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The Life

October 25, 2002
Tip-Off: NBA Scouting Reports
ESPN The Magazine

Barely seconds into his first appearance in the league -- an exhibition against the Spurs -- Yao Ming took a pass and went up strong. But as his long right arm reached for the hoop, Tim Duncan switched off his man and crashed Yao to the floor. Welcome to the NBA 2003.

Yao Ming
Time will tell whether or not Yao Ming was worth the No. 1 pick.
Much has been added since Shaq and Kobe walked off with Title No. 3 last June. The biggest -- at least in inches and intrigue -- is in Houston, where China's 7'6" Yao must prove if he's hero or hype. (The international influence is so great this season that we added a key Global View stat to our team reports just to track it.)

Grant Hill will try to make it back in Orlando, where Shawn Kemp is the new center. Antonio McDyess didn't quite make it back in New York, where Spree has a new problem. There's a new team in New Orleans, new game plans in D.C. and Motown, and new expectations in LA… for the Clippers!

There's a new way to settle last-second arguments: instant replay. And we say that for the first time in four years, there'll be a new home for the title trophy -- Sacramento. Oh, and there are two new networks carrying games on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday -- ESPN and ABC. Which is why we asked new teammate Bill Walton for a Freewheelin' comment on each team.

Welcome to the NBA 2003.

Eastern Conference Western Conference
1. New Jersey Nets 1. Sacramento Kings
2. New Orleans Hornets 2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Indiana Pacers 3. Dallas Mavericks
4. Orlando Magic 4. San Antonio Spurs
5. Boston Celtics 5. Los Angeles Clippers
6. Detroit Pistons 6. Portland Trailblazers
7. Washington Wizards 7. Minnesota Timberwolves
8. Toronto Raptors 8. Utah Jazz
9. Philadelphia 76ers 9. Houston Rockets
10. Milwaukee Bucks 10. Seattle SuperSonics
11. Atlanta Hawks 11. Memphis Grizzlies
12. Chicago Bulls 12. Phoenix Suns
13. Cleveland Cavaliers 13. Golden State Warriors
14. Miami Heat 14. Denver Nuggets
15. New York Knicks Golden State Warriors

This article will appear in the November 11 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

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