This is an article from the Feb. 28, 2011 issue
Phoenix has won seven in a row and sits atop the Pacific Division. Alas, someone needs to alert Phoenicians. With the team 30th in attendance, many are missing out on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (right), who has five shutouts this season and has stopped 95% of the shots he's faced in the streak.
Move over, Tim Duncan. Morehead State center Kenneth Faried broke the ex--Demon Deacon's 15-year-old D-I rebounding record by pulling down career board number 1,571 as the hot Eagles (21--8) beat Indiana State 71--65. Said Faried, "I can't explain how excited I am."
Portland quietly has the fifth-best record in the West (32--24) and six straight wins coming out of the All-Star break thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge (right) and his 27.9 ppg and 9.1 rpg over the last 10 games. More good news: Brandon Roy aims to return from a knee injury this week.
NEW JERSEY: MELLOW
Don't rush these Devils. After spending most of the season chilling in the NHL basement they've matched the best 18-game tear in team history, taking 32 points. Credit much of their return to the playoff hunt to Ilya Kovalchuk (right), who has six goals in seven games.
Look out below! After cruising along above .500, Colorado has dropped 10 straight. During their longest winless streak since moving to Denver in 1994, the Avs have been outscored 42--14 and last week traded away promising forward Chris Stewart to St. Louis.
What's wrong in West London? Last year's EPL and FA Cup trophy-winners have won just six of their last 19 games; Pricey new striker Fernando Torres (¬£50M, left) is scoreless in two tilts in blue; and Chelsea risks missing the Champions League for the first time since 2004.
A drubbing at Charlotte and a 104--99 defeat at lowly Cleveland had L.A. limping into hosting duties at the All-Star Game, where home fans mercilessly booed rival players. Kobe's MVP in that game was sweet, but as Amar'e Stoudemire pointed out, "He was not passing the ball at all."
ANY NEW JERSEY FOR 'MELO
And you thought The Decision was overwrought? The Nuggets' forward's seeming indecisiveness is making LeBron's off-season ESPN special feel like must-see TV. Tick, tock, it's time to pick a team. New Jersey? New York? Denver? Choose already.
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
WHO HAS THE BEST FASHION SENSE OFF THE COURT?
Dwyane Wade, Heat G 29%
Kobe Bryant, Lakers G 13%
LeBron James, Heat F 11%
Chris Paul, Hornets G 5%
Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets F 4%
The Heat had twice as many fashion plates named (six) as any other team; the Bucks and the Thunder (three each) were second... . The top five vote-getters started in Sunday's All-Star Game... . The Hawks' Zaza Pachulia, with 2% of the votes, was the only center—and the only non-African-American—in the top 10... . Each of the three leading vote-getters has been on a GQ cover at least once; Bryant has appeared on three.
Based on 137 NBA players who responded to SI's survey