A list of predictions for the upcoming National Basketball Association season:

Coach of the year: Frank Layden, Utah Jazz, who finally convinces everyone he's more than a fat, stand-up comic.Most vulnerable: Gene Shue, Los Angeles Clippers, who must make a dramatic turnaround after getting six first-round picks in the last two years.

Rookie of the year: Chris Morris, New Jersey Nets forward, who will get ample time to strut his stuff for the woeful Nets. Runner-up: Dan Majerle, Phoenix Suns.

Rookie flop: Danny Manning, Clippers, who becomes this year's Reggie Williams.

Biggest rookie surprise: Brian Shaw, Boston Celtics, who fits the Celtics' mold with an all-around game as key reserve guard.

Most improved: John Williams, Washington Bullets, who becomes a dominant player in his third pro season.

Least improved: Darryl Dawkins, Detroit Pistons, who still is lost somewhere in space.

Biggest fall: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers, who should have retired gracefully two years ago.

Biggest steal: Manute Bol, Golden State Warriors, a 7-foot-7 shot blocker who proves he is more than one-dimensional under Don Nelson's care.

Most underrated: Terry Porter, Portland Trail Blazers, one of a dying breed of true playmakers.

Most improved team: Cleveland Cavaliers, as all the kids finally come of age under Lenny Wilkens' quiet leadership.

Most overrated: Moses Malone, Atlanta Hawks, whose reputation as a franchise player now is strictly legend.

Most consistent: Buck Williams, New Jersey, who somehow keeps his sanity and competitive nature despite being trapped in the Jersey swamp.

Most erratic: Gerald Wilkins, New York Knicks, who can shoot his team in and out of games faster than you can say, "Dominique."

Most exciting: Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers, who provides thunder as well as lightning.

Quickest turnoff: The fans of the Miami Heat, who turn frigid when the team can't even beat its Charlotte expansion partners.

Best interview: Kevin McHale, Boston, who always has a fresh quote and won't pull punches.

Worst interview: Moses Malone, Atlanta, who only speaks during eclipse of the sun.

Worst innovation: Adding a third referee will increase the number of fouls and make NBA games almost as long as the NFL's.