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May 27, 1982 - Image 15

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Michigan Daily, 1982-05-27

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, May 27, 1982-Page 15
NBA FINALS BEGIN TONIGHT IN PHILL Y
Sixers, Lakers set for showdown

PHILADELPHIA (AP)- The Los
Angeles Lakers, featuring Kareem Ab-
dul-Jabbar and Earvin "Magic" John-
son, and the Philadelphia 76ers, led by
Julius "Dr. J" Erving and prolific-
scoring Andrew Toney, meet here
tonight in the first game of their
National Basketball Association cham-
pionship series.
The streaking Lakers reached the
best-of-seven final by winning the
Western Conference's Pacific Division,
and after a first-round bye, swept the
Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs
each in four games.
THE 76ERS finished second in -the
Eastern Conference Atlantic Division,
swept Atlanta in a best-of-three mini-
series, and then eliminated Milwaukee,
4-2, and the Boston Celtics, 4-3, in best-
of-seven sets to become a finalist.
The second game of the series is here
Sunday, with the third ands fourth
games at Los Angeles Tuesday and
Thursday nights.
The Lakers, who haven't played since
May 15, when they eliminated San An-
tonio, will be trying for a league record-
tying ninth consecutive playoff victory
in the opener with the Sixers. The Min-
neapolis Lakers won the last game of
the 1949 playoffs and eight straight in
1950 to set the mark.
Lakers Coach Pat Riley said Wed-
nesday he wasn't thinking of records.
"HOPEFULLY we'll last another
four wins, and I don't care if they're ina
row or staggered. Just so long as we get
four wins before the 76ers," he said.
Riley and 76ers Coach Billy Cun-
ningham both agreed that no one player
would decide the series. They em-
phasized that the key would be good
team defense and few turnovers.
Riley said the Lakers have talked
about how to defense Toney, who scored
72 (46-26) points as the teams split two
regular season games. He plans to use
Johnson and substitute Mike.Cooper on

with a record one game better than the
Lakers.
"That's just psychological," said
Riley, whose team is shooting for its
seventh straight playoff road victory
since 1980. "Both teams won on the
road. The home court is just a place to
play."
The 76ers won one game in Atlanta,
another in Milwaukee, and twice in
Boston during this year's playoffs.
THE 7-2 ABDUL-Jabbar said there
wasn't much difference between the
teams that met two years ago for the
NBA title with Los Angeles winning, 4-
2.
"They have Toney and we have Bob
McAdoo," Abdul-Jabbar noted.
"McAdoo enables me to get a rest. He's
been a key element in our success."
Abdul-Jabbar said he wasn't concer-
ned about the long layoff waiting for the
Philadelphia-Boston series to end.
"AT THIS point you have to prepare
only for one team and it's easy to stay
ready," he said.
Erving dispelled the theory that the
extremely physical seven-game series
with the Celtics may have drained the
76ers.
"We have a few bumps and bruises,
but it was a small toll," said Erving.
But Erving expressed concern about
Johnson.
"MAGIC IS a great player. He does a
lot of different things. He's more of an
asset than a guy who does one thing,"
he explained. "He does a lot of things
well. Our job is to curtail those talents."
Erving said he felt the Lakers were
more explosive offensively than the
Celtics.
"But I think this is our year," said
Erving.
Los Angeles is expected to open with
Kurt Rambis and Jamaal Wilkes at
forwards, Abdul-Jabbar in the middle,
and Johnson and Norm Nixon in the
backcourt. Cunningham said

}46 1 21 V.
AP Photo the sharp-shooting guard. Philadelphia would use Erving and
JULIUS ERVING BATTLES Kevin McHale for a rebound during the Sixers- RILEY SAID he wasn't concerned Bobby Jones at forwards, Caldwell
Celtics semi-finals series. The Sixers will rely heavily on Dr. J. in their about the 76ers' home court advantage, Jones the center and Toney and
championship series against the Lakers. earned by finishing the regular season Maurice Cheeks at guards.
SPORTS OF THE DAILY:
ABC will televise USFL games
June and the playoff series and cham- start may have had its doubts about the nament yesterday at the Pine Hurst
NEW YORK (AP) - ABC and the pionship game in mid-July, said AFL's future. An ABC spokesman said, golf course in North Carolina.
U.S. Football League, which has yet to Arledge and Peter B. Spivak, the "apparently, there was not network - With his three-over-par performance,
announce the signing of any players or USFL's acting commissioner, television contract for the 1960 the the Michigan All-Big Ten golfer is eight
coaches, said yesterday they have ARLEDGE, WHO was head of ABC inaugural season." strokes off the pace of the leader, John
agreed to a two-year, multimillion- Sports when the network telecast the Arledge and Spivak said ABC had a Hammond of Columbus Georgia
dollar national network television con- first fivo soans of the old American fir tunva atr~t with a two- College who shot an opening 67.

tract.
The league, born publicly at a news
conference here May 11, thus becomes
the first new sports league in history to
win a network TV contract for its
inaugural season.
OFFICIALS OF the USFL said they
would now turn their attention to
national cable TV, local cable and local
television coverage.
Roone Arledge, president of ABC
News and Sports, said the network
plans live telecasts of 20 games during
the league's inaugural season, which is
scheduled to begin in March 1983. ABC
will have exclusive TV rights on those
days, he said. There will be no market
blackouts if TV games are notsold out.
The coverage will include a game
each Sunday afternoon,'one prime-
time midweek game probably the week
of the U.S. Open golf championships in

rs mIve seabu>V dCVl 11V A1
Football League, said he did not expect
the USFL to be an instant success in
terms of TV ratings.
"But given time and given exposure,
we expect the ratings to grow," said
Arledge, who added that sponsors had
shown "considerable interest" in the
new league.
He also indicated that ABC won a
bidding war with another network for
the USFL national rights.Broadcast in-
dustry sources said NBC had lost when
the sealed bids were opened earlier this
week. CBS, whose late winter and
spring sports schedule is filled with
college and pro basketball, was not in-
volved in the bidding, the sources said.
ABC'S COVERAGE and financial
support of the AFL has been credited
with the success of the league, which
eventually merged with the National
Football League, but the network at the

trm, Two-year agreement ii w
year option period and negotiating
rights thereafter.
Officials from both the network and
the league refused to discuss the money
involved. Argledge said only that the
money represented a "major commit-
ment" by the network.
MIKE TRAGER, the league's
television consultant, said that the con-
tract for the entire league was well
above the million-dollar mark. Broad-
cast sources placed the value of the
two-year contract at between $20
million and $24 million, meaning each
of the 12 teams would receive about $1
million a year.
Humenik shoots 75
SpeciaitotheDaiily
PINE HURST, N.C.- Michigan
golfer Ed Humenik shot a 75 in the
opening round of the NCAA golf tour-

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