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NBA ROUNDUP | News and notes



Published: Sat, April 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Race for final playoff spots tight: Recent slumps have all but removed the New York Knicks from the playoff picture, paring the field in the race to claim one of the top eight spots in the East. It's down to a three-way contest among Philadelphia, Orlando and New Jersey for one spot. A look at where each team stands entering the final three weeks of the regular season:*Philadelphia. The 76ers will be without Chris Webber for the next week to 10 days after he injured his shoulder in a loss at Phoenix on Wednesday, meaning he'll probably miss games against Dallas, Boston, Cleveland and Indiana as the 76ers play four of their next five games against playoff teams. The 76ers split the season series with Orlando and are 1-2 against the Nets with one game remaining against them.*Orlando. Losing 10 of 16 games in March, including a seven-game slide that included a coaching change, knocked the Magic under .500 and made them the favorite to drop completely out of the playoff picture. Orlando's skid actually dates back to the ill-advised trade that sent Cuttino Mobley to Sacramento on Jan. 10. Based on its record against conference opponents, Orlando would lose a tiebreaker to Philadelphia. The Magic have gone 2-1 against the Nets with one game remaining against them.*New Jersey. Vince Carter has scored 30 or more points 18 times since being acquired from Toronto, but the Nets have been unable to generate more than a five-game winning streak since he arrived. All of New Jersey's remaining games are against Eastern Conference opponents, and if the Nets can defeat Orlando (April 1) and Philadelphia (April 17), they'll have the tiebreaker advantage over both teams.Wilt's 100 revisited: Coming out next month is a book by sportswriter Gary Pomerantz taking an inside look at the night in March 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA-record 100 points against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa. One of the book's humorous asides deals with Philadelphia Warriors owner Eddie Gottlieb, who was one of the NBA's founding fathers but also was notoriously cheap. In March 1960, St. Louis Hawks general manager Marty Blake phoned Gottlieb to ask if he could attend a Warriors playoff game against the Celtics. "Marty, we're sold out. Just bring your own chair," Gottlieb replied. So Blake did just that; he carried a folding chair into Convention Hall, set it beside the court, then carried it home afterward. Dave Zinkoff, the Warriors' (and later the 76ers') legendary public address announcer, used to drive Gottlieb around town, and even to New York and Hershey. Sometimes, sportswriter Jim Heffernan of The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin went with them. Heffernan finally realized that Gottlieb timed their departures to New York so that they would arrive at Madison Square Garden just after 6 p.m., when the parking meters on the streets no longer needed to be fed. During Chamberlain's remarkable 1961-62 season, he averaged 50.4 points and scored in the fifties 30 times, in the sixties 12 times and in the seventies twice. Another snippet from the book: Syracuse's Johnny (Red) Kerr walked into a local bar once after playing Chamberlain. "How many did ya get, Red?" the bartender asked. "Thirty-six," Kerr replied. "Well, then, set 'em up," the bartender exclaimed happily. "My boy got thirty-six!" Delivering the beer, the bartender asked, "How many did Wilt get?" Sheepishly, Kerr said: "Sixty-two, I think."

Race for final playoff spots tight: Recent slumps have all but removed the New York Knicks from the playoff picture, paring the field in the race to claim one of the top eight spots in the East. It's down to a three-way contest among Philadelphia, Orlando and New Jersey for one spot. A look at where each team stands entering the final three weeks of the regular season:*Philadelphia. The 76ers will be without Chris Webber for the next week to 10 days after he injured his shoulder in a loss at Phoenix on Wednesday, meaning he'll probably miss games against Dallas, Boston, Cleveland and Indiana as the 76ers play four of their next five games against playoff teams. The 76ers split the season series with Orlando and are 1-2 against the Nets with one game remaining against them.*Orlando. Losing 10 of 16 games in March, including a seven-game slide that included a coaching change, knocked the Magic under .500 and made them the favorite to drop completely out of the playoff picture. Orlando's skid actually dates back to the ill-advised trade that sent Cuttino Mobley to Sacramento on Jan. 10. Based on its record against conference opponents, Orlando would lose a tiebreaker to Philadelphia. The Magic have gone 2-1 against the Nets with one game remaining against them.*New Jersey. Vince Carter has scored 30 or more points 18 times since being acquired from Toronto, but the Nets have been unable to generate more than a five-game winning streak since he arrived. All of New Jersey's remaining games are against Eastern Conference opponents, and if the Nets can defeat Orlando (April 1) and Philadelphia (April 17), they'll have the tiebreaker advantage over both teams.Wilt's 100 revisited: Coming out next month is a book by sportswriter Gary Pomerantz taking an inside look at the night in March 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA-record 100 points against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa. One of the book's humorous asides deals with Philadelphia Warriors owner Eddie Gottlieb, who was one of the NBA's founding fathers but also was notoriously cheap. In March 1960, St. Louis Hawks general manager Marty Blake phoned Gottlieb to ask if he could attend a Warriors playoff game against the Celtics. "Marty, we're sold out. Just bring your own chair," Gottlieb replied. So Blake did just that; he carried a folding chair into Convention Hall, set it beside the court, then carried it home afterward. Dave Zinkoff, the Warriors' (and later the 76ers') legendary public address announcer, used to drive Gottlieb around town, and even to New York and Hershey. Sometimes, sportswriter Jim Heffernan of The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin went with them. Heffernan finally realized that Gottlieb timed their departures to New York so that they would arrive at Madison Square Garden just after 6 p.m., when the parking meters on the streets no longer needed to be fed. During Chamberlain's remarkable 1961-62 season, he averaged 50.4 points and scored in the fifties 30 times, in the sixties 12 times and in the seventies twice. Another snippet from the book: Syracuse's Johnny (Red) Kerr walked into a local bar once after playing Chamberlain. "How many did ya get, Red?" the bartender asked. "Thirty-six," Kerr replied. "Well, then, set 'em up," the bartender exclaimed happily. "My boy got thirty-six!" Delivering the beer, the bartender asked, "How many did Wilt get?" Sheepishly, Kerr said: "Sixty-two, I think."

Associated Press




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