"There's no question we're under some pressure here," says Bullets general manager John Nash. "It would be very prudent for us to make the playoffs for fiscal reasons. Lending institutions look at revenue streams, which [are enhanced by] postseason play."
Because of a season-long epidemic of injuries, the Washington front office holds coach Jim Lynam blameless for the club's 33-39 showing through Sunday. Lynam's future seems especially secure in light of the assertion by All-Star forward and free-agent-to-be Juwan Howard that " Coach Lynam is a reason I'd stay."
Yet sources say that if Howard leaves, Nash could lose his job. There already has been talk that Nash, formerly general manager in Philadelphia, will join old friend Pat Croce, the new president of the down-trodden Sixers, as his general manager. Croce has touched base with other pals with a Philly connection, including Magic G.M. Pat Williams (he needs a change of scenery), Orlando vice president John Gabriel (his contract is up, and he's intrigued with the ultimate rebuilding job) and NBC analyst Matt Guokas (interested in a G.M. job only).
Line of the Week
Rockets forward Mark Bryant, March 27 versus the Mavericks: 28 MIN, 12-18 FG, 6-9 FT, 30 points, 11 rebounds. Even though Houston lost 117-114, Bryant's effort was heroic because he was anchoring an undermanned starting five that included CBA importees Sam Mack and Tracy Moore, plus veterans Chucky Brown and Kenny Smith. Rockets mainstays Sam Cassell, Clyde Drexler, Mario Elie, Robert Horry and Hakeem Olajawon all were down with injuries.
Around the Rim
Look for the Pacers to move reserve point guard Haywoode Workman in the off-season to open up playing time for rookie Travis Best. "I've got to get [Best] minutes," says coach Larry Brown. "I love everything about Travis, but then I look down the bench and see Haywoode and remember what he's done for us. I'm torn every night."
...The Lakers voted unanimously to strip Cedric Ceballos of his co-captaincy for going AWOL. And on the road trip that followed Ceballos's March 25 reinstatement, he stayed on a separate floor from the rest of the players....
The Celtics are now thinking they might have overpaid free-agent guard Dana Barros (six years, $20 million), who was averaging 12.7 points and 4.11 assists through Sunday. Boston should check with Washington, which still wants the three-point specialist....
At week's end Raptors point guard Damon Stoudamire was on course to play 3,270 minutes this season. At that pace he'll be the sixth-most-used rookie in NBA history, behind Elvin Hayes (Rockets, 1968-69), Lew Alcindor ( Bucks, '69-70), Walt Bellamy (Packers, '61-62), Wilt Chamberlain ( Warriors, '59-60) and Jerry Lucas (Royals, '63-64).