Jeff Ruland will test his injured left knee today in the Bullets' morning shoot-around preceding a 7:30 p.m. game against the Denver Nuggets at Capital Centre, the Bullets announced yesterday. But it is unlikely Ruland will play as the team goes for its fourth straight victory and eighth in the last 11 games.
Bullets spokesman Mark Pray said the pain is gone from the knee, but that it still is tender.
Ruland, an all-star last season, has missed the Bullets' last eight games and 35 of their 65 games this season, but the Bullets are 5-3 during the most recent injury and 18-17 overall in games that Ruland has missed. In addition, guard Frank Johnson is out for the season with a broken foot.
There were many outstanding aspects to the Bullets' 128-114 victory over Cleveland Wednesday in Richfield, Ohio. Washington's point total was its highest in three months and second best of the season. The win was the Bullets' 12th away from Capital Centre this year, matching their total number of road victories last season.
Led by 39 points from guard Jeff Malone, the Washington starters outscored their Cleveland counterparts, 93-54. The Bullets' bench also performed effectively; Dan Roundfield had 10 rebounds and Darren Daye and Kevin McKenna each provided needed sparks. Daye, a forgotten man earlier in the season, is averaging 18 points per game for the past four.
After tonight's game, the Bullets play at Indiana Saturday night and then play host to the New Jersey Nets Monday.
There is one player who hasn't played at all recently, guard Leon Wood, whom Shue did not play in the last two games. He last played against the Knicks March 6.
One reason for the former U.S. Olympic star's inactivity may be the Bullets' recent success. "It's really nothing against Leon," Shue said. "I just do whatever I think is necessary for the team to win."
In NBA games last night, Sidney Green had 28 points as the Bulls beat Denver, 112-102, in Chicago; Larry Bird scored 33 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 135-119 victory over the Spurs at San Antonio; the Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 126-118, in Houston, relying on Ralph Sampson's 32 points and 17 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers downed the Seattle SuperSonics, 105-92, led by Magic Johnson's 27 points.