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Scorecard
May 31, 1999
NBA Playoffs CLANKS SO MUCH
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May 31, 1999

Scorecard

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Don Shula
Former Dolphins coach

Billie Jean King
Tennis Hall of Famer

Pat Croce
76ers owner

School

Florida Atlantic

Penn

West Chester

Previous Academic Credentials

B.A. in philosophy from John Carroll

Three years at Cal State-L.A.

Benned from a West Chester dorm for fighting as a sophomore

Graduation Day Tribute

"Don Shula is the embodiment of winning"

"An athletic and role model...you played Bobby Riggs and won"

"In this home of the cheese steak, you're our hot dog"

NBA Playoffs
CLANKS SO MUCH

The playoffs have been thrilling, hard-fought and often as ugly as one of Shaq's out-of-whaq free throws. The low point came in Game 1 of the Portland-Utah series, when the Trail Blazers scored an NBA postseason record-low five points in a quarter en route to a 93-83 loss to the Jazz. But the playoffs have only lowlighted a problem that began a decade ago—the leaguewide trend toward lower scoring, lousier shooting and generally brutal basketball.

That's why the NBA has quietly convened an eight-member committee to propose rules changes. "You're going to see a different game next year," Suns president Jerry Colangelo, a member of the committee, told The Arizona Republic. The panel will consider such new wrinkles as widening the lane to give players more room to move near the basket, legalizing zone defenses to encourage passing and perimeter shooting, and adding several seconds to the shot clock to give teams more time to run plays. The league will do almost anything to enliven what fans and even players have been calling ugly games.

"A lot of our rules are bad, but that's going to be addressed," says 76ers coach Larry Brown. "I like wider lanes. I like a 30-second clock—or they could wait and start the clock after you cross half-court. I would allow any defense, but I'd move the three-point line closer to the basket. If a team is going to play a zone, let it pay the penalty.

Blazers assistant Bill Musselman is another coach who thinks it's time for a change. "NBA offenses are too stereotyped," says Musselman. "There are no surprises. All the Rockets do is have Barkley or Olajuwon post up on the left side of the floor and wait for the double team. In one game they had 67 possessions, and 53 of them went right in to Barkley or Olajuwon. Utah has been running the same offense for 10 years."

In each of those years NBA scoring declined. This season Allen Iverson's 26.8 average was the lowest for a league leader since Paul Arizin's 25.6 in 1956-57, and Iverson's 41.2% shooting was the worst for a scoring champ since George Mikan's 40.7% in 1949-50. "They can change the rules all they want," says Steve Smith, who led the Hawks with an 18.7 average while shooting only 40.2%, "but many guys in tills league just can't shoot It's that simple."

Andro and the Law
Czar Trouble

White House drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey thinks Mark McGwire's muscle builder might soon be contrabandro. "How can andro be banned by so many sports but tolerated by baseball?" says McCaffrey, citing a recent 500% jump in the use of androstenedione by teenagers. "The concern is that five or 10 years from now we'll see that it has a harmful impact on adolescent athletes."

McCaffrey is alarmed by studies showing that some products sold as andro in the U.S. are spiked with high levels of testosterone. Two weeks ago he asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate. The agency will test whether andro fits the definition of a controlled substance under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act. If it does—a result that wouldn't surprise McCaffrey—the supplement would immediately become illegal without a prescription. "We want to have an answer before the first game of the World Series," says the czar.

Baseball Comeback
Patient Hitter

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