|Wallace Makes Unexpected Return to Starting Five||12.22.09 at 11:31 pm ET|
It had been nearly eight months since Rasheed Wallace found himself in this position.
Wallace had not started a game since April 26, when the Pistons were eliminated by the Cavaliers in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Back then, Wallace had hours to prepare. On Tuesday night, he didn’t have the same luxury when he was called upon to start in place of Kevin Garnett, who was suffering from a bruised right thigh.
“KG’s telling me his leg is a little sore, so I knew it was a 50-50 chance,” Wallace explained after the game. “So its just preparing yourself mentally, and I found out about maybe 10-20 minutes before our meeting started.”
After establishing himself as the leader of the second unit this season, Wallace was thrown into a situation he had never been in before in Boston. He had to quickly shift his mindset to adjust to his new role and new matchups to make his first start as a Celtic.
“It’s a different preparation,” he said. “You know when you’re coming off the bench, you’re looking more at the guys that they have coming off of the bench. At first I was more focused on [Tyler] Hansborough and what they have coming. But I had to turn that focus to [Roy] Hibbert and [Troy] Murphy and try to do what I can with them.”
Wallace jumped out early in the first quarter. He scored five points (including a three-pointer), grabbed five rebounds, and dished two assists in the first 12 minutes. Hibbert was held scoreless while Murphy posted only three points.
He honed in on defense as the game went on. Wallace nabbed seven boards in the second half to finish the game with nine points and 13 rebounds. He banged his shoulder and was sidelined as Murphy got hot late in the final two quarters. But fortunately for the Celtics, the other starters picked up the pace while their leading rebounder was on the bench.
“It’s cool. A little sore but nagging injuries, I’m good,” he said of his shoulder, which was wrapped in ice after the game. “Lord knows [how it happened], scuffling around in there with those big guys and came up a little bit sore. But I’m alright though. It’s all normal.”
Although his start was unexpected, the Celtics like what they saw from his impromptu performance. Once the first unit gelled with their new member — Doc Rivers was happy to see them making the extra pass — they clicked with Wallace in the lineup.
“He’s just got like a totally different focus [as a starter],” Kendrick Perkins said. “He goes out there and rebounds, his defens[ive] energy is up, and he just goes out there and does the little things. He doesn’t worry about scoring the ball or nothing like that.
“He just goes out there and plays his role to the fullest.”
|Rescinding Rasheed||at 8:06 pm ET|
Tuesday was a big day for Rasheed Wallace.
Not only did he make his first start of the season – giving Kevin Garnett the night off to rest his right thigh – he caught a break on Tuesday when he had one of his 10 technical fouls removed from the official record. On Nov. 29 in Miami, Wallace said, “and one!” after he thought he was fouled after making a basket at the end of the first quarter.
He was assessed the technical by Bennett Salvatore.
“He said [he would rescind] right away,” Rivers said on Tuesday. “He said it at halftime that they would rescind it. He told me something I didn’t know. When they rescind a tech, it still has to go to the league and it still has to be approved. They don’t have to rescind it.”
But taking away the one tech didn’t satisfy Wallace. He feels there are several more that need to be reviewed.
“No, I’m not happy because there’s still some more that hopefully they can look at,” Wallace explained. “That wasn’t the only one we were talking about. That one got rescinded that fast because it was referee who said he was going to do it. I’m still seeing what the outcome is on the others but I know it won’t be anytime soon for the simple fact they’re in [collective bargaining agreement] meetings. I’m not worried about it yet.”
Wallace was rung up twice for arguing and ejected from the game against Philadelphia on Friday, a game the Celtics lost, 98-97.
Those two remain on the record, now giving Wallace nine for the season. An automatic suspension is levied at 16 technicals and every two technicals after.
|‘Strategic rest’ for Garnett||at 7:29 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett [right thigh bruise] will not play against the Pacers. Rasheed Wallace will start in his place. According to the team, the decision was a precautionary one made by head coach Doc Rivers.
The move to give Garnett “strategic rest” was made in an effort to have the star ready for their Christmas Day game in Orlando on Friday afternoon.
Tuesday’s game, the 27th of the season, marks the first time the Celtics have had a different lineup.
|Sheed talks techs||12.20.09 at 9:41 pm ET|
BOSTON - On Sunday following the Celtics-Timberwolves game, Rasheed Wallace spoke out about his ejection on Friday against the 76ers. Wallace said he will not alter his game to try to prevent being called for technical fouls. In fact, he was not happy with how close referee Bill Kennedy stood near the Celtics bench during timeouts.
