Midseason Report (P2)

Detroit – No low-post threat hurts bid to be among East’s elite

The Pistons are possibly a capable low-post player away from being a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. Joe Dumars, the vice president of player personnel, has made it dear he will not break up the nucleus of this team unless he can land a superstar player So the Pistons continue to patch the hole in the middle with Fs Terry Mills and Christian Laettner, and they pay a price. The team is athletic and skilled. Because it plays hard, it, should get into the playoffs and, be depending on the matchup, perhaps win a round. But without a big presence in the middle, it will be hard-pressed to beat the elite in the East.


Midseason Report

Atlanta – Better help defense could turn around poor effort

The team isn’t getting the effort it needs on defense. Opponents drive around Hawks perimeter defenders with ease, and C Dikembe Mutombo has become reluctant to step over and help out because his teammates do not rotate to pick up his unguarded man. In the NBA, where the talent is so good that keeping a player from penetrating or getting open off screens is virtually impossible, defense without help is poor defense. That’s why the Hawks, first in the league in defense last season (84.3 ppg), are allowing 102 points per game this season. Until there’s a commitment by the players to cover each other’s back, the inability to stop teams at key moments will continue.


Flying farther: it’s the dimples.

According to the laws of aerodynamics, a smooth surface provides the least wind resistance. It stands to reason, then, that a smooth-surfaced ball would fly faster and farther through the air than one with a rough surface. If that were true, golf balls would cost a dime a dozen.

But with aerodynamic properties similar to the wing of an airplane, golf balls are perhaps the most complex spheroids in sports today. A golf ball’s performance is largely determined by its dimple pattern, a feature that was developed through astute observation and has evolved over time.