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View Full Version : YEAH!!! Frustrated Wallace unsure of role



Will Galen
12-14-2005, 11:46 AM
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051214/SPORTS0102/512140305/1004/SPORTS

Frustrated Wallace unsure of role

Piston hasn't been his usual shot-blocking, rebounding self, won't use pain as an excuse.

Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

AUBURN HILLS-- Beneath the happy surface of a 15-3 start, a potentially troubling issue is bubbling for the Pistons.

Ben Wallace has not been Ben Wallace.

When Kris Humphries of Utah dunks in his face, posterizes him without much resistance, something is wrong. When the Pistons get outrebounded for eight straight games, including a 55-27 drubbing by the Jazz on Monday night, something is wrong.

When the Jazz get 16 layups and dunks, the night after the Clippers get 19 layups and dunks and score 58 points in the lane, something is wrong.

Not all of that is on him, of course, but when Ben Wallace isn't in the top three in the NBA in rebounds and blocks -- well, he's not being Ben Wallace.

"I don't know what's going on," a visibly frustrated Wallace said after getting six rebounds and four points (on three shots) in a 92-78 loss Monday. "I don't even know what my role is. I am just out there running around. I am sick of this "

Wallace wouldn't comment further. After the Pistons beat Golden State on Friday, though, he gave a hint as to his frustration.

"It's just about me playing basketball," he said. "I am just not happy with my game. I've got to be better. I've got to play better. I have to play harder. I have to bring something more than what I've been doing."

Wallace has been playing through pain. He has been getting daily treatment on his right foot, left ankle and left elbow, which he apparently hyperextended. But he refuses to use these difficulties as a crutch.

The Pistons also have been on an energy-sapping schedule grind. The five days off last week notwithstanding, they have played 12 of their 18 games on the road in the first 6 1/2 weeks.

"Ben is an energy guy," coach Flip Saunders said. "As many games as we've had, it feels like we've been on the road for three months. That sucks the energy out of you."

Wallace, who prides himself on being one of the best-conditioned athletes in the game, won't use that excuse, either. So, what is it?

It might have something to do with his role in the offense, which is shrinking. When asked whether he felt as if he wasn't involved enough offensively, he ended the interview.

"I don't have no more comment," he said.

Saunders acknowledged that might be part of the problem, part of the reason Wallace feels as if he's running around without much purpose on offense.

"What has happened is that some of our guys have gotten off to real good starts," Saunders said. "Rip (Hamilton), Tayshaun (Prince) and 'Sheed (Rasheed Wallace) have been so good, what's happened is, we haven't utilized Ben enough offensively. We've talked about this. We probably need to get him more touches and get him involved more in what we are doing at that end."

Wallace has averaged fewer than five shots the last seven games.

"We do have to play off him more," Saunders said. "But what has happened is, we have scored a lot off of our first options. We haven't had to turn it over and get to our second and third options, which would include him more."

Under coaches Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown, Wallace had very defined responsibilities on the offensive end. Carlisle basically told him to stay out of the way and try to get offensive rebounds. Brown ran basic post plays for him.

Saunders is asking Wallace and the rest of the team to read defenses and make decisions based on how they react.

"I always say the game is not played in black or white," Saunders said. "It's played in the gray area. I think it's been an adjustment for some of our guys. The two previous coaches had Ben stand on the hash and not do much of anything else. We are asking Ben to make reads and react, and maybe that's not as comfortable."

What Saunders hopes, and what he plans to talk to him about today, is that Wallace understands he has been a key facilitator for the success of the offense, despite not getting a lot of shots or points himself.

"In a way, he's like an offensive lineman in football," Saunders said. "You know, he's the guy setting the screens and getting people into open spots, but he's not getting any of the recognition or credit. His work goes largely unnoticed.

"I keep telling the guys to throw Ben a bone once in a while so he feels like he's a part of it."

