NBA Notes : Roy Tarpley's Game Shows Improvement

Associated Press

A slow start ended any reasonable chance to win rookie of the year honors, but Roy Tarpley is finishing strong as a backup power forward for the Dallas Mavericks.

Much was expected of the 7-foot Tarpley after he averaged 15.3 points and 10 rebounds during a four-game preseason stretch for the Mavericks, but he shot 36.7% from the field in the first five games of the regular season and started to spend more time on the bench.

"I was a little disappointed because I wasn't contributing," said Tarpley, the seventh player chosen in last June's draft.

Dallas Coach Dick Motta said Tarpley should not have been concerned about his slow start.

"It's very rare for someone to step right in and make a big contribution," Motta said. "We were never down on Roy. He's worked hard and he's improved."

Gradually, Tarpley has gotten more playing time. On Jan. 29, he had 14 points, 12 rebounds, six blocked shots and three steals in a 132-102 victory at Denver and one night later he broke the team's rookie record with 20 rebounds to go with 12 points and five blocks in a win over Milwaukee.

In an eight-game stretch from Feb. 27 to March 13, Tarpley was in double figures in either points or rebounds seven times.

"I hope I don't give him too big of a head, but Roy has the talent to push up to that next level," Motta said. "He's playing like a basketball player now."

Life with Michael Jordan can be quite an experience, says Chicago Bulls Coach Doug Collins.

"I've seen people hyperventilate when they see him," Collins said. "I've been riding with Michael in his car and seen people almost have wrecks, trying to get a look."

Jerry Sichting of the Boston Celtics, a native of Martinsville, Ind., was asked by the Boston Herald to review the movie "Hoosiers," a story about a small-town Indiana basketball team.

Wrote Sichting: "I'm no movie critic, but I feel very comfortable about recommending 'Hoosiers' for a night at the movies. All basketball fans should like it, and people who don't particularly care about the sport will find their interest held by the acting and the relationship of the town to the team. In short, the movie fits its parts well together. I didn't have to pay to see 'Hoosiers,' but I certainly wouldn't have objected if I had."

T.R. Dunn of the Denver Nuggets, a starting guard for much of his 10-year NBA career, has never made a three-point field goal in 13 career attempts.

The Dallas Mavericks tried 13 three-point field goals on March 13 and made only one, but that one was a record-setter.

Rolando Blackman's three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the game gave Dallas 178 for the year, breaking the NBA record of 177 it shared with the 1979-80 San Diego Clippers.

The hiring of Dick Van Arsdale to replace John MacLeod as head coach of the Phoenix Suns caused quite a shakeup in the team's broadcasting lineup.

Van Arsdale, formerly the color commentator for televised games, was replaced by former Suns player Dennis Awtrey, who had been doing pregame and postgame interviews. Awtrey was replaced by Suns center James Edwards, currently on the injured list.

If Edwards comes off the injured list before the end of the season, another change would be neccessary.

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