This is an article from the Feb. 23, 2009 issue
The Jazz guard didn't make the All-Star team (he never has in four seasons), but he's playing like he should have—and it looks as if his nagging ankle injury is behind him. Five straight 30-plus-point games, including a 31-point, 11-assist night to knock off the Lakers, has Williams stoked for a happier, healthier second half.
Is this what they mean by winning Uggla? The Marlins second baseman, off a 32-home run, 92-RBI season, scored a $5.35 million judgment in arbitration—a raise of, oh, 1,200% from last season.
Six weeks after beating No. 1 UNC, the Eagles upended No. 6 Duke for the first time in 24 years, and the BC crowd came swarming. The Eagles erased a 13-point deficit, and guard Tyrese Rice scored his 2,000th point. Now March can't come soon enough. Coach Al Skinner: "We can play with anybody."
Not quite DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, but the Capitals' Green set an NHL record for a defenseman with goals in eight straight games—his dad came down from Calgary to see him do it in Tampa—one more than the Bruins' Mike O'Connell had in 1983--84. The streak ended on Sunday, but Washington kept winning, for the sixth time in eight games.
The Pistons guard was an All-Star of course (his 10th trip), but is this the AI who opponents have long feared? Detroit, losers of three straight before the break, was just 25--24 since trading for him in November; his shooting percentage (.421) is down from last year's (.458), and now he's playing head games—cutting those winsome cornrows.
Word that the Commish pulled in $18.35 million in 2007, up more than $3 million from '06, just doesn't look right. Will he take a page from NFL counterpart Roger Goodell, who's making $11.2 million and volunteering to take a 20% pay cut?
A 99--54 shellacking by Louisville was the Blue Demons' 13th consecutive loss, tying a school record. The Cardinals were seething after their own embarrassing loss, to Notre Dame, leading DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright to say, "It's not who you play but when you play them."
Even before his East squad was crushed in the All-Star Game on Sunday, the Cavaliers coach was coming up short. After Cleveland's recent one-point loss to Indiana, Brown ripped ref Joey Crawford for making a "predetermined call" against LeBron. "I don't care if I get fined," Brown said. And he did: $25,000.
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
Who is the NBA'S most annoying defensive player?
Bruce Bowen, Spurs F 45%
Ron Artest, Rockets F 15%
Raja Bell, Bobcats G 6%
Reggie Evans, Sixers F 5%
Shane Battier, Rockets F 2%
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao tied with Battier at 2%.... Bowen has been named to the all-defensive first or second team eight times.... Artest was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2003--04.... The Pacers' Jeff Foster was the only true center to receive multiple votes.
[Based on a survey of 190 NBA players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.