The bottom line, as Saunders knows, is if Wallace isn't a part of things on the offensive end, his energy and effectiveness tend to wane on the defensive end. And if that happens, the Pistons are in trouble.

Unclebuck
12-14-2005, 11:52 AM
What, trouble in paradise

How about Ron for Ben. One for one. No not a PPV fight a trade. One unhappy player for another

Kstat, just relax, let us have some fun with this.

Shade
12-14-2005, 11:53 AM
"I don't know what's going on," a visibly frustrated Wallace said after getting six rebounds and four points (on three shots) in a 92-78 loss Monday. "I don't even know what my role is. I am just out there running around. … I am sick of this …"

That last line is an eye-grabber, but I wonder if it was taken out of context the way it feels tacked-on there.


"Ben is an energy guy," coach Flip Saunders said. "As many games as we've had, it feels like we've been on the road for three months. That sucks the energy out of you."

Unless this is in reference to number of road games, there are teams that have played more than 18 games so far (like the Pacers).


It might have something to do with his role in the offense, which is shrinking. When asked whether he felt as if he wasn't involved enough offensively, he ended the interview.

"I don't have no more comment," he said.

In all fairness, Ben, you're at the bottom of the chain when it comes to offensive threats on that team.


"What has happened is that some of our guys have gotten off to real good starts," Saunders said. "Rip (Hamilton), Tayshaun (Prince) and 'Sheed (Rasheed Wallace) have been so good, what's happened is, we haven't utilized Ben enough offensively. We've talked about this. We probably need to get him more touches and get him involved more in what we are doing at that end."

Isn't that your job, Flip?


"I keep telling the guys to throw Ben a bone once in a while so he feels like he's a part of it."

Oh, my. Not a good quote from the coach at all. I don't think Ben Wallace wants to feel like Darko.

Frank Slade
12-14-2005, 11:59 AM
posted by Kstat

What? Oh yeah, I blame Flip totally for this. Not getting Ben involved enough in the offense. Oh well, I am not worried 15-3 is still good enough for 1st place in the league.
;) I kid,I kid....

Fool
12-14-2005, 12:10 PM
That last line is an eye-grabber, but I wonder if it was taken out of context the way it feels tacked-on there.

Its used in a similar manner in another article by a different Detroit reporter. I don't think its misleading (though I can see where it could feel that way here).




Unless this is in reference to number of road games, there are teams that have played more than 18 games so far (like the Pacers).

I think it is. It has to be, as you say. Pistons have played 12 road games (2 West coast trips, 8 Western teams) out of their 18 games so far.




In all fairness, Ben, you're at the bottom of the chain when it comes to offensive threats on that team.

He's shooting a similar amount of shots as he did in the Carlisle regime.




Oh, my. Not a good quote from the coach at all. I don't think Ben Wallace wants to feel like Darko.

Agreed. "Token" possessions are not the answer and are insulting to Ben.

BTW, fan reaction (message board-wise) is a bit mixed with many of the "anti-Ben" in this issue citing that this would make the 3rd coach that Ben has spoken out about being unhappy with.

Pistoner
12-14-2005, 12:16 PM
Keep hoping fellas

Shade
12-14-2005, 12:18 PM
This is all Rick's fault for playing AJ when he didn't have any other PG's to play and still shouldn't have played him anyway.

:lol:

Btw, btown, we need a new Chuck Norris quote for the day. Slacker. :tongue:

Frank Slade
12-14-2005, 12:19 PM
:lol:

Btw, btown, we need a new Chuck Norris quote for the day. Slacker. :tongue:

right you have tried to get by with the same fact for how many days now ?

Shade
12-14-2005, 12:19 PM
Keep hoping fellas

For what? A Ron/Ben swap? ;)

Hell, the Pistons are 15-3 w/Ben being practically invisible. Not much to worry about even if he turns into an Artest.

Mordecaii
12-14-2005, 12:23 PM
Talk about offensive production going down though...

Shade
12-14-2005, 12:28 PM
Talk about offensive production going down though...

