Nets’ Gerald Wallace takes play to new level in playoffs

Carlesimo, center, has no problem with Wallace, left, sharing his opinion. Credit: Getty Images
Wallace, left, finally had a breakout performance in Saturday’s Game 1.
Credit: Getty Images

No matter how many shots he took in practice and pregame warm-ups over the course of six months, shots just weren’t falling for Gerald Wallace.

In Game 1 of the playoffs, it was a different story, as Wallace made his first five shots and scored 14 points. After a regular season that saw him average 7.7 points per game and shoot 39.7 percent, Wallace forgot about that with an offensive performance that was one of his best as a Net.

After showing a reluctance to shoot because of confidence issues, even during Monday’s win over Washington when he was the only starter to play, Wallace showed a more aggressive side with his offense.

“My main thing was to be more aggressive, put more pressure on their defense [and] get in situations where they’ve got to guard,” Wallace said. “They probably didn’t see that in the first four games we played them. It’s probably something new to them. It forced them to do something they didn’t want to do defensively.”

His first shot in Game 1 against the Bulls was a driving finger roll in the first quarter, a transition basket that came after he intercepted a pass from Richard Hamilton. His second shot was a put-back layup off a Brook Lopez miss. That was followed by another transition layup just before halftime and his final two shots were a 3-pointer and another layup.

Wallace made five shots for the first time since going 5-for-12 in Portland on March 27. It also was the ninth time Wallace made five shots, though only three of those games occurred after Dec. 14.

“I am just playing right now,” Wallace said. “This is a totally different season, so I am out here enjoying myself, just playing and trying to have fun right now. You know I am not ready to go home right now, so my main thing is to leave it all out on the court.”

However, even if Wallace did not produce offensively, his aggressiveness on defense would have been sufficient. Wallace had two blocked shots and a highlight moment when he leapt and caught the ball after it left Jimmy Butler’s hand.

If the category of mid-air steals existed, it would have gone as that. Instead it was a blocked shot. It was the defense that stood out for interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo, especially after watching him hold Luol Deng to 3-for-11 shooting.

“He could’ve had zero points and been one of our two or three best players,” Carlesimo said.

“That’s what we need him to do,” Lopez said. “That’s what we know he’s capable of. He’s always going to be an energy guy and when he’s playing like that, he takes us to another level.”

Another level of play was on display Saturday night and although the rigors of a long playoff game made Wallace tired, it was the good kind of tired.

“I’m tired right now,” Wallace said. “That’s how you’re supposed to feel after a playoff game — tired, sore.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.