The Washington Bullets, world beaters one game and patsies the next, will try to move closer to 500 tonight when they take on the lowly Detroit Pistons at the Silverdome.
The Pistons, 11-35, have won fewer games than any other team in the NBA this season. They have been playing without two of their best players -- center Bob Lanier and No. 1 draft choice Gregory Kelser. Both are injured.
Detroit's big scorer is Bob McAdoo with a 21.8 average, but the Pistons have appeared disorganized most of the season.
Dick Vitale was fired as coach early in the season and replaced by his assistant, Richie Adubato.
The Bullets (20-22) beat Portland by 32 points Sunday and then lost to Seattle by 20 Tuesday. They are nevertheless playing their best basketball of the season. They have won five of their last seven games, but the Detroit game isi the first of a four-game road trip that will also take them to Houston Friday, San Antonio Saturday and Cleveland Tuesday. Overall, 13 of the Bullets' next 17 games are on the road.
Coach Dick Motta sent the team through a light workout yesterday before taking off for Detroit. The only Bullet who didn't participate was Roger Phegley, who was sent home with the flu.
Phegley's availability for tonight's game is uncertain.
The brightest spot for the Bullets recently has been the play of guard Larry Wright. Elevated to a starting position over slump-ridden Kevin Grevey two games ago, Wright has averaged 18 points and made 15 of 26 shots in his two starts.
He and Jim Cleamons have teamed in the back court to give the Bullets a productive combo.
Cleamons' play has even impressed Seattle Coach Lenny Wilkens, who said after Tuesday's game that Cleamons is just the type of player the Bullets needed.
"He has done a fabulous job for them," Wilkens said. "He's been controlling them and giving them some intelligence in the back court."