Even Elvin Hayes wants to see the Bullets use Bobby Dandridge to guard George Gervin.
"That's what I'd do," Hayes said after Gervin scored 42 points and the Spurs took a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series tonight. "Bobby? Yeah. We have to.
"He's just going crazy out there, shooting with too much confidence. We've gotta change, make some other move. He's shooting right over our guards, like there's nobody there. That's the key thing - stopping Gervin."
When should Coach Dick Motta go to Dandridge Sunday in Game 5 in Capital Centre?
"We've got to stop him right away," Hayes said. "We can't let him get into the flow of the game. If he gets into the flow, we're in trouble. We've got to stop him."
This made the Ice Man smile.
"When I see them trying different people on me," Gervin said, "I know I've got them where I want them. I love to see that."
He was referring to the Bullets' using forward Greg Ballard on him with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter - and he added: "I smile when I see that happen, because it means we've got them scrambling."
Motta was more angry with the Bullets' offense than with the defense on Gervin, saying: "By the time Greg got on him, maybe he'd lost his enthusiasm. He got bored. Or he should have. Now that's a funny."
The coach was not Laughing when he saw the Bullets throw up all manner of long shots even at the start of the game, ignoring their strong front-court game and their most creative offensive player, Dandridge.
"We'd better get it to the people who got us here," Motta said. "We didn't have the people involved in the offense who should have been - right from the start. The ratio of long jumpers far outnumbered our inside attack.
Added Hayes: 'The guards shouldn't be shooting more than Bobby. He's one of our main weapons. We've got to go to him."
The day after the Bullets added a special play to the ones already designed for Dandridge to work on Larry Kenon, the Bullet forward was credited with just two shots by halftime (both misses) and eight the entire game.
With the exception of Phil Chenier, every Bullet guard took more shots than Dandridge, Tom Henderson and Kevin Grevey were a combined 16 for 43 from the floor.
"But when I got it," Dandridge said, "I usually was double-teamed. There was nothing to do but give up the ball. It's a matter of other people being open when I'm double teamed (and not hitting those open shots).
"We talked about it at halftime, certain things. But even if I go inside I'm facing double teams, so I either force up a shot or give it up."
"We had three fouls on (each of) their four main front-line people in the first half," Motta said. "But we didn't pick up the fourth on any of them until the fourth quarter. Little things, like missing all those layups, things you have to do to win, we didn't do.
"There's no way we were gonna win a game like that."
Hayes and the Spurs' Mike Green traded elbows - and perhaps punches - early in the game - and Green needed three stitches to close a cut on his left eyelid. Television missed the incident and the recollections of both men were contradictory.
"We got into a shoving match prior to that," Green said. "I thought it was intentional, but it was just a reaction, I guess. Everything's all right now."
"He hit me upside the head," Hayes said. "Unfortunately, he was bleeding, I don't know what happened. Maybe he got hit or something. He decided to throw a punch. Maybe mine hit. It was uncalled for, him coming up the court throwing punches.
"I let him push, 'cause I push. But I'm not going to let a guy throw punches. That's a different story.
"At least we didn't lose everything."
Midway through the fourth quarter, Bullet officials became furious with a message flashed on the scoreboard that hangs above the court. Owner Abe Pollin wrote it down and Jerry Sachs, the team president, rushed to courtside to protest.
Motta had been playing on Spur minds by reminding them how many big leads they had blown in playoff games. So the Spurs responded by flashing on their message board, according to Pollin: "Motta: Don't Just Stand There. Do Something."
"Bush," Pollin said later. "I want an official apology." CAPTION: Picture 1, George Gervin goes over the Bullets' center, Wes Unseld, for two points.; Picture 2, Elvin Hayes has better luck as James Silasis called for a charge on his drive to the basket.; Picture 3, Mark Olberding of Spurs and West Unseld of Bullets lock arms during battle for position under basket during the first half. By Richard Darcey-The Washington Post