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Boston at Phoenix, 2:30PM ET, ABC
A week ago, Phoenix burned as the league's All-Stars gathered in the Valley of the Sun to celebrate. With trade rumors surrounding everyone but Steve Nash, the guillotine hanging over Terry Porter's neck, and the losses piling up faster than expected, the Suns sat in precarious position, on the cusp of implosion.
Porter's gone, Amar'e Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal are still employed by the franchise and three straight huge wins have, ahem, corrected the course. Of course, Stoudemire's rededication to the team preceded an eye injury that will shelve S.T.A.T. for eight weeks. Bummer.
In Boston, the race with Cleveland to capture home court in the seemingly inevitable Eastern Conference Finals (sorry Orlando) is on. But Kevin Garnett is down for a few weeks, while the Cavs just seem to be getting healthy. If the Celtics drop a few and fall behind, might we see K.G. lighten up for the rest of the season? Could Paul Pierce (bugged with a minor injury of his own) sit a couple games as well? While so much has been (rightfully) made of any potential free agent Boston could grab off waivers, the health of the Big Three and the confidence of Leon Powe and Glen Davis are factors as important.
Miami at Orlando, 5:30PM ET, ESPN
Orlando is good enough with Rafer Alston to beat Charlotte. Of course, Orlando probably could have beat Charlotte with Anthony Johnson running the point. Miami might be a different story. The Heat are trying to pull away from .500 and solidify its opportunity to pull a top-four seed with Jermaine O'Neal in tow, and the short trip to Orlando should be seen as winnable.
The Magic are only 2-1/2 games behind Cleveland and three games behind Boston. Given the Garnett injury, there is a chance Orlando could slide back into the horserace. We'll see.
Warning! Pistons on the road on a Sunday! Warning!
New York at Toronto, 12PM ET
Denver at Milwaukee, 5PM ET
Charlotte at Houston, 5PM ET
L.A. Clippers at Portland, 6PM ET
L.A. Lakers at Minnesota, 7PM ET
Sunday's NBA Guide: Putting Molasses in the Kool-Aid originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Sun, 22 Feb 2009 10:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.