After being relegated to the bench for more than three-quarters of the season, rookie forward-center Greg Foster suddenly surfaced in the past week and showed the shooting touch and rebounding that prompted the Washington Bullets to draft him in the second round last June.
In the past three games, Foster has averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds, playing 19 minutes a game.
Foster gained more exposure after Charles Jones was sidelined with a groin-muscle pull and starting center Pervis Ellison (back spasms) saw only eight minutes of action against the New
Jersey Nets on Monday night.
Foster, 6 feet 11, seemed to make the most of his opportunity, but Bullets coach Wes Unseld said he thinks Foster still does not understand hisrole.
"Greg has a nice outside touch and likes to shoot the 10-, 15-foot jumper facing the basket," Unseld said before flying to Cleveland for tonight's game with the Cavaliers.
"But I don't need another jump shooter on the floor. We've got enough of them. We drafted Greg because we want someone to score inside and be under the boards. He's shown he can do these things, but he has to develop a mind-set that this is what he's supposed to be doing."
Unseld said he thinks Foster's reluctance to play like a big man was the main reason he averaged only 10.8 points in two seasons at Texas-El Paso after transferring from UCLA.
Foster's version is that he played a "high-low" game with fellow big man Antonio Davis, limiting his inside shots, and missed point guard Tim Hardaway, now directing traffic for the Golden State Warriors.
"I know I can shoot the ball from outside, and I don't want to pass up open shots," Foster said, "but I know where Coach Unseld is coming from."