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Sheed takes heed from Garnett

After the Celtics [1] Game 1 loss to the Cavaliers [2], Doc Rivers [3] said Rasheed Wallace [4] had to play better [5].

Turns out, Rivers wasn’€™t the only one who wanted to see Wallace step up. Kevin Garnett [6] also believed Wallace was critical to the Celtics postseason success, and he made it a point to tell him that.

‘€œAfter the first game, I went to him in the shower and I said, ‘€˜In order for us to beat this team, man, it’€™s going to take not just the starting five. It’€™s going to take Rasheed, it’€™s going to take Tony Allen [7], it’€™s going to take Marquis (Daniels [8]), Big Baby (Glen Davis [9]), Shelden Williams [10], everybody, Nate Robinson [11]. It’€™s going to take everybody who’€™s on that bench,’€ Garnett told WEEI’s Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell [12] following the C’€™s Game 2 victory on Monday (listen to the audio here [13]).

Garnett has known his teammate long enough to understand his receptiveness ‘€” or lack thereof ‘€” to feedback. But fortunately for Garnett, who was in the 1995 NBA draft class with Wallace, he is on that short list.

‘€œI went to him personally, you know, he don’€™t really listen to a lot of people,’€ Garnett explained. “Sheed sort of goes by his own tune and he only respects a few, and I’€™m one of the very few that he listens to and that he respects. And I went to him and I said, ‘€˜If you give us 10 and 10, we’€™re going to not only beat these Cavs, but we’€™re going to blow them out.’€™ I said, ‘€˜I need 10 and 10 every night with you, at least in this series right here.’€™”

Wallace shot just 1-for-5 and recorded more fouls than points in Game 1. But Garnett knew what Wallace was capable of, in spite of a disappointing regular season in which he averaged nine points, four rebounds, shot 28 percent from 3-point range, and was assessed numerous technical fouls and fines. He wanted Wallace to put that behind him, focus on the postseason series at hand, and provide the Celtics with a solid contribution off the bench.

‘€œI said, ‘€˜I don’€™t care what you’€™ve been going through. To hell with what the year is. So what? You can make it all up right here,’€™’€ Garnett recounted. ‘€œAnd I got into him a little bit. I rubbed him the wrong way a little bit. And then later on we talked. He said, ‘€˜You’€™re right.’€™’€

Whatever the driving force may have been, Wallace stepped onto the court in Game 2 and gave one of his best performances in a Celtics uniform. He scored an efficient 17 points (7-for-8 on field goals and 3-for-4 on threes) in 18 minutes. Even though Wallace didn’€™t do anything fancy, it was just what the Celtics needed.

‘€œIt was just good to see results,’€ said Garnett. ‘€œHe’€™s a gutty veteran, he knows how to play, and it was just big. He was big for us.’€