The Washington Bullets and beleaguered guard Ledell Eackles put on their all-is-well faces last night. The Bullets levied upon Eackles a fine of what a team source said was at least $2,500 for missing practice Thursday, but Coach Wes Unseld insisted the episode no longer is an issue and Eackles pledged to rededicate himself to finding his old, lately-elusive form.

"This whole thing is a big whoop-de-doo being made about nothing," Unseld said before the Bullets' 106-93 victory over the Houston Rockets at Capital Centre. "That kind of thing happens all the time. I was {upset} he missed practice, he was {upset} he missed practice and that was it.

"There's nothing here that could linger. The guy did something he shouldn't have done and now it's over."

Eackles and Unseld had a one-on-one meeting at the team's shootaround yesterday morning, a conversation that Eackles said was cordial in nature and cleared up a great many things. Unseld and other Bullets officials have not been reluctant recently to voice their displeasure with Eackles, who followed an early-season holdout by reporting 14 pounds overweight and has struggled to regain his shooting touch.

Eackles did not play in two games of the Bullets' just-completed five-game western road trip, and he's averaging 7.3 points in eight games since his return -- including last night's four-point effort -- while shooting 38 percent from the field and 44 percent from the free throw line.

That's hardly what the Bullets expected in return when they awarded the explosive, 6-foot-5 third-year pro with a two-year, $1.4 million contract following a holdout that lasted two weeks into the regular season. Eackles reportedly also missed several workouts earlier this year as he tried to get back into shape, and Unseld on Thursday seemed somewhat exasperated at his no-show.

"I'm kind of down on myself," Eackles said. "People think I'm mad, but it's more disappointment. I've been wanting to do too much when I wasn't ready yet. . . . Wes and I had a good talk. He was disappointed in me and what I did, but he's the kind of guy who, once he forgives you, he doesn't hold grudges."

General Manager John Nash declined to reveal specifics of Eackles' punishment. "Suffice it to say that disciplinary action was taken," he said. "It's really not a major incident in terms of being unique or unusual {but} it's frustrating to see because Ledell, probably above anyone else on our team right now, needs to be at practice. His play right now is directly related to his level of conditioning."

The club source said, however, that the fine may be as much as $3,000. Eackles said he had been told he would be fined but would not elaborate.

Unseld quickly removed any notions of further repercussions, inserting Eackles into last night's game midway through the first quarter. "I told him he'd be the first guy in off the bench, and evidently he was prepared to play," Unseld said afterward. "Ledell did a good job."

Nash said Eackles told the Bullets' coaches that he had missed the practice because he overslept.

Said Nash: "I accept that explanation. We can only go by what he told us. He accepted responsibility for {missing practice}, and he's accepted responsibility for his performance thus far."

Staff writer David Aldridge contributed to this report.