Notes on a Scorecard
Bound to happen during the NBA season that opens Friday:
Scottie Pippen will refuse to play the final 1.8 seconds of the seventh game of the Chicago Bull-Houston Rocket championship series and Dennis Rodman will be benched for disciplinary reasons, but Michael Jordan will make a game-winning shot at the buzzer from 40 feet. . . .
Charles Barkley will hint at retirement. . . .
Vlade Divac will increase his scoring average for the seventh consecutive season. . . .
The Rockets’ new threads will earn them a worst-dressed award from Mr. Blackwell. . . .
Pacific Division standings: 1. Seattle 2. Phoenix 3. Lakers 4. Portland 5. Golden State 6. Clippers 7. Sacramento. . . .
Bryant (Foreign Country) Reeves will make the All-Canada team, but not the all-continent. . . .
Free-throwing shooting will remain a lost art. . . .
Some team with a young center will miss out on a great opportunity by not hiring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as sky-hook consultant. . . .
Matt Geiger will be booed in Orlando. . . .
The description “old pro” will fit Sam Perkins. . . .
Worst buy in basketball will be $82,000 for two front-row season tickets to New York Knick games at Madison Square Garden even though that includes a pair of halftime statistics sheets every night. . . .
Derrick Coleman will be unhappy. . . .
Midwest Division standings: 1. Houston, 2. San Antonio, 3. Utah, 4. Dallas, 5. Denver, 6. Minnesota, 7. Vancouver. . . .
David Robinson will be labeled as a superstar who can’t win big games. . . .
Chris Mullin will be prominent on the disabled list. . . .
Players called up from the CBA will work the hardest. . . .
The Clippers’ Bill Fitch will get as much out of his team as any coach in the league. . . .
Damon Stoudamire of Toronto will be rookie of the year. . . .
Grant Hill will be sophomore of the year. . . .
Anfernee Hardaway will be junior of the year. . . .
Michael Jordan will be most valuable player. . . .
Darrin Hancock of Charlotte will be most-improved player. . . .
New York tabloids will blame Pat Riley for a Knicks’ loss. . . .
Riley will blame the Knicks for a Miami Heat loss. . . .
Having the Lakers and Clippers open the season on the same night in L.A. won’t be such a good thing. . . .
Atlantic Division standings: 1. Orlando 2. New York 3. Philadelphia 4. Miami 5. New Jersey 6. Washington 7. Boston. . . .
In a 29-team league, benches will be weaker than ever. . . .
Hakeem Olajuwon will get his due, but Rudy Tomjanovich still won’t. . . .
One of the most popular Kings at the Forum will be Frankie. . . .
Eric Piatkowski will blossom into the long-range shooter that the Clippers hoped he would be in his rookie season. . . .
Del Harris’ pregame press briefings will be enlightening. . . .
New Jersey rookie Ed O’Bannon will show the poise of a veteran. . . .
Forum fans will boo TV announcer Danny Ainge. . . .
Central Division standings: 1. Chicago 2. Indiana 3. Cleveland 4. Charlotte 5. Detroit 6. Milwaukee 7. Atlanta 8. Toronto. . . .
The luckless Washington Bullets will be told that Chris Webber needs shoulder surgery. . . .
Scouts will look at a promising grade-school player. . . .
The deal that sent Don MacLean--and Doug Overton-- from Washington to Denver for Robert Pack will stand as the only one this year involving both a former UCLA Bruin and a former USC Trojan. . . .
No matter who the officials are, most traveling violations once again will be overlooked. . . .
John Stockton-to-Karl Malone will be the best pass-catch combination in sports other than Steve Young-to-Jerry Rice. . . .
The championship series will conclude shortly before the baseball All-Star game. . . .
The L.A. Lakers and Utah Jazz will turn down the suggestion that they trade nicknames. . . .
Tom Gugliotta will play for two fewer teams than last season. . . .
Orlando Magic center Shaquille O’Neal eventually will replace Jon Koncak, the rule of thumb being that regulars aren’t supposed to lose their jobs because of injuries. . . .
Boston Coach M.L. Carr, who used to wave towels, will throw in towels.