19. Hawks—Atlanta will sink three places in the East without Dominique Wilkins, who's out for the rest of the season with an injury.
20. Nuggets—Dikembe Mutombo has carried Denver out of the depths.
21. Kings—Slowly but surely, a solid nucleus is forming.
22. Bullets—Coach Wes Unseld is doing an excellent job with an injury-riddled club, but some hard questions—in particular about the injured Bernard King, the overweight John Williams and the underachieving Ledell Eackles—remain.
23. Nets—All the talk of coach Bill Fitch's tenuous future was being heard again after New Jersey had lost nine of its last 11 games through Sunday.
24. Hornets—Franchise bedrocks Larry Johnson and Kendall Gill will have some new playmates next season.
25. Mavericks—The question is whether Dallas will have to surrender either of its backcourt aces, Derek Harper and Rolando Blackmail, to start over.
26. Magic—Much needs to be done if there's to be a Tomorrow Land down in Orlando.
27. Timberwolves—It's a good thing management got that old hard-liner Bill Musselman out of there, eh? Under new coach Jimmy Rodgers, Minnesota was a league-worst 9-40 at week's end.
Nets assistant coach Tom Newell has an excellent idea for resuscitating the increasingly insipid Slam Dunk competition at the NBA All-Star Game. Newell proposes an alley-oop competition involving two-man teams, one player a feeder, the other a slammer. "Most of the great dunks come off great feeds, anyway," says Newell. "That's what really gets the crowd going." If the league adopts Newell's plan, perhaps some superstars would consider getting involved again. Think of the possibilities: John Stockton to Karl Malone; Terry Porter to Clyde Drexler; Johnny Dawkins to Charles Barkley; Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan (and vice versa). The most interesting team could come from the Celtics, where a 6'9" Larry Bird could set 'em up for the 6'1" Dee Brown, the 1991 Slam Dunk champion.