Still kickin' (cont.)

Monday April 18th, 2005

NBA Power Rankings
RankLW Team
1614 The big Chris Webber trade didn't quite work out as planned. Still, Allen Iverson won another scoring title, dished out a career-high 8.0 assists and kept them in the playoff race until the end.
1716 Kevin McHale took over for Flip Saunders and nearly guided them into the playoffs. But their disappointing season now means the likely departures of Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell.
1818 New owner Dan Gilbert fired coachPaul Silas late in the season only to see the move backfire. As a result another sterling season by LeBron James seemed destined to end in disappointment.
1911 For the 10th consecutive year, they failed to make the playoffs. But Baron Davis, acquired in a trade, made them one of the NBA's hottest teams after the All-Star break and brought hope for the future.
2021 After a promising start they got waylaid by injuries. But Bobby Simmons emerged as a solid player, and they had a chance to finish ahead of the Lakers for the first time since '92-93.
2120 Grant Hill's amazing comeback got overshadowed in the end by the team's collapse, which cost Johnny Davis his job. But at least Dwight Howard lived up to his top billing.
2222 Feuds, fistfights and the trade of franchise player Carter kept things bubbling in Toronto. A dismal first season for GM Rob Babcock, who will be under the gun like few of his peers this summer.
2323 Kobe Bryant did all he could (maybe too much) to try to carry them to the playoffs. But as the stunning resignation of Rudy Tomjanovich showed, the team was never quite one happy family.
2424 After a surprising '03-04 campaign, they crashed back to reality in '04-05. They just hope free-agent shooting guard Michael Redd doesn't use it as an excuse to sign elsewhere this summer.
2525 Allan Houston never got healthy, Jamal Crawford wasn't ready to be the savior, and Lenny Wilkens lost his job. Time to get Phil Jackson or Larry Brown on the speed dial.
2628 The Darius Miles outburst summed up their testy campaign and led to Maurice Cheeks' ouster as coach. Now they appear on the verge of another major housecleaning, perhaps top to bottom.
Utah Jazz (25-55)
The loss of Andrei Kirilenko early in the season sent them into a tailspin from which they never recovered. Carlos Boozer and Mehmut Okur weren't able to pick up the slack.
2829 After a horrid start, they recovered to avoid catching the '72-73 Sixers for worst all-time record. Meanwhile, the trades of Davis and Jamal Mashburn brought cap relief for this summer.
2927 With rookie Emeka Okafor and improved center Primoz Brezec leading the way, they managed to be respectable for an expansion team. Now they just have to build on it.
3030 Josh Smith's All-Star Slam Dunk title was the lone highlight in another dismal campaign. But the Walker trade to Boston brought more cap room, so there's hope for this summer.

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