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October 24, 2005 Table Of Contents

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NBA Preview

8 Philadelphia 76ers

After a rude welcome, a still-dangerous forward just looks to fit in

By Chris Mannix

15 CHARLOTTE Bobcats

Lots of championship experience--just none at the pro level

By Chris Mannix

Opposites Attract

Infamously flammable Ron Artest would seem to have little in common with Larry Bird, yet the most iconic Hoosier of them all says he sees plenty of himself in his most intense young star

By L. Jon Wertheim


In Antoine Walker, Miami acquired a flashy forward with a penchant for jacking three-pointers and gambling on defense--not exactly what Shaquille O'Neal would have ordered

By Jack McCallum


Here's why these pairings could strike magical sparks--or send their teams down in flames

By Chris Mannix

Measure of Success

Those stat guys are at it again, and now the Moneyball math of baseball has come to the NBA. Armed with dazzling equations, NBA front offices are finding entirely new ways to quantify a player's talent and judge his real value

By Chris Ballard

A Perfect Team

By Ian Thomsen

5 Minute Guide

What contenders need to have happen, what will happen and whom you'd want on your team (real or fantasy)

By Ian Thomsen

Scouting Reports

How They'll Finish

By David Sabino

1 Indiana Pacers

They still have a tough trio despite a changing of the (shooting) guard

By L. Jon Wertheim

2 Miami Heat

Healed and remodeled, a shooting star will hit the court running

By Mark Bechtel

3 New Jersey Nets

To keep up on the boards, they need their center to grow up fast

By Chris Mannix

4 Detroit Pistons

Life after Larry Brown won't be bad, especially for an underused bench

By Ian Thomsen

5 CLEVELAND Cavaliers

The full-service superstar gets an assist by recruiting scoring help

By Mark Bechtel

6 Washington Wizards

They finally won a playoff series. Can a new guard take them further?

By Chris Mannix


For the team to improve, a forgotten man must have a year to remember

By Marty Burns

9 New York Knicks

Despite recent bad reviews, a new coach and center bring star power

By Chris Mannix

10 Orlando Magic

Can a goal-oriented wunderkind inspire a return to the playoffs?

By Ben Reiter

11 BOSTON Celtics

They're counting on their forward of the future to deliver right away

By Ian Thomsen


A big man finally arrives, but a winning record is still too tall an order

By Marty Burns

13 ATLANTA Hawks

It's nice to finally get a top free agent--even if he isn't a good fit

By Ben Reiter

14 Toronto Raptors

The top pick could be a pleasant surprise. The season will not be

By Marty Burns

1 San Antonio Spurs

Less money, fewer minutes? Sounds perfect, says a Mavericks castoff

By Chris Ballard

2 Denver Nuggets

The key to George Karl's up-tempo offense is no small wonder

By Ian Thomsen

3 Phoenix Suns

A star is hurt, but the dynamic offense isn't slowing down for anyone

By Jack McCallum

4 Houston Rockets

With a new point guard to launch the attack, this team is ready to run

By Chris Ballard

5 Dallas Mavericks

Read the writing on the wall: The coach is demanding better D in Big D

By Chris Ballard

6 Sacramento Kings

By Arash Markazi

7 Seattle Sonics

A rugged forward needs to catch, shoot and worry about misses later

By Chris Ballard

8 Memphis Grizzlies

The overhauled roster is older and wiser, but will it be any better?

By Bill Syken

9 Utah Jazz

A flop in his debut, a leading man is better prepared for Year Two

By Bill Syken

10 Los Angeles Lakers

Elementary geometry: Can the new big man pick up the triangle?

By Jack McCallum

11 Minnesota Timberwolves

By Mark Bechtel

12 Golden State Warriors

They finally have some real selling points, but a playoff berth? Not yet

13 Los Angeles Clippers

Too much of a good thing? That could be the case at point guard

By Arash Markazi

14 Portland Trail Blazers

A turnaround is tied to how quickly all the young players develop

By Arash Markazi

15 New Orleans Hornets

They've already suffered their worst loss, but many more are to follow

By Bill Syken



Air and Space

Sex and the Twin Cities

By Steve Rushin

SI Players: Life On and Off the Field

Willis McGahee


As told to Lisa Altobelli

Who's Hot / Who's Not

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

Linebackers Who Lunch

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

The Pop Culture Grid

Edited by Kostya Kennedy


WITH Steve Foley, Chargers Linebacker

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

Kickin' Back

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

Going the Distance

The White Sox reached their first World Series in 46 years thanks to a staff that threw four straight complete games and a catcher who seemed to be in the middle of every key play

By Tom Verducci


So Close ...

The Astros were on the brink of a pennant before Brad Lidge, the dominant reliever of the postseason, fell victim to Albert Pujols

By Daniel G. Habib

Pro Football

Adrift on Lake Woebegone

A night of debauchery aboard two yachts is the latest scandal for the Minnesota Vikings, a once proud franchise that has become a rudderless ship

By Michael Silver

Motor Sports

Of Tragedy and Teamwork

A year after the plane crash that took his son and nine others, all family members or close friends, NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick has his drivers behind him and another title in his sights

By Lars Anderson

College Football

Fantastic Finishes

There were nail-biters galore last Saturday when No. 1 USC stunned Notre Dame with :03 left and five other games with BCS implications were decided in the last 30 seconds or in overtime

By Austin Murphy

Good to the Last Tick

USC beat the clock for the most dramatic ending in college football last Saturday, but the five teams who scrambled to win these down-to-the-wire intraconference showdowns weren't far behind

By Mark Beech and Gene Menez


Inside: The Week In Sports


By Peter King

King's Corner

By Peter King

Dr. Z's Forecast: Philly D Comes Alive

By Paul Zimmerman

College Football

By Phil Taylor


By Stewart Mandel

Life of Reilly

Leinart's Last Dance

By Rick Reilly


Not the Retiring Sort

Six years after he quit managing--for good, he thought--Jim Leyland is back with the woeful Tigers

By Albert Chen

Leading Off

Double Agent

Not content to represent other Olympians, Patrick Quinn is trying to become one, at age 39, in luge

By Brian Cazeneuve


Dream Team

Steep Drop

How and why an SI writer reported a rules infraction that got Michelle Wie disqualified from her first pro tournament

By Alan Shipnuck

College Try

USA Basketball moves away from the NBA by picking Coach K for the 2008 Olympics

By Jack McCallum

For the Record

Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella

Hull on Wheels

With the NHL finally playing his kind of fast and loose hockey, a superior scorer retires

By Michael Farber

Play It Again?

Do you want to watch a ball game--or the Zapruder film?

By Tom Verducci

Q& A: DaMarcus Beasley

The 23-year-old U.S national soccer team star is currently playing in Holland for PSV Eindhoven

By Richard Deitsch

The Beat

By Adam Duerson

Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

By Chris Mannix

Faces in the Crowd

Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella