Adams, Hammonds to go on road trip Smith stays Bullets prepare for Western swing

November 28, 1991|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Correspondent

BOWIE -- The Washington Bullets were busy yesterday making additions and deletions to their traveling party today for a four-game Western swing that will take them to Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Utah before returning home Dec. 6.

After holding practice at Bowie State yesterday, coach Wes Unseld decided point guard Michael Adams (dislocated finger) and forward Tom Hammonds (hamstring) would make the trip, and that rookie guard LaBradford Smith (sore ankle) would remain at home and continue therapy.

Adams, the Bullets' leading scorer (averaging 26.7) and playmaker (averaging 8.9 assists), did not participate in the workout, but reported that the swelling on the middle finger of his left (non-shooting) hand had subsided after extensive ice treatment.

"If it keeps getting better the next two days, I think I'll be able to play against the Clippers [tomorrow] night," he said, sporting ...Z...ZTC soft cast on his injured digit. "I've played with a cast before, but on my shooting hand. This shouldn't be as tough."

With Adams' leadership, the Bullets (5-9) have been competitive in almost every game. He sat out a 112-87 blowout in Milwaukee last Thursday, after jamming his back and spraining his right wrist against the Seattle SuperSonics on Nov. 19.

His latest mishap was a second quarter head-on collision with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird in Hartford, Conn., Monday night. Adams fell to the floor in pain as he held his left hand. But X-rays Tuesday showed no fracture.

Hammonds, who has been on the injured list since Nov. 19, is eligible to be reactivated against the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday.

The third-year forward, who was averaging a career-high 14 points before pulling his hamstring, ran and jumped yesterday without any sign of discomfort.

Smith, the Bullets' No. 1 draft choice from Louisville, has been slow to respond to treatment after spraining his left ankle in a pickup game in Houston several weeks before the Bullets opened training camp.

The 6-foot-3 guard missed the entire preseason and started the regular season on the injured list. After being activated, he played five minutes against Seattle, but the ankle continued to ache and swell. Smith has not played in the last three games.

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