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Archive for Thursday, April 12, 1990

BENCH ROLE AGREEABLE TO MANNING

April 12, 1990

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Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES Toward the end of his second season in the NBA, Danny Manning has found a home.

It's just not where anyone expected. It's the bench.

Manning, the Los Angeles Clippers' No. 1 draft choice out of Kansas in 1988, has become the team's sixth man. According to coach Don Casey, Manning's new role has improved the team.

"He is a very good team player," Casey said after Manning contributed 14 points in a 98-90 win over Dallas. "He's all about winning. If he wants to be a sixth man, he can be a very good sixth man. His whole game is making strikes."

Against the Mavericks, Manning came of the bench for the 13th time in the last 19 games.

He may not be a lifer in the role, but it's working for now. Manning, who moved to the bench in favor of Ken Norman without complaint, is in his best stretch of the season, maybe of his short 92-game NBA career.

"I feel good about the way I'm playing," Manning said. "To tell you the truth, I'm just happy to be back on the court playing in the NBA, whether it's as a starter or coming off the bench."

Manning missed most of last season with a knee injury that took almost a year of rehabilitation.

"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable with it," he said. "The main difference to me is coming off the bench you play in spurts. It seems like everything happens so fast. When I'm on the court, I'm looking to make some kind of surge."

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