Wallace was ejected by Kennedy during a timeout in the second quarter.
“If they’re standing right near our huddle trying to stick their ear or nose in there, then yeah, they’re going to hear some stuff,” he said. “That’s exactly what it was. When have you ever seen somebody – a ref – standing over there that close to our bench during a timeout. You already know what it is. I ain’t tripping.”
Wallace later added, “I’ll still play my game. I’ll still be me. I ain’t changing my game for nobody. I ain’t changing nothing for nobody.”
|A Sheed-less Loss||12.18.09 at 11:01 pm ET|
BOSTON – The Celtics were rolling with an 11-point lead before it happened.
Rasheed Wallace got whistled for an offensive foul with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. He didn’t agree with the call. During a timeout less than a minute later he got slapped with a technical. And then another one. Wallace had to be restrained by assistant coach Tom Thibodeau as he was tossed with 5:35 to go in the first half.
“That definitely helps because he can spread the floor,” Elton Brand said of the ejection. “He’s a good player for them and he was posting up and scoring, absolutely.”
Wallace had posted five points and three rebounds in nine minutes before he was ejected. The 76ers took advantage of his absence and tied the Celtics with 13 points in the remainder of the quarter. Big man Marreese Speights scored five points in the last 2:20 alone.
After having a 31-20 advantage on the boards in the first half, the Celtics were outrebounded 25-15 in the second. Without Wallace, the second unit combined for just four rebounds in the entire game before losing 98-97. (Recap here)
His absence played a role in the Celtics loss, but that doesn’t mean they are putting it all on him.
“Sheed’s a big part of our team,” said Kevin Garnett. “Not only does he give us length and a great voice out there on defense and offense, but he’s a presence in the post, a presence on the outside, and knows how to play and shares the ball. But that’s no excuse. I mean he didn’t have anything to do with our energy. That’s just a team thing and we’ll get it right.”
Added Brian Scalabrine, “This is the kind of game where we will all look at ourselves in the mirror and say we all should have done better. We’re not blaming anyone else on this one. We should have won this game tonight.”
The Celtics will practice on Saturday and host the Timberwolves on Sunday evening.
|The Book on ‘Kevin and Sheed’||11.28.09 at 2:19 pm ET|
WALTHAM — It doesn’t take long for Rasheed Wallace to make an impression. Ask Paul Pierce, who just one month into the regular season has already heard so many stories and jokes that he could pen a literary masterpiece.
“He’s an extension of Kevin [Garnett],” Pierce said with a laugh after Saturday’s practice. “Between the two you hear a lot of stories. It’s fun. I could write a 400-page book right now.”
Garnett and Wallace are seated next to each other in the Celtics locker room. So it is only fitting that the title of Pierce’s hypothetical book would include both of them.
“I’d keep it simple: Kevin and Sheed,” Pierce said, adding, “[The cover would] probably have them two face to face, smiling.”
|Sheed: NBA going soft||11.27.09 at 11:24 pm ET|
Rasheed Wallace has been in the NBA 15 years and he spoke after Friday’s game like a true veteran who thinks the league he loves has gone way too soft.
His rant began when asked about the technical assessed when he argued about a second-quarter foul called on him for running into Toronto’s Hedo Turkoglu.
“They gotta know that he’s a damn flopper,” Wallace said. “That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you no where. He acts like I shot him.”
Wallace said that’s a cheap way to play defense.
“That’s not basketball, man. that’s not defense. That’s garbage, what it is. I’m glad I don’t have too much of it left.”
Reminded that he has three years left on his contract didn’t hold back his lecture, adding that Paul Pierce did nothing wrong on his dunk over Chris Bosh early in the fourth quarter.
“This game is watered down, watered down with all that flopping [crap],” he said. “They’re setting rules on us to the point where you’re taunting if you dunk on somebody. Paul dunked it and then he didn’t say nothing but it’s a tech.
“Let the Golden Child do that or one of the NBA Without Border kids do that, it’s all fine and dandy.”
[Hear the audio by clicking here.]
For the record, Wallace confirmed that the ‘Golden Child’ he was referring to is indeed LeBron James.
- Boston Celtics Daily Links - 5/22
- Sporting News' Sean Deveney's mock: Celtics pick Tim Hardaway, Jr.
- Bleacher Report's Tyler Conway's mock: Celtics pick James Franklin
- Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman's mock: Celtics pick Steven Adams
- CBS' Matt Moore's mock: Celtics pick Kelly Olynyk
- Chris Mannix mock has Celtics pick Gorgui Dieng
- SBNation Mock Draft: Celtics pick ...Tony Mitchell?