably more concerned about his normally smooth-running offense, which failed to crack 100 points in two of the first three games.
13 - Another reason why Jason Kidd is a Hall of Famer? Despite a painful thigh bruise, he went out and racked up a triple double to help the Nets win at Philly and erase the stench of that 37-point loss to the Raptors. Kidd will keep them in the Atlantic race, as long as he stays healthy.
14 - Apparently they don't intend to let Elton Brand's absence be an excuse. They rode Chris Kaman's low-post game and a new up-tempo offense to home victories over the Warriors and Sonics. Last year they didn't win a home game until December, losing their first seven at Staples Center.
15 - Larry Bird said they were better than all the experts were predicting. So far he's been proved right, with the defense and ball movement looking crisp. But the comp (Wizards, Heat, Grizzlies) hasn't been too tough, so we'll need to see more before elevating them much higher.
16 - Maybe Mike Woodson will turn out to be this year's Sam Mitchell. The preseason Coach on the Hottest Seat had to like what he saw in the first two games. They beat the Mavs to record their first home-opening win since '98-99, then took the Pistons to the wire in Motown.
17 - Has all the Kobe trade talk caused them to lose their focus? Losses to the Nets, Sixers and Bucks left them with an 0-3 start, something they were desperately trying to avoid this year. If they don't turn it around soon, Kobe might not want to join them at all.
18 - Like the Bulls, they are 0-3 (for the first time since 1992) and searching for answers. Gilbert Arenas doesn't seem to be himself, and their three-point shooting has been horrid. If they can't outscore people, they are going to be in trouble.
19 - Sasha Pavlovic is back in the fold, but the injury to Donyell Marshall (wrist) makes Anderson Varejao's absence even more glaring. In the midst of a long Western road trip, LeBron James is going to need to be at his MVP-caliber best to prevent them from falling into a hole.
20 - Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry combined for 29 points and 17 rebounds in Sunday's win over the Wolves. More impressive, they didn't arm-wrestle over the ball a single time.

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