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HOOP SCOOP
Marty Burns
February 10, 1997
At week's end the Pistons had the second-best defense in the NBA (86.3 points allowed per game), the fourth-best record (33-12) and the second-best player (forward Grant Hill). Yet Detroit coach Doug Collins gave his team no shot at winning the Eastern Conference crown. "Ever see the movie A League of Their Own?" he asks. "That's the Bulls right now." Still, Collins is actively campaigning for Hill, who leads the Pistons in scoring (21.4 points a game), rebounds (8.7), assists (6.8), steals (1.8) and minutes (39.1), to win the MVP award. "He should," Collins says. "There's not one guy who can cover him one-on-one." If he really wants to help Hill's cause, however, he might want to cease that campaign around Michael Jordan at this weekend's All-Star festivities....
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February 10, 1997

Hoop Scoop

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At week's end the Pistons had the second-best defense in the NBA (86.3 points allowed per game), the fourth-best record (33-12) and the second-best player (forward Grant Hill). Yet Detroit coach Doug Collins gave his team no shot at winning the Eastern Conference crown. "Ever see the movie A League of Their Own?" he asks. "That's the Bulls right now." Still, Collins is actively campaigning for Hill, who leads the Pistons in scoring (21.4 points a game), rebounds (8.7), assists (6.8), steals (1.8) and minutes (39.1), to win the MVP award. "He should," Collins says. "There's not one guy who can cover him one-on-one." If he really wants to help Hill's cause, however, he might want to cease that campaign around Michael Jordan at this weekend's All-Star festivities....

While at the scorer's table last Saturday in Cleveland, Hornets sixth man Dell Curry was asked whom he was replacing. He replied, "The one shooting all the bricks." Moments later he checked in for guard Tony Smith....

Orlando forward Dennis Scott, who grew up in the Washington area, got 72 tickets for friends and family when the Magic played the Bullets at USAir Arena on Jan. 27. He then missed all 10 of his field goal attempts in a 102-82 loss. "I always wanted to make history in this building," Scott said, "but not like this."

...With 18-year-old Kobe Bryant being groomed as the Lakers' point guard of the future, L.A. will likely shop Nick Van Exel after the season....

After the Cavaliers beat the Nets by holding them to a franchise-low 62 points on Jan. 28, Cleveland coach Mike Fratello said, "We've all had nights when the ball will not fall for you. It can happen to any one of us." The next night the Cavaliers scored a franchise-low 65 points in a loss to the Knicks....

David Robinson, still rehabbing from a broken left foot, says he wants to come back while the Spurs, 11-31 at week's end, still have a shot at making the playoffs. In other words, by the opener next season....

The Lakers are worried about losing promising center Travis Knight after the season. Knight will be a free agent, and because of salary cap rules, Los Angeles can offer him only a 20% raise on his $220,000 rookie minimum salary. Bet Magic owner Rich DeVos, still smoldering over the Lakers' wooing of Shaquille O'Neal, would love to gain a bit of revenge by signing Knight....

Ryan Minor, the 6'7" second-round pick out of Oklahoma who was a washout with the 76ers, has left the Oklahoma City Cavalry of the CBA. An infielder in college, he signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles....

Last Thursday, 33-year-old Jack Haley signed with the Nets and 37-year-old Tom Chambers with the Hornets. Somewhere Paul Mokeski is working on his hook shot....

Because of injuries and excess weight, Clippers center Stanley Roberts has missed 205 games over the last four seasons, including 25 this year with a bad back. He returned to action on Jan. 28 against the Hawks, played 10 minutes, shot 1 for 5 from the floor, then sat out practice the next day because his back and legs hurt. Clippers coach Bill Fitch noted an improvement in Roberts's appearance, however. "It looks like Stanley lost some weight," Fitch said. "He got a haircut."

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