HOUSTON, FEB. 13 -- Points. The Washington Bullets can't find 'em. It's choking their chances to win games before they even begin.

The Bullets continue their three-game Texas trip here Thursday against a Rockets team that's suddenly much more beatable with Akeem Olajuwon out of action. But Washington won't win many if it keeps averaging 98.4 points, as it has its last five games.

It's easy math. Just look to the fast-break points. Twelve in San Antonio on Tuesday. Eight against Philadelphia. Six against Detroit. Six against Boston.

The Bullets have said time and again, and the won-lost record bears them out, that they aren't a good half-court team. When they have to play walk-it-up, pattern basketball, they usually lose. So it was Tuesday night, when, for all its own fast-breaking, San Antonio scored only 102 points -- and won by 10.

"You should win games if you hold teams around 100 points, yeah," Coach Wes Unseld said. "Not us . . . We don't have a 'one' guard right now, which means we don't have someone running things out there" at the point.

These are the days that agents for injured players remember in contract negotiations. Since Haywoode Workman and Darrell Walker have been out, the Bullets haven't gotten production either in transition or in set plays. The offense is busted, meaning Detroit-like defensive stands are necessary.

A.J. English, who didn't get a whit of playing time for weeks, now has to run the team. It's not his natural spot. That shows in small things, like not looking up the floor in transition, or not finding cutters to the basket.

"You've got guys like Bernard {King} and Harvey {Grant}, guys who really try to take control out there," English said. "You've got to be the one in control."

Add to this the fact that the new three-guard rotation of English, Ledell Eackles and Clinton Smith has about five seconds' worth of familiarity with each other.

"Each player plays different," Eackles said. "When I'm in the game with A.J., sometimes I have to stay back, and with Clinton in the game, sometimes I've got to stay back. Usually I can just go on down but now I have to handle the ball a lot more."

While they figure out how to score, the Bullets also have to readjust their rotation now that John Williams is back. He came in late in the first and third quarters Tuesday, playing 14 minutes. The seeming loser with Williams's return was Tom Hammonds, who never got in.

Williams was used exclusively at power forward. He had almost no spring in his legs on his jumpers. But he had one move -- his first basket since coming back -- that was vintage Williams, an offensive rebound and reverse layin.

"I felt pretty good running up and down," Williams said. "I wasn't like I was years ago. It's going to take time. I've been off, what, 14 months? I had high hopes to come back and help the team."

"I was telling John to take the shots as if he was never gone," Grant said. "He was taking some shots, going to the hole. You give him three or four more games and he'll start to get back into himself."

The Rockets, oddly, have found themselves since Olajuwon was felled Jan. 3 by Chicago's Bill Cartwright with an elbow to the orbit surrounding the right eye. Houston is 10-9 since losing Olajuwon, but has played better as a unit.

Chief among these players is veteran Larry Smith, who stepped in to start at center after a few woeful tries by ex-Bullet Dave Feitl. Smith has averaged 13.2 rebounds in Olajuwon's absence to raise his season's average to 8.1 per game.