Bullets left high, dry by wet floor


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- People were feverishly pushing mops around Washington Bullets guard Scott Skiles about an hour before the scheduled start of a game against the Detroit Pistons when he was asked about the condition of the court.

"Watch this," said Skiles who, after a running start, hit the brakes -- and slid about 10 feet.

"We wanted to play the game," Skiles said later. "But it was out of everyone's control."

So, after a delay of about 40 minutes, the game was postponed because of condensation on the floor at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The game will be made up in April, probably before or after the April 2 game here.

It's the second time this season the Bullets have had a game hTC postponed because of condensation on the playing surface. On Dec. 19, Washington's game against the Phoenix Suns at USAir Arena was postponed. That game will be made up April 6.

Just as on Dec. 19, the mild temperatures here caused the ice beneath the playing surface to melt. Skiles came to the arena early and noticed the problem immediately.

"I got here between 5:30 and 6 o'clock and it was pretty bathen," Skiles said.

"I told one of the ball boys they better do something about it. The way it was it could have been three, four, five hours -- and it still wouldn't have been playable."

The crowd sat patiently as workers pushed mops around the floor. An hour before the scheduled tip four air blowers were placed in the corners of the floor to try to cool the surface.

It got cold, but the moisture was still a problem.

At 8:10 p.m. the game's postponement was announced. By that time the players were dressed and ready to leave.

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