Last Sunday, the Rev. Stacey Nicholson of the United Methodist Church in Irvington offered a special prayer for parishioner Wes Unseld, who has suffered all season trying to piece together his injury-riddled Washington Bullets.
Prayers went unanswered. Yesterday, Unseld also lost his best offensive weapon, point guard Michael Adams, who injured his lower back and sprained his right wrist in a fourth-quarter collision with Seattle's Ricky Pierce in Tuesday night's 113-106 loss to the SuperSonics.
Adams did not accompany the Bullets to Milwaukee, where they play the Bucks tonight.
"I'm hoping that I'll be ready to play Saturday against Atlanta," said Adams. "But right now my wrist feels real tender."
Adams is among the NBA leaders in scoring (27.9) and assists (9.5).
Tuesday night, Pierce knocked Adams to the floor as Adams waairborne, attempting a layup with Washington trailing, 94-87. Badly shaken, Adams missed both free throws. He had been shooting 85 percent from the foul line.
He remained in the game and added six points to finish with 31 points and seven assists.
"I thought I was a good, charitable person, and that threverend's prayers would be answered, but I must have some skeletons in my closet," said Unseld, trying to find some humor in his team's worsening situation.
Tonight, Unseld can choose Andre Turner, LaBradford Smith or David Wingate as his starting point guard.
Turner, acquired as a free agent the day before the season began, has been ineffective as Adams' backup. Turner is averaging 1.9 points and 1.3 assists, shooting 25 percent (5-for-20) from the field.
No. 1 draft choice Smith, a natural shooting guard, exhibitepassing skills in the Bullets' June mini-camp. However, he could prove more useful as a scoring threat to neutralize the Bucks' ball-hawking backcourt tandem of Jay Humphries and Alvin Robertson.
"Right now, I don't know what I'm going to do," said Unseld. "After practice I should have a better feel for things."
Opponent: Milwaukee Bucks
Site: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, 8:30
TV: Channel 20
Radio: WTOP (1500 AM)
Outlook: The Bullets have prospered better on the road (3-2) than at home (1-5) this season. Scoring leader Michael Adams (27.9) will miss tonight's game with an injured back and wrist. Rookie G LaBradford Smith and C Ralph Sampson made their Bullets debuts in a 116-109 loss to Seattle. The Bucks ended a 4-game losing streak Tuesday with 127-104 romp over Charlotte. Ex-Bullets C Moses Malone led Milwaukee with 23 points and is averaging a team-high 8.9 rebounds. G Jay Humphries leads the Bucks in scoring (17.1) and assists (6.1). Six Bucks are averaging in double figures. Milwaukee won the season series with Washington last season, 3-1.