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Evaluating the players

LakersForwards

James Worthy (6-9, 225)

Age: 30

Strengths: With his back to the basket, Worthy is as quick as any player in the game, spinning to the goal in either direction and finishing plays with dunks or soft jumpers.

Weaknesses: Only a fair defender against smaller, quicker players, he will be hampered even more because of an ankle sprain.

Sam Perkins (6-9{, 250)

Age: 29

Strengths: His strength is really in his all-around game, where he is an equally good jump-shooter, post-up player, shot-blocker and rebounder.

Weaknesses: Not physical enough for a player his size, he too often treads outside the lane at the offensive end.

Center

Vlade Divac (7-1, 248)

Age: 23

Strengths: For a big man, he handles and passes and shoots the ball extremely well, and he is also a fine shot-blocker.

Weaknesses: On defense, he resorts to flopping when he needs to spend more time on his feet.

Guards

Magic Johnson (6-9, 220)

Age: 31

Strengths: A complete player, all that's left for him to do now is improve his defense, which is only average. But the Lakers usually assign him to the weakest offensive player, allowing him to play the passing lanes, which means he won't guard Michael Jordan.

Weaknesses: Sometimes he tries to do too much when the team is struggling, such as taking more shots when he should be distributing the basketball.

Byron Scott (6-4, 193)

Age: 30

Strengths: Great streak shooter who can be deadly in the clutch.

Weaknesses: He can be a one-dimensional player who ignores other areas of his game if his jumper isn't falling.

Bulls

Forwards

Scottie Pippen (6-7, 210)

Age: 25

Strengths: Brilliant open-court player with underrated defensive skills.

Weaknesses: Gambling defensive style sometimes leaves him vulnerable against strong offensive players.

Horace Grant (6-10, 220)

Age: 25

Strengths: Best rebounder on the team, and a better-than-advertised jump-shooter.

Weaknesses: A strong in-the-paint defender, Grant struggles on the wing against quicker players.

Center

Bill Cartwright (7-1, 245)

Age: 33

Strengths: Possesses a soft shooting touch and deadly turnaround jumper (he and Grant are shooting a team-high 56.2 percent in the playoffs).

Weaknesses: The oldest player on the team, he averages less than 30 minutes a game and is not a shot-blocking threat.

Guards

Michael Jordan (6-6, 198)

Age: 28

Strengths: Unlimited shooting range, beats defenders with either hand, dazzling passer, disruptive defensive force. Can _ and will _ do it all.

Weaknesses: It used to be that Jordan couldn't find teammates good enough to play with him, but that is no longer the case.

John Paxson (6-2, 185)

Age: 30

Strengths: Good open jump-shooter and knows how to find the open man.

Weaknesses: A bit slow for point guard, he also plays less than 30 minutes a game.

_ JOHN HARRIS

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