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5 Minute Guide
IAN THOMSEN
October 24, 2005
What contenders need to have happen, what will happen and whom you'd want on your team (real or fantasy)
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October 24, 2005

5 Minute Guide

What contenders need to have happen, what will happen and whom you'd want on your team (real or fantasy)

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VINCE CARTER, Nets: If he plays all out in spite of minor injuries, his many skeptics will become fans again.

5 Defining Rivalries

NETS VS. KNICKS: New York has more money, media, fans, tradition and celebrities; New Jersey has better players.

BERMUDA TRIANGLE (Pacers vs. Heat vs. Pistons): Three evenly matched contenders in pursuit of the Eastern Conference title; all challengers enter this zone at their own risk.

NATE MCMILLAN VS. THE SONICS: If the Blazers' coach can rally his new troops and consistently knock off his former team, a new Northwest feud will be born.

OKLAHOMA CITY VS. BATON ROUGE: By playing home games in both Oklahoma and Louisiana, the Katrina-displaced Hornets raise two significant questions. 1) Which is the team's rightful headquarters? 2) Does anyone really care?

CLASSIC PINSTRIPE SUIT VS. THROWBACK JERSEY AND 'DO-RAG COMBO: The players are griping far too much about the dress code instituted by commissioner David Stern, bringing the NBA's culture wars to a new low.

All-Dirty Work Team

You won't find a current or future All-Star on this roster, yet a team of these hard-nosed types would challenge for a playoff berth by defending, running the floor and playing unselfish basketball every night.

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