MANU GINOBILI, Spurs
A top contender for Sixth Man Award; through Sunday had helped San Antonio win nine straight (by an average of 13.6 points), scoring 29 and 21 in two of those victories.
RICHARD JEFFERSON, Nets
While Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin have been hobbled by injuries, the 6'7" small forward has more than answered the call; says guard Lucious Harris, "He's basically our best offensive weapon."
JAMES POSEY, Grizzlies
Acquired as a defensive stopper, he has morphed into a scoring machine at small forward, dropping 38 on the Hawks on March 29 and 35 against the Cavs on April 2.
RAFER ALSTON, Heat
Backup point guard's assist-to-turnover ratio keeps rising; made at least one three in a franchise-record 46 straight games through Sunday, the league's longest active streak.
SAM CASSELL, Timberwolves
His late-season fatigue has been exacerbated by opponents' recent strategy of covering him with bigger guards, such as the Spurs' Bruce Bowen and the Rockets' Cuttino Mobley.
KURT THOMAS, Knicks
Mangled his right pinkie in January and had a lousy March (8.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg); for New York to advance, has to provide production worthy of the four-year, $30 million extension he signed last month.
VLADE DIVAC, Kings
Offense ran through him until Chris Webber's return on March 2; at 36, no longer rebounds or defends well, and seems demoralized by his diminished role.
DAVID WESLEY, Hornets
Since coming back from a torn left toe ligament on March 1, shooting guard had shot 33.8% through Sunday as his scoring average dropped from 15.5 to 10.8. points.