DUMARS: SHOOT THE BALL RASHEED
Two men stood silently in an elevator as it rumbled sky ward in the Pistons team hotel in San Antonio.
Pistons President Joe Dumars stood on one side, his risky trade acquisition Rasheed Wallace on the other side.
Wallace looked down toward the floor and Dumars straight ahead.
The doors opened and Wallace stepped out.
"Shoot the ball, " Dumars called out.
"OK. I will, " Wallace said hopefully.
Once again the man of few words made the biggest statement. Dumars is right. Wallace must shoot the ball more tonight when the Pistons and Spurs battle in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at SBC Center.
Wallace took six shots in Game 1, a 84-69 Pistons loss. Six shooters are fine in western movies. They are not acceptable when you are as talented as Wallace.
Hopefully Rasheed Wallace will be on the same elevator with point guard Chauncey Billups. And we can only hope the following conversation happens.
Rasheed: "Get me the ball."
Billups: "You got it man. "
Of course the Pistons must rebound better, defend the ball better and get inside the jocks of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. But they also need Rasheed Wallace to be more aggressive on the offensive end.
There are two problems.
1. Rasheed Wallace loves to read games. He concentrates on rebounding when the team needs that. He is also an excellent passer, rebounder and defender. He can hurt you in many ways. He is unselfish.
Sometimes Wallace does not shoot enough because he was taught not to bring attention to himself on the floor, unless of course he is barking at a referee and padding his record number of technical fouls.
Ball hog is not his MO.
But when a team struggles as much on offense as the Pistons they could use one more ball hog. Lets hope Rasheed Wallace becomes that. Sometimes it is baffling to see Ben Wallace take more shots than Rasheed Wallace.
One Wallace is smooth on offense. The other shoots like Robo Cop. I will let you guess which is which.
2. Chauncey Billups needs to recognize when one of his big guns has too many unused bullets in the chamber. It is up to him to feed Rasheed the ball and tell him during time outs his number will be called. Billups is in a tough situation because he knows he can score off gambling defensive player Tony Parker at will.
But the main job of a point guard is to make teammates look good.
Rasheed Wallace is the wild card in the Pistons run. They rarely lose when he is active, interested and dominating.
Shoot the ball.
They might become the most important words of this series