Daily sportswriters Ryan (Boston Globe) and Pluto (Akron-Beacon Journal) dissect NBA basketball with this play-by-play...

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FORTY-EIGHT MINUTES: A Night in the Life of the NBA

Daily sportswriters Ryan (Boston Globe) and Pluto (Akron-Beacon Journal) dissect NBA basketball with this play-by-play account of a scratch-and-claw overtime victory by the Boston Celtics over an upstart Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavs coach Lenny Wilkens, molding a rookie-rich team for an organization in turnaround, is the book's central figure and a thankfully life-size, intelligent guide--and Ryan and Pluto know their game. Off-the-court details are especially good; for example, Wilkens gets players onto the practice floor to keep them from watching soaps all day. The play-by-play is good and bad: good in showing how varied the players' styles and talents really are, bad in covering a lot of dribbling before reaching the more fascinating asides on such topics as the death of the hook shot, a Boston Garden floor worthy of an abandoned building, and crazy officiating (referee Mel Whitworth barely gets a call right all night and doesn't even know the score at the end). Also good are capsule histories of lesser-known players such as Danny Ainge, the fastest white in the league since the mid-70's. Glibness mars the book in spots (""Stevie Wonder could have made this foul call""), but the lively writing otherwise captures the suspense of the seesaw battle. Final score: Celtics 133, Cavaliers 128--and this chronicle good but not a Hall-of-Famer.

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 1987

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1987