Struggling Washington Bullet guard Kevin Porter admitted yesterday he isn't producing the way he feels he sould, saying the critism of his play by Coach Dick Motta is justified.
"If people want to place the blame on me for the way we're playing, then I'll accept it," said Porter.
"I'm definitely dissatisfied with my play and I'll be the first to tell you. I have to produce and I haven't. I've had one good game in nine and I pride myself on consistency.
"Things just haven't worked out as well as I thought, but I'm always going to give them 100 percent."
On Monday, Motta told The Washington Post he was generally unhappy with the Bullets' play and disappointed with the way Porter was running the offense. "I thought Kevin was going to come back here spitting fire," Motta said. "I thought he was going to be a knock-down, drag-out, get-in-your-face guy and really be tough and aggressive. But he just hasn't been that way. I don't know what's wrong."
Motta said the 33-year-old Elvin Hayes could be getting on in years and noted "he seems to be dropping more balls than he ever has before. Maybe he's developing bad hands."
"I don't think I'm slowing up at all," responded Hayes. "I think I'm playing well. "I may be committing more fouls, that's because of my aggressiveness, not because my game is slipping.
"I'm shooting the ball better than ever, too, when I get it in my areas. My game is improving more than it is slipping. My scoring average, rebounds and blocked shots are all up where they usually are.
"I'll know when my game is slipping because it will be mental," Hayes said.
"Physically, I can play another four or five years. It'll be time to quit when the game gets boring to me and when I just don't feel like going to the arena and putting on my uniform. But that time just hasn't come and it won't for a while."
Porter, who led the NBA in assists last season while with Detroit, has had trouble adjusting to the Bullets' more complex, patterned offense.
With the Pistons it was a wide-open fast break situation in which Porter could do as he pleased.
The Bullets, however, don't play that way and the adjustment for Porter has been difficult.
"This is a more disciplined offense than I am used to," Porter said. "It's geared toward Bobby (Dandridge) and Elvin and it has been successful. The offense Coach Motta runs is a winning offense and I have to adjust to it. The others shouldn't have to adjust to me. You have to go with what is successful, and what has been successful here is going to Bobby and E.
"To fit in here I have to suppress some of the things that may have made me successful. That's part of adjusting and I'm trying," Porter said.
"Larry Wright has adjusted himself to Dick Motta's game and he is playing much better than me right now. He is probably one of the most underrated guards in the league. Because he shoots so well off the picks he could be the most effective guard we have," Porter added.
"Things just haven't clicked that well yet," Porter said. "The offense isn't that complex, we just aren't playing well."
Porter has not appeared to be playing with the same fire he had when he was a Bullet four years ago. He says the intensity is still there, but adds "It just doesn't show."
Porter added that the old Porter would have reacted differently to criticism.
"I would have put my head down and pouted," he said. "But I'm a proven profeesional athlete. I'm not going to put my head down and sulk. I'm going out and do the best I can each night."
Said Hayes: "Any day of the year, Kevin is the most exciting playmaking guard in the league. He's also the best assist guard in the league. There's no one better. You can look it up. He just can't do what he has done before in this system and it's going to take time for him to adjust.
"The only way for Kevin to be as effective as he was in Detroit is for our offense to change and it isn't going to because we've been too successful with it.
"Kevin is a penetrator and the floor has to be spread for him to be at his best and that just isn't our offense. He's trying to adjust and do things he isn't used to doing, but you can't fault a guy for something that isn't part of his game," Hayes said.
Hayes said the Bullets' 3-6 record and poor play much of this season is a result of injuries. Once everyone is healthy, he noted, "We'll be all right. rWe need Mitch (Kupchak) back and Kevin Grevey and Roger Phegley. When we get our people back and have some time playing together, everything will be fine."
The Bullets are off until they face the San Antonio Spurs at Captial Centre Friday . . . Motta said that yesterday's practice was one of the best the Bullets have had this year . . . Hayes has a sore knee and did not work out yesterday . . . Phegley, who missed Saturday night's game with a sprained ankle, did not work out either, yesterday, but said he will try today.