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NBA news and stuff

By Sam Amico

*After a fantastic start, the 76ers have lost five of seven and 13 of 20. They enter Tuesday’s game against the Cavaliers at 27-22 and tied with the Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division. Winning the division is a big deal, because it assures you of one of the top three seeds in the playoffs.

* Some are suggesting coach Doug Collins may be the reason behind the mini-collapse, as Collins has a reputation for burning out his players. I won’t argue the ever-intense Collins has such a reputation, but he sure isn’t to blame for anything that’s gone wrong with this team. Philly has been his best coaching stop yet, and should be given nothing but credit.

*Who has helped (and hurt) their NBA draft stock the most in the NCAA tournament? Randy Hill of FOX Sports Arizona offers his list (via photo gallery), saying Kentucky’s Terrence Jones is again on the rise. Agreed.

* Are the Heat in trouble after back-to-back defeats by double digits? Conrad Brunner examines for FOX Sports Midwest.

* Clippers forward Kenyon Martin on teammate Blake Griffin’s powerful performance against the Hornets Monday: “He ain’t got but two cheeks. You can only turn ‘em so many times.” Billy Witz of FOX Sports West breaks it down.

* Dennis Rodman is apparently broke and very sick.

* I never expected the Knicks to do much in the playoffs. Now, I’m wondering if they’ll even get there, thanks to the latest injury to Amar’e Stoudemire. Sam Gardner of FOX Sports wonders the same.

* Loved this column from John Manasso of FOX Sports South on the Hawks’ amazing four-overtime win over the Jazz the other night.

* Finally, the news just keep getting worse for the Timberwolves.

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