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COMBUSTIBLE INGREDIENTS
Chris Mannix
October 24, 2005
Here's why these pairings could strike magical sparks--or send their teams down in flames
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October 24, 2005

Combustible Ingredients

Here's why these pairings could strike magical sparks--or send their teams down in flames

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WHY IT WILL WORK

Reenergized by his escape from Toronto, Skip will happily dump the ball into Yao Ming when he's not dishing to his new running buddies Tracy McGrady and Stromile Swift in Van Gundy's promised up-tempo offense.

WHY IT WON'T WORK

Old dogs don't learn new tricks: Van Gundy is sure to revert to his trademark grind-it-out ways. Steve Francis bit his tongue for a season before being shipped to Orlando; don't bet on Alston's keeping mum that long.

MARRIAGE

PHIL JACKSON, coach, and KOBE BRYANT, SG
Lakers

WHY IT WILL WORK

Kobe is older, Phil is wiser, and Shaq is elsewhere. A triangle offense focused exclusively on Kobe has the 27-year-old poised for his best season yet. New center Kwame Brown supplies a crucial low-post presence.

WHY IT WON'T WORK

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