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:24 Questions
Phil Taylor
November 08, 1993
Before our pro basketball package winds down, we take a shot at answering some burning queries about the upcoming season
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November 08, 1993

:24 Questions

Before our pro basketball package winds down, we take a shot at answering some burning queries about the upcoming season

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:19 Can Pat Riley coach?

Rhetorical question. Of course he can. But it might be time for Riley to make a few subtle adjustments. They probably have the deepest roster in the league, and Riley would be wise to distribute the minutes more widely than he has in the past. That won't be easy—at shooting guard alone, he has budding star John Starks, a healthier Rolando Blackman and second-year-man Hubert Davis, whose shining preseason has earned him the No. 1 backup job—but Riley needs to do it. Thirty-one-year-old Patrick Ewing especially needs more rest.

:18 Why did one G.M. tell New Jersey Net coach Chuck Daly that this season would be the most challenging of Daly's life?

Let's see, it could be because the death of guard Drazen Petrovic, who scored 22.3 points per game last season, left a hole in Daly's team emotionally and professionally. Or it could be because Daly has a pair of underachieving pivotmen, Benoit Benjamin and Dwayne Schintzius, of whom Daly says, "I'm not sure either one of them is mentally strong enough to be a starter." Or it could be because his starting power forward, Derrick Coleman, turned down an eight-year, $69 million contract extension (page 88) and may be distracted by thoughts of becoming a restricted free agent after the season. Or maybe it's because Coleman's backup, Armon Gilliam, has played for Phoenix, Charlotte and the Philadelphia 76ers and been slammed by teammates or coaches in each place. Other than that, the season should be a piece of cake for Daly.

:17 Can you list the playoff teams in each conference from top to bottom?

In the East they will be the Knicks, Cavs, Hornets, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Bulls, Nets and Miami Heat. The Pistons and Atlanta Hawks are standing by in case New Jersey or Miami falters.

In the West the Suns, SuperSonics, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Spurs, Utah Jazz, Nuggets and Golden State Warriors will reach the postseason. The two Los Angeles teams will push the Nuggets and Warriors for the last two spots.

And even though you didn't ask, New York will beat Phoenix in the Finals.

:16 What do subway sandwiches have to do with Orlando rookie guard Anfernee Hardaway?

When Hardaway, the third pick in the draft, was chosen the Subway Sub of the game—a promotion sponsored by the sandwich-store chain in Orlando—after a fair performance in his first home exhibition game, Magic fans booed. Hardaway got off to a rocky start, partly because he took a hard line in contract negotiations and partly because some observers think the Magic made a mistake in trading the rights to top pick Chris Webber to the Warriors for Hardaway and three first-round selections—in '96, '98 and 2000. Fortunately for Hardaway, it doesn't appear that Orlando will trade point guard Scott Skiles, a crowd favorite. Look for Hardaway and Skiles to play together in the backcourt.

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