Did you know that Rasheed Wallace shoots 52.2% from inside the arc? (stats via the great Hoop Data)
If he were a conventional big man, Rasheed would be shooting a very good percentage. I can certainly live with a 52.2% shooter. But there’s a problem: He’s taken only 232 shots from inside the arc, and nearly just as many (226) outside it, where he shoots only 28.4%.
We all figured Rasheed was still a good post player. We can see his still-pretty-unguardable fadeaway, his nice up-and-under, and even the occasional hook shot. We see he can score down low, and the stats back us up: When Rasheed Wallace is inside the arc, he’s still got it.
Again, the problem is that he all too often fades to the Land of Threes. Stay on the blocks too long, and Rasheed starts trembling like an alcoholic going cold turkey. That three-point line calls his name, and Rasheed can ignore the calling for a little while. But the voice inside his head grows stronger and, before you know it, there he is, outside the arc and preparing to fire yet another wretched jump-shot at the rim. He shoots 4.52 threes a game, and only 4.64 shots from inside the arc every night.
I can’t be the only one who cringes just about each time Rasheed Wallace fires from beyond the arc. In fact, cringing at Rasheed’s jumpers is probably universal among Celtics fans. I bet even his wife and children cringe. It’s not only because he’s shooting so badly, either, although his shot has been about as cold as the ice under a Zamboni. I would just much rather see him under the basket, where he can still do some real damage.
Danny Ainge, though, wants Rasheed to keep firing away. (Via WEEI’s Green Street)
Can you put an imaginary line inside the 3-point arc for Rasheed Wallace, he won’t know the difference right?
The good new is that Rasheed is spending more time inside the 3-point line. We want Rasheed to shoot the 3-point ball. I think he is going to have to keep shooting it some because we think it’s a weapon for us. Like I said last week, there’s going to be a series or a big game where Rasheed’s outside shooting is going to be a factor in those games. We need his outside shooting so we want him to keep shooting them and hope that he starts shooting a better percentage, so far this year.
Sure, Rasheed’s shooting could be a factor in a game. He might win a game or two the rest of the way by drilling a few threes.
But he’ll almost certainly shoot the Celtics out of more games than his shooting wins for them. At this point of the season, with Rasheed’s percentages still as cold as the North Pole, it’s time he starts to focus almost exclusively on his interior game. Do I ever think he’ll actually do that? No, I’d be a fool to think that. But it doesn’t change that neither Danny Ainge nor anyone else should ever encourage Rasheed to fire up three-pointers.
Before the season, I was excited to see Rasheed spreading the floor with his shooting. At this point, though, defenses don’t even bother guarding him at the line anyway. You don’t spread a defense by launching up shots while your defender is sagging off you all the way into the lane. That’s like saying Rajon Rondo should take some threes to spread the defense. Ummm, no. There’s a reason his defender is perpetually ten feet off him. Rondo knows his limits and, regardless of whether he’s open behind the arc, tries to get closer to the rim because he knows his percentages are far higher closer to the basket.
Rasheed needs to make an adjustment to his game, to stay the hell inside the arc. I don’t care how he does it, whether he comes to the realization himself or whether Doc finally gets through to him that he’s not Ray Allen. Shit, this year he’s barely Tony Allen from three-point range. Ice-Cold ‘Sheed needs to become far more intent on staying down low. He’s a talented big man with good touch around the hoop: Why ruin that by firing blanks at the rim four and a half times a game?
I know Wallace has proven over his career that he can be a semi-reliable three-point shooter. But his three-point shooting has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer a weapon. It’s not even a water pistol.
And Danny Ainge shouldn’t believe otherwise.
Neither should anyone else.