If anyone in the Bullet's camp didn't think Seattle was a worthy opponent for the final round of the NBA playoffs, their doubts were dispelled by the Sonics Wednesday night.
"Did you see how they shot?" asked Elvin Hayes as soon as he arrived yesterday at the Bullet's practice. "They couldn't miss if they tried."
What Hayes and his teammates were talking about was the Sonics' sixth-game victory over Denver in the Western Conference finals. Seattle put on an impressive show, which all the Bullets witnessed over WTOP-TV, courtesy of team owner Abe Pollin, who picked up line costs for the telecast.
"Denver never had a chance," said guard Larry Wrigth. "The way the Sonics played, they'd be hard for anyone to beat. It almost looked as if prising. We knew right along we'd be in for a tough series."
Nor was it surprising that Seattle emerged as champion. "It would have taken a miracle for Denver to win and the Miracle (David Thompson) didn't come to play in the game," said Coach Dick Motta.
"We knew pretty much that we'd be playing Seattle but you don't like to talk about it too much," he said. "Now we can get sown to business.
"We were ready to start concentrating on someone. We had a good rest since beating Philadelphia and we had a good general practice. But it's time to start focusing on specific goals."
Washington won three of four games from Seattle during the regular season. The Bullets lost at Seattle in overtime in December and then beat the Sonics there in February for their lone victory on what otherwise was a terrible West COast road trip.
Seattle hasn't lost at home since, winning 20 straigth. Washington's two home victories were by two and five points.
"They have a great blend of talent," said Motta. "They can all score and play good defense. You can't sag off any of them, like you could against Philly or San Antonio.
"Fred (Brown) might be the best substitute in the league right now. And I like Wally Walker coming off the bench, too. And Paul Silas, well, he's a winner. Wherever he has played, he's won."
Motta said there wouldn'tbe any gimmicks in this series, unlike in the earlier rounds against Philadelphia and San Antonio. In the Spurs series, he emphasized stopping George Gervin's teammates and, against the 76ers, he talked about the importance of controlling the tempo. But he said Seattle is too well-balanced "to single out one thing.
"These are two pretty good basketball teams. There won't be any of that psychology stuff. You'll see a lot of adjusting and changing and maneuvering. It should be good, interesting basketball.
"I know we are aware of how good they are. We aren't going to be fooled. We've come too far to be stupid now."