While Spurs coach Bob Hill and his team continue to insist they don't miss Dennis Rodman, the statistics put up by Rodman's replacements say otherwise.

Hill is on his fourth starting power forward after unsuccessfully trying J.R. Reid, Carl Herrera and Greg ``Cadillac'' Anderson. The Anderson experiment was short-lived.

In a double-overtime loss to the Knicks last week, Anderson attempted no field goals or free throws, got two rebounds and one assist, and picked up three fouls in all of 12 minutes. In a home loss to Seattle, his line was no shots, no free throws, no rebounds, one block and two personals in 4 minutes.

Hill is now looking at 7-foot center Will Perdue as a potential solution.

In the Seattle game, Perdue started the second half at power forward and had 10 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in 27 minutes.

He moved into the starting lineup for Thursday's game at Dallas and helped the Spurs break a three-game losing streak with six points and 15 rebounds in 33 minutes.

Said David Robinson, who gets along far better with Perdue than with his former frontcourt mate: ``Will is real active. He's on the offensive boards every shot. I feel good about Will starting.''


PAYING THE PRICE: The NBA's coffers will miss the replacement referees.

The hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines that flowed from all those ejections and fights will slow to the usual trickle now that the regulars are back.

During the 5 1-2-week replacement regime, 27 players were suspended for a total of 29 games. By contrast, just 21 players were suspended all of the 1994-95 season.


OLD HAND: New York guard Derek Harper, frustrated by the Knicks' failure to give him a contract extension and hearing rumors that he will be dealt to the New Jersey Nets for Kenny Anderson, isn't letting off-court distractions bother him.

At 34, Harper is seen as too old to make a lucrative extension worthwhile, and the Knicks covet New York native Anderson, who will be a free agent at the end of the season and has already rejected one huge contract offer from the Nets, despite his brittle physique.

Harper, meanwhile, has simply gone out and scored more than 16 points a game and is second on the team in minutes, averaging more than 38.

``The one thing you have to realize is, in this business there's not a lot of loyalty,'' Harper said, ``so I'm not really worried about it. I'm just trying to have a little fun.''

Nothing will happen immediately with Anderson, because he is in the middle of changing agents. Unhappy with Richard Howell, Anderson is thought to be switching to superagent David Falk, who has already engineered one trade of a free-agent-to-be this season, Alonzo Mourning.


UNTOUCHABLE: As impressive as Michael Jordan's play has been this season, with two 40-plus games to his credit, it comes nowhere near what Wilt Chamberlain did 14 years ago this weekend.

In seven games from Dec. 16 to Dec. 29, Chamberlain scored 50 or more for the Philadelphia Warriors, a feat that likely will never be duplicated.

Chamberlain put together games of 50, 57, 55, 59, 51, 53 and 60 points.

Only one of those games went to overtime, a 136-135 loss to New York in which Chamberlain had 59. What's just as remarkable is that game was the first of three games in three nights.

Pretty amazing when you consider how today's players moan about back-to-back games.

End Adv For Weekend Editions Dec. 16-17