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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

May 25, 1999|SCOTT MOE

What: http://www.nba.com/playoffs99

It only makes sense to start with the source when looking for NBA playoff information. But on the NBA's playoff Web site, there's a lot more than just information.

Sure, game stories, playoff series recaps and a bracket are on the site, plenty for someone looking for the basics.

How would you rather find out the best way to defend Karl Malone, from NBC's Peter Vecsey or Portland's Brian Grant? Amazingly, it's much easier to find out from the latter thanks to this Web site.

The site features a series of reports by NBA commentators, players writing for the site and answering e-mail questions. The great thing is the players, headlined by Grant but including Jeff Hornacek and Malik Rose, not only answer selected e-mails, but the names of those who asked the questions are also shown.

There are video clips from key playoff moments this year, even though these haven't been the most thrilling.

But clips of the NBA's greatest playoff moments are available on the site too, as are clips from the NBA finals, with the oldest, a small, rough-looking one, from the 1947 series between Philadelphia and Chicago.

Getting back to 1999, diagrams, both still drawings and animations, are available for every playoff team, including, of course, the Utah pick-and-roll.

There are also brief capsules for each series and a position-by-position scouting report for a Utah-Indiana final, although the Trail Blazers, Knicks and Spurs have something to say about that.

A small on-line souvenir shop and some interactive games, along with numerous photos and features on these and previous playoffs, can also be found on the site, one that not only is informative, but filled with enough features to entertain through those 150-point playoff games.

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