With two handfuls of games left in the season, it is very conceivable that there might be only three teams in the Eastern Conference with winning records while three teams with winning records in the West won't qualify for the playoffs.
Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
Week's work: 4-0 record, 24.2 ppg, 17.5 rpg, 3.2 apg. 4.5 bpg, 68.5% shooting
Groundhog. Schmoundhog. Winter's over when this guy gobbles up 85 rebounds and 23 blocks in his last five games. By the way, Shaq is now shooting 58.8 percent from field on the season, his highest since he shot 59.9 percent in 1994. Time to hang the sign. Don't Feed The Bear!
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Week's work: 3-0 record, 20.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.6 spg, 0.3 bpg, 52% shooting
The Heat are only three games behind the slumping Hornets for fourth place in the East and home court in the first round, meaning every other rookie of significance could very well be watching this kid from a couch come May.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Week's work: 4-0 record, 28.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 2 spg, 0.7 bpg, 51% shooting
It's taken Tracy McGrady 294 games to build his reputation as the game's most prolific scorer and Kobe Bryant 29 minutes on Monday night to dismantle it.
Baron Davis, New Orleans Hornets
Week's work: 1-3 record, 24.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.5 apg, 2.7 spg, 1 bpg, 15 triples, 38.8% shooting
The win-loss record is bad, the shooting percentage even worse if that's possible. But it's certainly not for a lack of effort on Baron's part after going 173 minutes in one week of a possible 192. On this list purely on hustle points.
Steve Francis, Houston Rockets
Weak work: 0-3 record, 16 ppg, 6 rpg, 5.3 apg, 4 spg, 1.3 bpg, 4 triples, 30.8% shooting
Started off the week shooting 3-for-15 in a loss to the Suns. Finished it off with his league-leading 17th technical foul of the year in a loss to the Kings. In between, had seven turnovers in a loss to the Warriors to boost last week's average to 4.6 per game and 3.6 on the year.
Tyronn Lue, Orlando Magic
Weak work: 0-3 record, 8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.6 apg, 0.6 spg, 20% shooting
Not quite sure you can shoot this bad and still be considered an NBA starter, but Jamaal Tinsley might argue with me. But, then again, Tinsley had nine more assists last week than Lue in six fewer minutes.