SWITCH! Mookie Blaylock shoots too many treys for a point guard, and Steve Smith doesn't shoot enough for a shooting guard. Nevertheless, they give the Hawks a formidable backcourt duo. Blaylock, who last season was second in the league in steals, should be able to gamble even more now that he has eraser center Dikembe Mutombo (page 112) to cover for him.
SWEETNESS AND LIGHT: Last season's rift between coach Lenny Wilkens and forward Ken Norman has apparently healed. Norman figures to share time at small forward with Alan Henderson, who could move into the power-forward slot whenever Christian Laettner's back acts up.
STAN HASTEN, TAKE A BOW: Kasten, the Hawks' president, has put together a team that should improve on last season's 46-36 record. Mutombo will anchor one of the league's best defenses.
BACKCOURT HARD HATS: Point guard Terrell Brandon and shooting guard Bobby Phills are industrious late bloomers. Brandon served four years as Mark Price's backup before becoming a starter after Price was traded to Washington last season. The result: a breakthrough season in which Brandon averaged 19.3 points and 6.5 assists.
GLASS CLEANERS NEEDED: Former All-Star power forward Tyrone Hill seems to be his old board-sweeping self after sitting out early last season with a bruised spinal cord. Further rebounding help could come from Ukrainian-born rookie power forward Vitaly Potapenko.
LOOK OUT BELOW! Coach Mike Fratello's patented slowdown style may again lull foes into defeat, but the frontcourt's play may determine whether the Cavs improve on last year's 47 wins.
COACH DAVE'S TOP 10 WISH LIST: With apologies to David Letterman, new Hornets coach Dave Cowens should hope:
10) Rookie Tony Delk makes a smooth transition from college shooting guard to pro point guard, so Muggsy Bogues will have a solid backup.