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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

April 28, 1992|ALLAN MALAMUD

NBA playoff fever has not struck Los Angeles in epidemic proportions. There are still nearly 2,000 tickets left for the Clipper-Utah Jazz game tonight at the Sports Arena and a few hundred remaining for the Laker-Portland Trail Blazer game at the Forum on Wednesday. . . .

If the Clippers ever needed a legitimate home-court advantage, it is now. . . .

Utah has been exploiting the Clippers' lack of a solid jump shooter. The acquisition of one has to be Elgin Baylor's No. 1 off-season priority. . . .

The Clippers' improvement of 14 regular-season victories tied them with New Jersey and Miami for second highest in the NBA. Cleveland had an increase of 24. . . .

The difference between the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks could be that the Pistons have a couple of go-to guys at crunch time, Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars. . . .

The Chicago Bulls might not lose a playoff game until the championship series--if then. . . .

Circle Aug. 15 on your calendar. Eric Dickerson and the Raiders play the Rams in an exhibition game at Anaheim Stadium. . . .

The Indianapolis Colts picked defensive lineman Anthony McCoy of Florida and running back Ronald Humphrey of Mississippi Valley State with the fourth- and eighth-round draft choices they got from the Raiders in the Dickerson trade. . . .

The first-round selections of sophomore quarterbacks Todd Marinovich and Tommy Maddox the last couple of years won't do much for the NFL's stay-in-school campaign. . . .

Joe Campbell, the little running back from Middle Tennessee State who was chosen by the Rams in the sixth round, was nicknamed "Frog" by his grandparents because he was bowlegged. . . .

By not playing, former Miami quarterback Craig Erickson improved by one round. He was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round last year and by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round this year. . . .

For the first time since 1976, USC had only one player drafted in the first six rounds. . . .

Sleeper: Mario Bailey, the wide receiver from Washington who outplayed Desmond Howard in the Rose Bowl but wasn't taken until the sixth round by the Houston Oilers. . . .

The Kings' performance against Edmonton Sunday night might have been their best in the series. Wayne Gretzky scored two goals. Paul Coffey dictated much of the flow. Luc Robitaille hung around the net. They outshot Edmonton, 44-25. About the only thing they didn't do was win the game. . . .

That ceremony honoring retiring Larry Robinson at the end of the first period was well deserved, but didn't it tell the crowd that this might be the Kings' last game of the season at the Forum? . . .

I'm still waiting for Kelly Hrudey to get hot. . . .

Another goaltender, Ray LeBlanc, will try to regain his Winter Olympic form for the United States in the World Championships that begin today at Prague, Czechoslovakia. . . .

What a week it might be for Pat Valenzuela, who rode Fly Till Dawn to victory in the San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita on Sunday and will ride Arazi in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. . . .

Do you believe in miracles? Al Michaels' Barraq won the fifth race at Santa Anita on Monday.

Thumbs up to Santa Anita for hiring Jack Disney, former Hollywood Park publicity director, as media liaison. . . .

George Foreman plans to visit Larry Holmes' training camp and give the kid tips on how to fight Evander Holyfield. . . .

Buck (Tombstone) Smith, a welterweight from Oklahoma City who has a 105-2-1 record with 77 knockouts, will appear on a Top Rank card that will be televised by ESPN May 7 at Bozeman, Mont. Smith's motto: Have car, will travel. . . .

Among the strongest arguments against golf's absurd policy of following up on the recommendations of TV viewers who call in and point out rules violations is that it discriminates against the few golfers whose rounds are televised. . . .

It is nice to see that one of the most exciting plays in baseball--the straight steal of home plate--has been pulled off twice this season already. . . .

News item: The Colorado Rockies have sold 24,000 season tickets for 1993. Reaction: Several years ago, Carl Scheer, former general manager of the Denver Nuggets, predicted that a major league baseball team would draw 3 million people its first season in Denver. . . .

This may be the year of the extra-inning game. . . .

Now that the Dodgers have Tom Candiotti and John Candelaria, they ought to bring back Candy Maldonado. . . .

Only the Kansas City Royals were able to double their victory total in their 18th game of the season.

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