The margins of defeat might have been a bit scary and the defense ragged and inconsistent, but Bullet coach Dick Motta was not ready to panic yesterday from the results of his team's disastrous weekend trip.
The Bullets were stunned twice on the journey, losing to Indiana by nine points Friday night and by 16 to Kansas City Saturday night. They've now lost three straight (all on the road) and have won only once in the still-young season, but Motta is certain that one game at Capital Centre will cure many of the problems.
"I'm not alarmed at all," he said. "Last year, when we started 1-3, I was really frustrated. But we are doing things now that will help us win later. Things like moving the ball on the fast break, shooting well and staying enthusiastic and intense.
"Besides, these were on the road. It will help to get home and play a few here."
The Bullet's next game is Friday against Phoenix in Capital Centre. Then they have two more road games, against Houston Saturday and New Orleans Sunday.
Until Friday, Motta might try out a theme song with his team: "Getting to Know You." According to him and his players, they are having more problems adjusting to each other than to their opponents.
Motta warned before the season that blending in Bob Dandridge would take time.
Dandridge agree.He said the team was playing "nice guy" on offense, with no one willing to take charge and everyone trying to be unselfish with shots. In the process, offensive continuity is suffering.
"Somebody is going to have to make sure Elvin (Hayes) gets more shots and I'm probably the one who should do it by giving up some of my own," he said. "We've got to make sure Elvin get his points, because when he does, he turns tiger on the boards and on defense. We need him doing well for us to win."
So far, Hayes, who said he wanted to share his offensive burden more this year, has been a slumbering giant. He had 26 points against New York in a 141-115 trouncing, but only a total of 32 in the other three contests. He is averaging only 12 shots, while fouling out of two games.
"Of course, Elvin will score more," said Motta, "but if we are going to have a team concept of offense, we don't want one guy dominating. That's why Dandridge is here, to give us balance. As soon as they know each other better, things will be smoother."
"Teams are running more this year and so are we and the scores will be higher," said Motta. "Besides, what can you do when your opponents are hitting everything they throw up?"