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Original Issue

More Awards... ...and Predictions

[More Awards...]
Here are the rest of our trophy winners, honored for their
performance in leading roles

DEFENSIVE PLAYER: BEN WALLACE, F, Pistons. The foundation of
Detroit's success.

MOST IMPROVED: MATT HARPRING, F, Jazz. As hard-nosed as ever, the
26-year-old journeyman has found his touch along the Utah
baseline, averaging 18.4 points through Sunday (up from 11.8 last
year) on 51.0% shooting.

COACH: Don Nelson, Mavericks. His zone defense has lifted Dallas
to the NBA's best record, and his freewheeling offense is the
league's most entertaining.

EXECUTIVE: DONNIE WALSH, Pacers. Indiana has a solid shot at
reaching the Finals for the second time in four years--with a
different coach and a much younger team.

PROPHET: MARK CUBAN, Mavericks. A year ago the league fined him
$500,000 for his beefs about the refs. Now the Dallas owner is
mum, secure in the knowledge that many around the league agree
with his criticism.

[...and Predictions]
What will be the fate of MJ, the world champs and the most
coveted free-agents-in-waiting?

MICHAEL JORDAN will steal the East's last playoff berth for
Washington in spite of the maddening inconsistency of the
Wizards, who are too old at some positions and too young at
others--and will lose in the first round.

THE LAKERS will also make the postseason, rallying to grab the
seventh spot, but amid the clang of cowbells in Sacramento, they
too will go out in the opening round.

JASON KIDD will be named MVP before leading the Nets to the
Finals, where they will lose in five games to the Kings.

CARMELO ANTHONY, the 6'8" freshman forward from Syracuse, will be
the second selection in June after the league's ruling that
Yugoslav center Darko Milicic is too young to enter the draft.

with their current teams this summer, while 40-year-old John
Stockton will sign with the Jazz for one more year--and
39-year-old teammate Karl Malone will re-up for two more.
--Ian Thomsen