One of the reasons the Denver Nuggets have the best record in the National Basketball Association is a shy, rather sickly 7-footer dubbed the hUman Eraser.
He is Marvin Webster, a former Morgan State star, who has fought and is still fighting off the Nuggets that shot-blocking, intimidating center they need.
Dan Issel is the Nugget starting center, but Webster got his chance six games ago when Issel suffered a pulled hamstring muscle. Webster scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in 29 minutes in a Denver victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The most significant statistic to coach Larry Brown wasn't the points or the rebounds, but the minutes. That is the most Webster has played in a game since he became a pro two years ago.
Over the last six games, five won by Denver, Webster has averaged 11.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots, all in a little more than 19 minutes a game. He also is shooting 61 per cent from the floor.
Brown says Webster soon will be strong enough to play 25 to 30 minutes a game.
Webster, whom the Nuggets reportedly were ready to deal to the Washington Bullets in an attempt to get Mitch Kupchak, has to watch his diet because of his illness. He can't eat meat and is on a almost all-vegetable diet. He can't even drink a glass of water unless the water has been boiled.