Guest Author Garrett Jackson Goes off on Sheed!

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It’s extremely rare that you can find a basketball player that is 6-11, that can shoot from the perimeter, pass, run the floor like a guard, go down on the block and post up, and play superb defense.

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Well, one can be found down the road in Auburn Hills. He goes by the name of Rasheed Wallace, and he possesses all of those attributes. Along with the likes of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, Rasheed Wallace is one of the few big men in the league that can do pretty much everything on a basketball court. So why exactly isn’t Rasheed mentioned in the same breath as Duncan and Garnett? Why doesn’t he produce the numbers that they put up on a consistent basis?

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I know a lot of you saying to yourself that, it’s because he sacrifices his numbers for the team, or Garnett doesn’t have a championship and Rasheed does.

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I’ll put it this way. If Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett played on the Pistons and averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds on a team that was beaten in four straight games in the Eastern Conference Finals by an inferior team, they would be ridiculed like there was no tomorrow.

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To his credit, he was an extremely vital piece in 2004 when the Pistons defeated the Lakers to win the title, but we should remember that he was playing next to a dominant big man in Ben Wallace that took some of the load off of him and he was also playing for a new contract. Yes, Ben is no where close to being dominant now, but when he was in a Pistons uniform, his play could change the way a coach game planned. Without Ben, Rasheed has been a pretty good player that shows flashes of his immense talent form time to time. It is no excuse for a player with his skill-set to ever disappear in any game.

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Sacrificing for the team is a great thing, but in this case it is being used as an excuse for Wallace’s inconsistent play. In last year’s Conference Finals, Chauncey Billups was having a sub par series. In fact, the entire team was struggling to a certain extent. That’s when your most talented player has to step up. Tim Duncan sacrifices for his team as well. If he wanted to, he could average 30 points per game, but he doesn’t because he realizes that he has talent around him. So, he’ll just average 20+ points and 10+ rebounds every year, and when Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker are having off nights Duncan will pick up the slack.

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I have yet to see Rasheed Wallace take a game over. I have seen Chauncey do it, I have seen Rip Hamilton do it, and I have seen Ben Wallace do it. It is time for fans to stop giving Rasheed a free pass, and realize that he is the key to the Pistons success. When he goes on one of his infamous temper tantrums, we must stop saying, “Oh that’s our Sheed.” Rasheed Wallace is a 33 year-old man. He is not eight. It is not okay for a 33 year-old man to continue to have temper tantrums.

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It may sound as if I hate Rasheed Wallace, but I don’t. I am just a frustrated fan that is tired of seeing his favorite team’s most talented player not playing up to his abilities. If Rasheed Wallace approaches the game differently, the Pistons should be able to coast through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals, and beat who ever prevails in the West. Unfortunately, we have seen meltdown after meltdown since the championship year in 2004. I guess we are beginning to see what caused a big uproar when he was in Portland.