This is an article from the Feb. 4, 2008 issue
Since coming back from a knee injury, guard Tracy McGrady had helped Houston go 4--1 through Sunday. ("I think we've found ourselves," he said.) And his campaign to aid Darfur—he visited the war-ravaged region last summer and spoke to students in Florida last month—has been inspiring.
Home again and diggity dog! In Atlanta, the ex-Thrasher and current Bruins center won the All-Star Game for the host Eastern Conference with a last-minute goal. Suddenly the spurned fans (Savard bolted for a $20 million deal two summers ago) were not booing but cheering. "It was great," said Savard.
The Husky women are cruising at No. 1—they've won 32 straight regular-season games, folks—and here come the boys. Wins over Marquette and Cincinnati (they rallied from a 12-point hole) were nice; then they upset the streaking Hoosiers in Indiana, even without two suspended guards. That résumé's looking tournament-worthy, no?
Coach Byron Scott led the Hornets to the top of the NBA's Western Conference (how do you like him now, Nets fans?). And golfer Adam Scott (right) finished a career-best 20-under to win in Doha, pocket $417,000 and jump to No. 4 in the world rankings.
Since Andrew Bynum injured his knee, forcing Kwame Brown to play more, the Lakers had gone 2--4 through Sunday. The center had heard hearty boos at home, had yet to top 10 points in a game and on Sunday committed a foul that coach Phil Jackson cited as the key to a loss to Cleveland.
Forget that the Blackhawks coach's All-Star defenseman, Duncan Keith, came up on the short end in Atlanta, Savard may be losing his charges. After a solid start, lackluster Chicago had dropped 10 of 14, putting Savard on a rant. He wants his players to "commit to the Indian." And fast: They're on a seven-game road trip.
The Wolverines don't do rivalries well, at least not lately. Their pucksters, then No. 1, lost to Michigan State 1--0 last Friday and barely salvaged a 2--2 tie in Saturday's rematch. "Bad weekend for us," Michigan captain Kevin Porter told The Flint Journal. The blue-and-maize hoopsters understand. Sunday's final: Michigan State 77, Michigan 62.
They were expected to be bad, but this? After 14 straight losses, Seattle was 0 for 2008 and sinking into Timberwolves territory. So, experts, what's worse, losing a tight one, or a rout? At home or away? Said rookie Kevin Durant, "All the losses are tough."
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
Which NBA coach would you least like to play for?
Pat Riley, Heat ........................... 28%
Scott Skiles, ex-Bulls.................. 12%
Jerry Sloan, Jazz ........................ 12%
Isiah Thomas, Knicks ................. 12%
Phil Jackson, Lakers ................... 4%
Players could not vote for their own coach.... In last week's poll 21% of voters named Jackson and 4% named Sloan as the coach they would most like to play for.... Skiles was fired by Chicago on Christmas Eve.... Though only 9--33 this season Riley, a three-time Coach of the Year, has a career coaching record of 1,191--651 and has won five NBA championships.
[Based on a survey of 242 NBA Players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.