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The NBA : For Celtics (6-0), Determination Does It

November 17, 1987|Gordon Edes

About that other 6-0 team: This is the best start the Boston Celtics have had in the Larry Bird era.

"It's a matter of determination," said Celtic center Robert Parish, who has had at least a dozen rebounds in each of the six wins. "We have it back. We're healthy, or at least the guys who are playing are healthy. And we're getting a lot of easy baskets because we're running more."

One Celtic who still isn't fully recuperated is Kevin McHale, although team President Red Auerbach, after watching the 6-foot 11-inch forward work out, said he'd take what he sees right now.

McHale, who played through the playoffs on a broken bone in his foot, has a screw in the foot now and isn't expected back for at least several weeks.

Said McHale: "You make a decision and live with it. But I learned that if you have a broken foot, you should sit your butt down and not play basketball."

Coincidence or not, team doctor Thomas Silva was fired last summer and replaced by Dr. Arnold Scheller, who performed the surgery on McHale.

Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone, ejected for the first time in his career, by referee Hue Hollins, in an opening-game loss to the Dallas Mavericks, still doesn't understand how his action--he responded to a call by Hollins with mock applause--resulted in his being tossed.

"I'm probably the first guy in NBA history to get thrown out for not saying anything," Malone said. "I realize a lot of athletes have big egos. But any time you can't clap your hands . . . That's got to make Marv Albert's nuttiest plays of the week.

"It's gotten to the point where I don't know what I can do and what I can't do. Hue won't talk to me. I don't know what he'll allow. This is my third year and we haven't got a break from him yet."

San Antonio Spurs Coach Bob Weiss on former Laker center Frank Brickowski: "We've worked on giving him a few moves. He used to just bull his way to the basket, but we've worked quite a bit on his 15-foot jump shot and his hook shot. And he's the heart of our defense. He knows how to play defense."

Brickowski, who averaged 3.9 points a game in 37 games with the Lakers last season, including a high game of 14, is averaging 14 a game with the Spurs.

"Last year I don't think the Lakers ran one play for me," Brickowski said. "That's understandable, because of my role, but it takes away your confidence in the way you play."

Weiss on the Spurs biding their time until David Robinson arrives: "We talked about how great (signing Robinson) is for the franchise, but we're not sitting around waiting for two years. We have a lot of people who want to play. If this were a team of aging veterans waiting for David, this would be a dismal-looking season. But we're not."

What was supposedly a mediocre draft isn't looking that way to Coach Pat Riley, not after the Lakers got a look at the Seattle SuperSonics' Derrick McKey, the ninth player taken, and San Antonio's Greg Anderson, the 23rd picked.

"It was a great draft," Riley said. "Look at Anderson. He was picked 23rd but is stepping right up and making a real impact.

"With more teams having tremendous athletes--with such quickness and running more--you're going to see 15-point leads in this league can be washed out in no time."

Stan Kasten, Atlanta Hawks general manager, is convinced that point guard Glenn (Doc) Rivers took a bad rap for the Hawks' ouster from the playoffs last season by the Detroit Pistons.

"I've tried to explain to people that we were real vulnerable behind Doc," Kasten said. "Spud (Webb) is a point guard, but he's more of a role player. I said, 'If Doc goes down, God forbid.'

"Well, he went 82 games and we won 57. Then in the first half of our first playoff game, he sprained his ankle and went down. That's the whole story."

Celtic General Manager Jan Volk on Brad Lohaus, the 7-footer the Celtics drafted from Iowa in the second round.

"He's an NBA-caliber player, even better than advertised. He does more things well than we ourselves thought. He's rebounded better than we thought he would."

Said New Jersey Net Coach Dave Wohl: "I think he's the perfect player for the Celtics. He can run, he shoots the medium-range jumper and he has a nice little hook inside. I think he's a great find for them."

The Houston Rockets, desperate for backcourt help, intend to try newly acquired Purvis Short at big guard.

"I haven't played there in four or five years," said Short, whose rainbow jump shots were a staple of the Warrior offense for the last nine seasons. "It's going to be an adjustment, especially defensively, guarding quicker guys."

Laker forward Mychal Thompson, on the derisive Sta-Puf marshmallow man signs that greeted his return to San Antonio last week: "I kind of liked it, because I am soft and sweet."

Add Thompson: In the Lakers' 147-130 victory over San Antonio Sunday, Thompson was called for charging into Spur rookie Greg (Cadillac) Anderson, even though Anderson was hanging from the rim at the time of the collision.

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