UP: Sam Cassell
The Minnesota point guard and former Dunbar star has been fabulous in December, winning Western Conference Player of the Week honors Monday, and becoming a solid second option to Kevin Garnett.
DOWN: Tracy McGrady
Not very captain-like behavior from the Orlando forward to leave the TD Waterhouse Centre after straining his hip early in a loss to the New York Knicks.
UP: Chris Webber
The Sacramento power forward is doing light workouts for the first time since his June knee surgery. His return could make the already terrific Kings unstoppable.
DOWN: Karl Malone
The Mailman will be delivering from the injured list for the first time in his 19-year career, thanks to a knee ailment.
UP: San Antonio Spurs
Just when it looked like the defending champs were on the verge of irrelevance, they go off on a gaudy 13-game winning streak.
DOWN: Memphis Grizzlies
OK, so maybe Hubie Brown isn't as much of a genius as we thought. The Grizzlies dropped seven straight and are starting to look like the team we've known and laughed at.
HE SAID IT
"That sucker has had enough done for him. He should bring me a win."
Cleveland coach Paul Silas, when asked if he had brought a gift for LeBron James' 19th birthday on Dec. 30, when the Cavs lost, 92-89, to Indiana.