Marty Burns
Monday February 7th, 2005

NBA Power Rankings
RankLW Team
1616 Not that anybody in the City of Brotherly Love noticed, but they beat the Clippers on Sunday to make it four of five as they continue to nip at Boston's heels in the Atlantic.
1713 Start working the phones, Kevin McHale. Sunday's home loss to the Celtics made it five straight defeats (including four at home) -- negating all the optimism forged by that previous five-game win streak.
1819 They beat the Mavs and Hawks, respectively, over the weekend to snap their own five-game losing skid. Now they just need to get Jamaal Tinsley (foot) and Jeff Foster (back) back to full health.
1915 Kirk Hinrich is in a mini-slump and their defense has sagged a bit. After not yielding 100 points in 26 straight games, they'd done so three out of their last four through Sunday.
2021 With three straight victories at week's end, they appear to have put the Darius Miles incident behind them. But will GM John Nash attempt some more house-cleaning before the trade deadline?
2122 Their last four losses, through Sunday, had been by a combined 11 points. But Corey Maggette (collarbone) and Shaun Livingston (knee) could be back by the end of their current eight-game road trip.
2218 Phil Jackson? Larry Brown? Kurt Rambis? Or, as Dickie V. suggests, how about Kobe Bryant as player-coach? Either way, we haven't heard the end of this Hollywood soap opera.
2323 Those big comebacks of late have obscured the fact that their defense has been awful. In seven of their last eight games, they've yielded 58 points or more in the first half.
2424 Michael Redd and Des Mason continue to carry a heavy load. But with Keith Van Horn (foot) still limited to 20 minutes per game, they just don't have the third scoring option they need.
2525
Utah Jazz (16-31)
Through Sunday they were 12-16 against the West, but only 4-15 against the weaker East. Of course, they didn't have Andrei Kirilenko (knee injury) when they played several of those Eastern foes.
2626 They lost at Phoenix on Saturday to make it 0-5 on their road trip with one left to play Monday at Utah. Overall they are 2-16 in 2005, and 1-7 under interim coach Herb Williams.
2727 With Troy Murphy (thumb) and Cliff Robinson (suspension) out, Jason Richardson will have to carry an even bigger load. No wonder he doesn't want to waste energy on this year's Slam Dunk contest.
2828 Add Lee Nailon (groin) to their list of injured or walking wounded. George Lynch has been dusted off as his replacement, but they had lost five straight through Sunday to resume their dreary ways.
2929 They hope to have Josh Smith (ankle) back for Saturday's game with the Bucks. With seven losses in their last eight games, through Sunday, they need him for more than just high-flying dunks.
3030 Yes, they won at Utah last week. And yes, Melvin Ely has had his moments. But until Emeka Okafor (ankle) gets back, they just don't have enough weapons.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.