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What's hot, what's not
for NBA playoffs

Special to Page 2

In the NBA, you can go from hot to frigid in a hurry. Just ask the seventh-seeded Portland Trail Blazers.

But take heart, Blazermaniacs, momentum in the NBA's postseason can change directions as quickly as Allen Iverson in the open court. Here's Page 2's take on what's sizzling and what's fizzling as we prepare for the NBA playoffs to open this weekend.

Page 2's Hot 'n' Not list for the NBA playoffs
Category   Hot   Not
NBA's "He Hate Me"   Kobe BryantKobe Bryant   Allen IversonAllen Iverson
"C-Webb" derivative nickname   Tracy McGradyT-Mac   Wang Zhi-ZhiW-Zhi
First-round series   Blazers-Lakers   Hornets-Heat
"Oh sure, I always like the ..."   Miami Heat   Philadelphia 76ers
Coach on hot seat   Mike Dunleavy   Don Nelson
Home court   Arco   Conseco
Due for national breakout   Jermaine O'Neal   Rodney Rogers
Mr. Clutch   Michael FinleyMichael Finley   Jamal MashburnJamal Mashburn
X-factor   Derek Anderson   Austin Croshere
"He's Due" coach   Larry Brown   Phil Jackson
Fire-up-the-crowd music   Destiny's Child   Lee Ann Womack
Gamer to be seen in   Dirk Nowitzki   Damon Stoudamire
Studio host   Ernie Johnson   Ahmad Rashad
Hothead   Rasheed WallaceRasheed Wallace   Latrell SprewellLatrell Sprewell
TV commercial   "Bouncing basketballs"   NetZero
TV guy-as-coach   Doug Collins   Isiah Thomas
No. 1 fan   Tobey Maguire   Dyan Cannon
Off-court rumor   MJ: Will he? Won't he?   Chairman Yao
Player to watch   Alonzo MourningAlonzo Mourning   Anfernee HardawayPenny Hardaway
Impact rookie   Mike Miller   Mike Penberthy
Functional accessory   Wrist sweatbands   Headbands
3-point ace   Predrag StojakovicPeja Stojakovic   Allan HoustonAllan Houston
Unemployment-line sighting   Len Hamilton   Randy Wittman
Designated thug   Rick Fox   Bonzi Wells
Strategic trend   Run 'n gun   Shorten the bench
Impact sub   Howard Eisley   John Amaechi
Payback time   Raptors over Knicks   Blazers over Lakers
Subject to mull over   Fire Krause?   The Shaq-Kobe feud
Off-season ball choice   Ping-pong   Golf

Dan Shanoff, the former men's college basketball editor for, is an honorary member of Page 2's Wrecking Crew.

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