Change for the better (cont.)

Monday April 11th, 2005

NBA Power Rankings
RankLW Team
1613 Saturday's loss in Atlanta was a killer for their playoff hopes. Now they can start thinking about next year, and whether a trade for Jason Kidd could return them to the top of the West.
1714 Not even the return of Antawn Jamison has been able to get them on track. Saturday's ugly loss to the 76ers (without Iverson and Webber) was their fifth straight as they continue their slide.
1818 LeBron James seems to be losing patience with the turmoil surrounding their organization. Plus, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (finger) is ailing and they are in danger of slipping out of the playoffs altogether.
1920 Kidd and Vince Carter (45 points in Saturday's win over the Celtics) continue to push them toward the postseason. Overall they had won 11 of 14 through Sunday to give themselves a chance.
2019 Grant Hill's amazing comeback season has ended prematurely, thanks to a bruised calf. Meanwhile, his team's comeback season hasn't finished as well as hoped either.
2121 They lost in double OT to the Spurs on Saturday, dropping them to 4-13 in games decided by three points or less. But at least they still have a shot at finishing ahead of the Lakers for the first time since '93.
2222 Matt Bonner has been one of their few bright spots. The reserve forward from Florida ranks fifth in the NBA in shooting percentage (.537) and fourth in 3-point percentage (.435).
2323 Cue up the punchlines, Jay Leno: With 14 losses in 16 games, they're going to clear the bench and get a look at Tierre Brown, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton and even Vlade Divac.
2424 They say they intend to re-sign free agents-to-be Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia. The 6-foot-11 Pachulia, 21, is averaging 6.2 points and 5.2 rebound in 19 minute per game this season.
2525 Sweet-ney! Thanks to Michael Sweetney's last-second put-back (part of a career-high 20 points) in OT they won at Indiana on Sunday to snap a nine-game losing streak, their longest in 20 years.
Utah Jazz (24-52)
They're hoping rookie Kirk Snyder won't be suspended for his part in a post-game tussle with the Mavs' Jerry Stackhouse. If they lose any more players, Jerry Sloan might have to suit up.
2728 They lost at Memphis on Sunday to make it eight straight. But Emeka Okafor (19 points, 18 rebounds) continues to bolster his case for Rookie of the Year.
2829 They won at New Orleans on Sunday to snap a seven-game losing skid. Travis Outlaw had 13 points and five rebounds to show once again he could be a factor for them next year.
2926 So much for homecourt advantage. Sunday's loss to the Blazers was their eighth straight defeat at New Orleans Arena. Now they head out on a four-game road trip with stops at Phoenix and Denver.
3030 They beat the T'wolves on Saturday to snap a 14-game losing streak. But with Al Harrington (knee) out of the lineup, they won't get many more chances to celebrate this season.

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