I don't see it ever happeneing, but it would be an intersting trade from both sides, regardless of the irony. Plus, Ben is an expiring contract. He would undoutedly be our starting center.

Artest would be a big gamble for Joe, but if it paid off the Pistons can start making preparations for another championship banner.

Mordecaii
12-14-2005, 12:31 PM
Nah I think it would hurt both teams. Wallace is too good for the Pistons inside blocking shots and getting rebounds, and Artest scored too many points for us to be replaced by Wallace.

Fool
12-14-2005, 12:33 PM
Artest would be a big gamble for Joe, but if it paid off the Pistons can start making preparations for another championship banner.

Wait a minute. Are you saying that the Pistons would be a lock for the championship if Ben were traded for Artest (and Artest didn't go all mental on the team)?

I don't agree with that.

Shade
12-14-2005, 12:35 PM
Wait a minute. Are you saying that the Pistons would be a lock for the championship if Ben were traded for Artest (and Artest didn't go all mental on the team)?

I don't agree with that.

I believe so, yes. The interior defense wouldn't be quite as good w/o Ben, but they're deep enough, Darko would finally get that coveted PT, and the 1-3 positions would be the best in the league, hands down.

sweabs
12-14-2005, 12:37 PM
:lmao: !!!!!!!!!

The fact that anyone is even contemplating a trade between Ron and Ben is priceless. It's not even worth discussing.

And the Pistons being "better" WITH Ron? That's good stuff.

sweabs
12-14-2005, 12:45 PM
I wasn't being serious. I can't fathom us doing a trade that doesn't bring in Bosh.

I know you weren't.

But, if we got Big Ben, maybe we could just deal him in a package for Bosh.

ABADays
12-14-2005, 12:51 PM
Now that would be interesting. Ron's dark cloud moves out and Wallace's dark cloud moves in. Remember! He was the one we all accused of instigating the brawl. An open arms, warm welcome? No, I don't think so. Besides, we have enough of our own problems to be concerned with theirs.

Kstat
12-14-2005, 02:05 PM
YEAH!!!!!!!

:laugh:

naptownmenace
12-14-2005, 02:28 PM
This thread is great. On the comedic scale I rate it an 8.5.

:lurk:

Peck
12-14-2005, 02:49 PM
Now that would be interesting. Ron's dark cloud moves out and Wallace's dark cloud moves in. Remember! He was the one we all accused of instigating the brawl. An open arms, warm welcome? No, I don't think so. Besides, we have enough of our own problems to be concerned with theirs.


Um..... Not ALL of us.

Naptown Seth
12-14-2005, 02:55 PM
<Kstat> Ben will be fine. He's not declining despite his numbers being way down. It's simply a case of Ben blocking less shots so the others can block more. Ditto for rebounding. Ben is so unselfish, he puts his teammates stats before his own. Ben is God and better than Wilt and Russell put together.</Kstat>

Kstat
12-14-2005, 03:00 PM
Speaking of irony... :lol:


Well, he knows it would be impossible to call EVERY player ona 15-3 team "overated," so he has to find one player to call good and call the other 11 overrated...... :laugh:

FreshPrince22
12-14-2005, 04:03 PM
Ben needs to play some F-in defense and rebound the ball before anyone should consider throwing away a possession just to make him happy out there (even though we already do, he's averaging .7 less ppg and more assists than ever).

My take: He's on 2 gimpy legs right now and he's getting frustrated that he can't outwork anyone right now. Get him healthy and he will be fine. Maybe the pain killers are going to his head? :whoknows:

Also worth noting... In ESPN's post-game recap of the utah game they made it sound like those comments were about refs, saying "I'm sick of this ****" about getting fouled every 2 seconds with no calls. So, maybe one of these two is off.

FreshPrince22
12-14-2005, 09:22 PM
That's Big Ben for you. He sounds off to the media then pulls something like this the next game. The 4th quarter just started and he has 16 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals, and 2 assists.