MILWAUKEE, DEC. 25 -- Christmas came and went and, as expected, Santa neglected to leave a dominating rebounder under Washington Bullets Coach Kevin Loughery's tree. So, he and his squad will have to make due with what's on hand as they travel here to meet the Bucks on Saturday night.

The NBA schedulemakers have been kind to the Bullets for the past two weeks. The game here will be their first away from Capital Centre since a 122-107 win against New Jersey on Dec. 12. In the interim, Washington split four home games, defeating Indiana and Chicago and losing to Boston and Cleveland.

"It's been nice, it really helped us a lot," Loughery said of the Bullets' first extended homestand of the season. "The Cleveland game {a 106-102 loss} hurt. It was a disappointment, but we're playing better basketball.

"We're getting more motion; the ball's moving better; everyone's getting involved."

That would serve the Bullets well against Milwaukee, which usually fields one of the tallest starting lineups in the NBA, with 6-foot-9 "small" forward Terry Cummings, 7-0 power forward Jack Sikma and 7-3 center Randy Breuer.

Most of the season, Coach Del Harris has completed the imposing quintet by starting 6-5 Paul Pressey and 6-8 Jerry Reynolds at the guard positions. However, Reynolds recently returned from a stint on the injured list and Cummings has missed the last two games with lower back problems.

In those contests, Pressey moved to forward and 6-4 newcomer Conner Henry started at guard with former Maryland star John Lucas, who stands 6-2. That group might present less of a problem for Washington, which lost here, 111-100, Nov. 10 in a game that wasn't even that close.

"They really dominated us last time," said Loughery. "If they move Pressey up front, you would like to think that the size factor has come down {in our favor}."

If the Bucks do return to the taller lineup, the Bullets probably will respond by moving 6-9 John Williams into the back court to spell Jeff Malone at off-guard. That duo was paired at guard during Tuesday's game against Cleveland, with Williams at point guard. But Loughery said today that he's hoping to use newcomer Steve Colter for at least a few minutes against the Bucks.

Colter was signed Tuesday morning after guard Darrell Walker was placed on the injured list because of a sprained right ankle. Walker is expected to miss at least two weeks of play.

Walker's injury and the subsequent machinations of trying to find playing time and positions for people like Williams and Mark Alarie have thrown something of a wrench in Loughery's hope of developing some continuity. The Bullets had won six of their previous 12 games before the loss to the Cavaliers.

Another of Loughery's concerns is getting maximum efforts from his top players on a consistent basis.

For example, reserve forward Bernard King scored 28 points in a 109-96 win over Chicago a week ago, but scored 11 Tuesday against Cleveland.

Jeff Malone scored only 13 against Chicago, but came back with 27 versus the Cavaliers.

"What it's been so far is a situation where one guy has a good game here and then one that's not so good. Then someone else will have a bad one and a good one," Loughery said.

"There's been inconsistency from every position, we haven't had all our guys going good together at the same time."

After Saturday's game, the Bullets return home for another four games. The Portland Trail Blazers come in Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets on New Year's night and the Houston Rockets Jan. 2, then the New Jersey Nets on Jan. 5. And after a Jan. 8 trip to Boston, they'll return to Capital Centre for three contests.

The stint of playing 11 of 13 games at home is Washington's longest stand of the season. Conversely, in February, the Bullets will play only three of 14 games at home.