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Bullets Shun Slogans and Will Let Moses Lead Them This Season

October 05, 1986|ANTHONY COTTON | The Washington Post

"On paper," he said, "you can look at it one way, say, 'We've gotten stronger here but we're a little weaker here,' but I think it's really tough to say because so many moves, when you give your team a different look, depend on how the players fit in with each other. There has to be a little bit of chemistry formed together.

"If Ruland's healthy, they're good, (but) they've improved a little bit at center with Moses. But I think they gave up two very talented players in Ruland and Cliff Robinson. Jay Vincent was a good trade for them because I think they were weak at small forward, otherwise they're putting it all on John Williams to be great his first year and I don't know if he will be. I think he's got a lot of potential, but it may take him a year or two."

That may be all the time the Bullets have. Moses Malone is 31 and there has been considerable wear and tear on his body after years of grinding in the low post. He will earn $2.1 million a year for even more abuse, and that salary could be expected to rise even higher if he fulfills Washington's expectations.

But the Bullets aren't worrying about two years down the line right now.

"They feel they're ready," said Celtics Coach K.C. Jones. "They're saying they want to make a big move, not next year, but now. The three-year plan is definitely out the window."

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