3-POINTERS FROM THE WEST POINT 1: Dallas' 0-4 start at home is its worst since it opened 0-19 in 1993-94. Last week, insider trading charges were brought against Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. This team can't afford any more distractions.
POINT 2: The Jazz continues to have injury problems. Last week, starting forward Carlos Boozer suffered a strained quadriceps tendon injury. Starting point guard Deron Williams has a sprained left ankle, and Kyle Korver is out indefinitely with a wrist injury. Utah can't afford to dig itself too big of a hole.
POINT 3: Blazers rookie center Greg Oden has had three double-doubles in his past four games. During the stretch, he has averaged 14.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. Oden had his first double- double of his career, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, against the Hornets on Nov. 14.
3-POINTERS FROM THE EAST
POINT 1: Boston has resumed where it left off last season, when the Celtics won their first NBA championship since 1986. They're clearly the class of the East. "The bench is the key to this stretch," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "The more they can play, the better they can play and the starters can rest."
POINT 2: After a 6-0 start, the Hawks are 2-4. Both Josh Smith and Al Horford have been out with ankle injuries. During the Hawks' slide, they've allowed 112.5 points per game. Coach Mike Woodson has had to shuffle his lineup with backup Zaza Pachulia starting at center and Marvin Williams shifting from small forward to power forward.
POINT 3: It's obvious guard Jose Calderon is vital to Toronto's playoff hopes. When Calderon missed two games last week because of a sore hamstring, the Raptors committed 44 turnovers. Those were the only two games in which Toronto committed 20 or more turnovers this season. Calderon is averaging 12.9 points and 8.8 assists.
THE STARTING FIVE
Best record in the league, and Kobe Bryant has so much help now that he does not have to play the entire fourth quarter in most games.
Starting to make a push above the pack in the Eastern Conference.
Has one of the best frontcourt duos in the league with Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis.
Dealing with injuries, but has won its first six home games.
LeBron James still does not have enough help to win an NBA championship, but they will win at least 50 games.
They are teetering around .500, but until they buyout or trade Stephon Marbury, trouble always is near.
The pieces are in place, but it is going to take time for everything to develop under Coach Larry Brown.
Going to take a few more seasons before Minnesota start winning consistently.
Baron Davis has not brought any sizzle to keep the Clippers from near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
P.J. Carlesimo became the first coach in the league to be fired this season after a 10-game losing streak.