It was looked like Dave Bing has through as a Washington Bullet a month ago, But, all of a sudden, Bullet coach Dick Motta has returned Bing to the scheme of things.
Bing played 14 minutes as the Bullets rounded the San Antonio Spurs, 135-116, Sunday night at Capital Centre, making one of six shots and contributing one assist. Motta later that Bing will have a definite role to fill from now on and will get more playing time.
Before Sunday's game, Bing had been benched in 15 of the 20 previous Bullet games and played a total of only 32 minutes in the five games he had played.
After he lost his starting pob two months ago, Bing indicated that rather than play five or six minutes as a "garbage man," he'd rather not play at all and let the younger players have the time.
Motta granted Bing's wish.
The team was playing well then, and didn't need Bing.
Then the Bullets lost five games in a row.
"When you lose five in a row you don't want to panic, but you have to take a closer look at some things," Motta said.
One of the things Motta looked at how he could use Bing.
Phil Chenier, the team's No. 1 scoring guard, can be the best shooter in the league some nights, but close to its worst others. Motta has decided to go to Bing when Chenier is not producing.
Motta said he won't hestitate to use him at any time to do and heagreed," Motta said. "He has been looking in real well. There's been a lot of pressure on him and on us when we decided to take him out of the lineup.It was a tough decision, but things started going well. Then they went bad and we had to do something."
Since he came to the Bullets two seasons ago, Bing has been playing out of position. He was made the quarterback after being a primary shooter his entire career. He never could make the change to the satisfaction of the Bullets or even himself.
"I always thought he was cast in an unfamiliar role last year and he was asked to do things that were unnatural to him," Motta said. I hope he feels a lot better about things now."
Bing said he feels that he can help. "I'm not over the hill," he said recently. "I know I can't do some things I could before and I'm not as consistant, but I can still play."
Asked how he felt about his new role, Bing said, "It's better than just sitting there. It hasn't been a helluva season for me and I want to play, there's no question aobut that. The opportunity is there now. I just have to get my timing and everything else together.
"Things have a funny way fo working out. Some things are said and done that you don't like, but I can't worry about them. I get paid to play basketball. All I can do is go out and do the most I can and hope forthe best."
While Bing now is slated for more playing time, the other reserve guards, rookie Larry Wright and Bob Weiss, are likely to get less.
"This won't shelve Larry or Bob, but it will affect them," Motta said.
Motta said that with Bing playing behind Chenier, Wright and Weiss would be used primarily to back up playmaker Tom Henderson.
"I hope playing one spot will help Larry," Motta said. "I'm sure he's a little confused. His minutes have been reduced. I just hope he understands how much we need him, that he has a place here."
Not long ago, Motta was going to Weiss in the final minutes of a game Weiss in the final minutes of a game to make sure that things were done as he wanted.
Henderson has now shown Motta that he can produce in those situations and Motta is pleased.
"Ob hasn't been playing well, lately," Motta said, "But Tom has been tremendous. I really believe we have to have him in there at the end."
Henderson was at his best against San Antonio Sunday as he scored 23 points, his high as a Bullet, and had nine assists. He ran the team almost flawlessly.
Under his direction, five Bullets scored in double figures, with four of them scoring at least 20 points.
"The San Antonio game was the first time I felt we had the killer instinct all season," Motta said. "Fifty times we have had teams in a spot to bury them and we let them up. We didn't Sunday. We kept our intensity going from start to finish."
The vistory also gave the Bullets sole possession of second place in the Central Division, three games behind Houston and one game ahead of San Antonio.
Washington will host Cleveland Wednesday night.