PHOENIX, JAN. 14 -- Bernard King chooses his words precisely. When he says he's "giddy," there's probably an unusual situation afoot. So it was today, as he was named NBA player of the week as the Washington Bullets got ready for tonight's game with the Phoenix Suns.

King, who maintains a razor-thin lead over Michael Jordan in the league's scoring race (31.2 to 30.9), averaged 37.3 points and seven rebounds in three games last week, shooting nearly 60 percent (43 of 72). He had 30 points against Milwaukee, 45 against the Clippers and 37 against Boston Saturday.

"I'm kind of giddy about it," he said after a light team practice that included John Williams's first road workout with the team. "What I mean by that is it's the first time I'm player of the week since I've been back in four years."

Actually, he has had better weeks offensively. The week of Dec. 24, for example, he averaged 38.7 points by shooting 53 percent (48 of 90). But Washington lost two of three games then; it won two of three last week and almost became the first team to beat the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Such honors probably don't bolster King's all-star chances, though as he said, they don't hurt. Washington's recent winning pattern will do more for his recognition than anything else.

"To have my week singled out as a special week, I feel kind of giddy about that," he repeated, "for lack of a more descriptive term."

The Bullets would like to have this week coming up singled out as special. But it's a tough task. They will play four teams -- Phoenix, the Clippers, Portland and Seattle -- with a combined 49-19 home record.

That's the humbling effect of western trips. The Bullets will begin another one here Tuesday, playing the Suns to start a stretch of four games in five nights. One victory would make it a successful trip; two would be sensational; anything higher and the Bullets won't need a plane to fly home.

"If we could beat Portland or Phoenix, beat one of those good teams," guard Darrell Walker said, "it would be a good trip. We've been running the last six, seven {games}. I've been making a conscious effort to push the ball up, Haywoode {Workman} has been pushing it up, and Harvey {Grant} and Bernard have been filling the lanes."

Said Coach Wes Unseld: "We're playing some good teams out here. Two of the best teams in the league {Phoenix and Portland} and one team {Seattle} that beat us at home. The only significance I'm putting on it is the same I put on anything. I want our intensity up, I want our attitude geared in and I want us focused on what we need to do."

There was no contact in today's workout so there was nothing relatively urgent about Williams's activity. He did end-to-end sprints most of the time, to the encouragement of teammates.

The Bullets will have to continue their good defense, which has forced opponents to settle for jumpers and has drained the shot clock of valuable seconds.

"You can't have one guy out there playing good defense," center Charles Jones said, "and {have} the rest of the guys sleeping. Everyone has to be aware. The defense that we play requires a lot of rotation. You might end up with a guard playing a center. He just has to do the best he can. It calls for talking. You have to talk; if you need help, you need help."

Unlike the last couple of games, when the opposition helped by not shooting the perimeter shot or not being able to, the Bullets will face the total package in the Suns. All of their guards can shoot and they all can go to the basket.

Newly acquired forward Xavier McDaniel has fit right into a Phoenix offense that already featured big-time scoring in guards Kevin Johnson and Jeff Hornacek, and forward Tom Chambers.

McDaniel is averaging 20 points and almost eight rebounds a game and Phoenix has won 15 of 19 since he came from Seattle Dec. 7 for forward Eddie Johnson and two future draft picks.

"The first night we got him in Orlando," Phoenix Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons said, "I said 'If you have any doubt, any questions, X, just move on offense, don't stand still. And move the ball, play hard, and you've got no problems.' I played him 33 minutes and we won and we've been winning pretty consistently ever since."