EMMITSBURG, MD., OCT. 19 -- Mike Morrison learned that he could survive at the NBA level when he survived against Reggie Miller. So Indiana's all-star guard will be no stranger to Morrison, who is trying to make the Bullets, when the teams meet for two games this weekend.

When Morrison was with Phoenix in his rookie season, he also played for the Suns' team in the Los Angeles Summer League. His coach, Paul Westphal, pointed Miller out to him before a 1989 game.

"He told me, 'If you can stick with him, that's the type of offensive player you're going to be against every night at that two-guard spot,' " Morrison said. "I stuck my nose in there. I didn't stop him every time or anything like that. I learned a lot. But it gave me a great deal of confidence."

That confidence has buoyed Morrison in the face of a shooting slump that has not abated since the start of camp. He is two for 10 in the two preseason games, but he is not alone. None of Washington's guards has shot exceptionally well so far.

Coach Wes Unseld attributes it to the difficulties in grasping the passing game offense.

"We've got people making passes off the move who've never had to make a pass off the move," Unseld said. "They've never tried to play this kind of offense and they're having some problems adjusting to it. Three years ago when I put this in, those veteran players I had -- Darrell Walker, Jeff Malone, Bernard King -- all had problems scoring. So I'm not discouraged by that part."

Said Morrison: "I'm just trying to pick it up as quick as I can. I don't think time is running out because it's something you can't control. I think we have a group of people that are in sync and are getting a hold of things, even though everyone hasn't played together that long." Hammonds, Walker Out

Tom Hammonds (strained tendon in left foot) stayed back in Washington, as did Darrell Walker, who is getting treatment for his tendinitis. Adding John Williams to the equation, and including Saturday's game with the Pacers, the Bullets have lost seven man-games to injury in three preseason games. . . .

The Pacers are getting an additional bonus for their front court as legendary center Bill Walton is helping their big men in preseason. Walton has been teaching Rik Smits and the Pacers' other post players since the start of camp.

"Jack Ramsay {Walton's Portland coach} and I were together," Indiana General Manager Donnie Walsh said, "and Jack asked if we were interested in having Walton come in and coach our big men. I said sure. We got on the phone."

Walton's tutelage is especially valuable to Smits, who is becoming one of the league's top centers, but as yet does not play with a physical style.

"Walton played all aspects of the game, and didn't do it with a lot of brute force," Walsh said. "He knew how to play the position. I think that they've learned a lot from him."