Washington Bullets Coach Gene Shue is so impressed with the play of newly acquired guard Ricky Sobers that he will move Charles Davis back to small forward and will start Sobers at shooting guard, alongside Frank Johnson, probably for tonight's game against Phoenix.
The game against the Suns will start 30 minutes earlier than usual, at 7:35, because Capital Centre will telecast the Roberto Duran-Pipino Cuevas fight afterward.
Shue said he will go to a three-guard rotation with Sobers, Johnson and Don Collins when Collins comes off the injured list, perhaps in the next week or two.
"Ricky gives us so much flexibility, because he can play either guard spot," said Shue.
"That means I can use him with Don or Frank. When Don does come back, then all of a sudden we'll have a lot of quickness and a lot more flexibility. Getting Sobers was the key, though," said Shue. "He's just a good basketball player. He gives us defense in the back court and he can make the outside shot."
Sobers, a free agent, signed a three-year, $300,000 a year contract with the Bullets Monday. They gave Chicago, Sobers' former team, second-round draft choices this year and in 1985 as compensation.
Sobers didn't play Monday against Boston, but against the Celtics Wednesday he had 12 points and four assists in 22 minutes, and in his first game at Capital Centre Thursday, played 35 minutes and scored 18 points with five assists, as the Bullets beat Seattle, 99-86.
Although Sobers said it will take him about 10 more days to get in good playing condition, he said he already has a feel for Shue's offense.
"I'm familiar with certain parts of the offense, but I'm not real comfortable with it yet. I didn't know what to do sometimes, so I just tried to stay out of the way, or go to a spot where I might be in a position to help," he said.
After three seasons with the Bulls, Sobers became a free agent and went unsigned until Monday.
"I talked to a few teams, but I guess I was destined for the Bullets," he said. "I like this team a lot. It's young and it makes some mistakes, but it is loose and going to get better. When I came here they (the Bullets) had lost nine a row, yet nobody was at anybody's throat. They were still loose and playing hard. I liked that a lot.
"Even though I wasn't playing until the Bullets signed me, I stayed in shape because I knew someone would make a smart investment and sign me," Sobers said.
Sobers is the type of player Shue has searched for, an aggressive, take charge-type who can, if necessary, generate his own offense.
"I think I can provide the one-on-one skills," Sobers said. "I can operate within the set offense, too, but I can get my own shot if it comes down to that. I can do it with the best of them."
The 48-hour waiver period on John Lucas passed and no team picked him up, thus making him a free agent.