Page 12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 4, 1988
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Pistons move thru
NBA like wizards
BY DAVID FELDMAN
Toto, I don't think we're in the
NBA anymore. What's this I see in
the standings? Charlotte Hornets?
And look over there, it's unre-
stricted free agency. Moses Malone is
playing for Atlanta, Tom Chambers
is in Phoenix, and Walter Davis is in
Oh Toto, the champion is coming
from the Central Division. This can't
be the NBA.
Sorry Dorothy, this is the NBA.
The new NBA. Look for the Detroit
Pistons to achieve this season what
they came so heartbreakingly close to
doing last season- winning it all.
THE TEAM'S solid nucleus of
Isiah Thomas, Adrian Dantley, and
Bill Laimbeer is back and ready for
another title run. So are Joe Dumars,
Rick Mahorn, and Vinnie Johnson.
Not too long ago, the Pistons had
no low-post offense. Now they're the
deepest team in the NBA with a
reserve front line, of James Edwards,
John Salley, and Dennis Rodman,
that most coaches would like to have
If Coach Chuck Daly can coax the
trio into playing the same tough
defense that helped limit playoff
opponents to 95.2 points per game
last year, the Pistons will take home
the kewpie doll come June.
Even if the Pistons falter,
however, the title winner will still
come from the Central Division.
The Atlanta Hawks have
stockpiled so much talent, it should
be illegal. Moses Malone (free agent)
and Reggie Theus (trade for Randy
Whitman) join Dominique Wilkins
to form a triumvirate that averaged
72.6 points per game last season.
HOWEVER, as New York
Times columnist Sam Goldaper
points out, three men who earn a
combined $4 million may not be
able to share one $75 basketball.
The Cleveland Cavaliers,
undefeated in the preseason, may
become basketball's team of the
'90s. The thought of Brad Daugherty,
Ron Harper, Mark Price, and John
Williams reaching their prime should
drive more than one opposing coach
to seek counseling.
The Chicago Bulls could contend
in some divisions. In the NBA
Central, however, Michael Jordan
alone just isn't enough.
The Atlantic Division should
remain firmly in the grasp of the
aging Boston Celtics. Larry Bird,
Kevin McHale, and new coach
Jimmy Rodgers will be able to win
this weak division by default, but
will have trouble keeping up with
Central Division foes in the playoffs..
IN THE Midwest, expect
Michigan alum Roy Tarpley to team
up with the steady Rolando
Blackman and the disgruntled Mark
Aguirre to lead the Dallas Mavericks
deep ino the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers should
have no trouble winning the Pacific
Division for the seventh consecutive
season. Last season, Magic Johnson,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James
Worthy proved emphatically that
they have immense desire as well as
immense talent. Aided by the astute
pickup of Orlando Woolridge, the
Lakers will remain as tough as ever.
L.A. won't quite make it,
however. Winning two straight was
grueling. Three straight is nearly
The Pistons have the ability to go
all the way. Now that they have the
incentive and experience as well, they
are the heir apparent to the NBA
Yes, Dorothy the NBA has
changed. In 1988-89, the Central
Division will leave the rest of the
league yearning for years past.
What's that? You want to see the
Lakers play the Celtics for the title?
Okay, just click your heels three
times and say, "There's no place like
1982, or 1984, or 1985, or 1987..."
Atlanta's Antoine Carr and Boston's Robert Parish will fight for more
this season. The new look Hawks and the ageless Celtics will challenge
Pistons as Eastern Conference champions.
than just loose ball
to unseat the Detroit
wv * %3
LAS VEGAS (AP)- Marvin Hagler
had Sugar Ray Leonard beaten and
"just blew it." Donny Lalonde said.
He also said Thomas Hearns also
would have defeated Leonard in 1981
if Hearns hadn't lost his aggres-
siveness in the late rounds. -
Lalonde, who will defend his
World Boxing Council light heavy-
weight title against Leonard Monday
night, feels he can accomplish what
Hagler and Hearns couldn't
Lalonde said Leonard's courage
carried him to victory in both those
ays Sugar i
fights, but added,"I think this time,
it's too much punching power for
Lalonde who will also be battling
Leonard for the newly created WBC
super middleweight (168- pound)
title, has spent many hours studying
videotapes of Leonard's bouts. He
seemed very impressed by Leonard's
"He's courageous. Mentally he's
(enabled) himself to do much more
than he should be able to do
physically," the Canadian fighter said
during a press conference yesterday.
"Against both Hagler and Hearns
Ray showed incredible displays of
courage and mental toughness. In the
Hagler fight, he was exhausted from
the eighth round on, but he kept
Leonard, staggered by Hagler in
the middle rounds, came back to win
a 12-round decision in April,1987. In
September, 1981, he knocked out
Hearns in the 14th round after Hearns
controlled the fight for most of the
es & WDET WELCOME
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Enthusiastic, dedicated U of M students
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' :. .
with a pre-Black Solidarity Day address by
Black Political Sociologist and author of
HOW CAPITALISM UNDERDEVELOPED BLACK AMERICA
®3)N o 'Ma °M TUAM THOM la l ha I
aAmE 'T.am lw Unimica(dr
FRIDAY. Nov. 4th. 5:00nm.
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