Repercussion from last month's political election: Boston Celtics forward Cedric Maxwell, a native of Charlotte, N.C., tells of a letter from an irate fan, chastising him for supporting President Reagan and reelected North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms. The fan expressed displeasure at a newspaper item quoting Maxwell as saying that, unlike many blacks, he supported the two, mainly because "most brothers don't make the kind of scratch I do."

Maxwell denies making the statement, citing ads he made for Helms' opponent, Gov. James Hunt. "I don't even like those other guys," he said.

Maxwell and his teammates have been quoted as saying the Washington Bullets are their main competition in the Atlantic Division -- not, for once, the Philadelphia 76ers. For a time that seemed the case, particularly after the Bullets won, 120-105, at Philadelphia Nov. 20.

After that game, one of the 76ers expressed displeasure at the Philadelphia offense. "We've really got to make some changes on this team, like shooting more from the outside," the player said. "For the last three years all it's been is pound the ball down low, pound the ball down low. Everybody in the league knows what we're gonna do before we do it. Someone should say something to (Coach Billy) Cunningham about it but it'll have to be Doc."

The next day, the Doctor, Julius Erving, did that in a team meeting. The result? The Sixers began to experiment with a passing game. And won 10 of 12, including last night's victory over the Celtics in the Spectrum, to lead the Bullets by three games and trail Boston by just two . . .

Bullets guards Jeff Malone and Tom Sewell, were dissecting the 85-82 loss to the Utah Jazz in Capital Centre Tuesday night, largely attributable to eight blocked shots by 7-foot-4 Mark Eaton.

"The thing you have to do is shoot before he gets there," said Sewell, who didn't play. "That's what we were trying to do," said Malone, who shot one for seven.

The Bullets play at Phoenix tonight and in Los Angeles Saturday against the Clippers and Sunday versus the Lakers.

A couple of glamor-type ex-UCLA forwards might well be on their way out of Los Angeles. Jamaal Wilkes is unhappy over his reduced playing time (16 minutes tops) since the Lakers' 2-5 start and his benching in favor of Larry Spriggs. Marques Johnson, while averaging 19 points, has not given the Clippers the explosiveness they sought in acquiring him from Milwaukee, his $1 million yearly salary is burdensome and he has had problems with Coach Jim Lynam, to the extent of a shouting match during a game.