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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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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. . . .

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Boston Coach M.L. Carr, who used to wave towels, will throw in towels.


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