Greg Foster is trying to keep his head up and convince himself that sometime soon, he'll play and play often. It's difficult, because he knows the reality of his situation with the Washington Bullets is otherwise.

"No one likes this kind of situation, but you've got to be ready," he said. "My duty is to come in and show what I can do, try to contribute in a positive way. It's kind of rough at times. You're concentrating so hard on being ready. You never know what's going to happen, like a situation like this when the team is hurting."

The sentiment of the second-round pick from Texas-El Paso comes from roller-coaster playing time this season. He played 34 minutes in Boston Sunday, but then got a DNP {did not play} Wednesday night against Philadelphia.

He's trying to catch the coaches' eyes through that time-honored tradition of more repetitions after practice.

"I've been doing a lot of extra work in the weight room, whether they know that or not," he said. "I'm doing it for the team, but I'm doing it for Greg Foster also. It's something I like to do."

Smith Elated at Debut

Guard Clinton Smith's first eight minutes with the Bullets Wednesday were reasonably uneventful. He showed a good handle of the basketball, had an assist on a Mark Alarie basket and scored two points.

"I was totally elated," he said. "I didn't want to get too hyper out there. I wanted to pass the ball and get the ball to people where they could score."

Because the 76ers were trapping so much, Smith didn't have to worry about running Washington's offense, though he said he had some familiarity with it.

"I want to get it right soon so I can help," Smith said.

Bol-ed Over by Manute

Some of the younger players had to learn the hard way about Manute Bol. It was only when the 7-foot-7 center was in the game that the Bullets stopped attacking Philadelphia's half-court trap Wednesday.

Said guard A. J. English: "The best way to learn is to be out there. I had to find out. Fortunately I found out in preseason. You can't shoot over him. Nobody can shoot over him. The only way is to shoot around him. Use the head fake."