When Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace tells you he's playing "basic basketball" against the Raptors, it's more likely he's playing extraordinary basketball.
Wallaced connected on 9 of 12 attempts from the floor Sunday, including 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc, while pouring in a team-high 29 points to pace Boston past Toronto 114-107 at the Air Canada Centre.
"Just shooting open shots, that’s all," said Wallace. "It's basic basketball, like I have always been saying -- just tonight I decided to hit it."
Asked after that game about the spin move, Wallace said, "I’m just playing basketball, man. [Bargnani] wants to sit on that high side, well, I’m gonna spin baseline. I’ll go baseline. He wants to cut out the baseline, I’ll go low. It’s just basic basketball, ain’t nothing new, nothing different.”
Basic basketball. That's hardly the term others would use to describe Wallace's elevated play in the absence of Kevin Garnett.
"I thought he was phenomenal," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "The big shots he made, the post plays he made. I thought he was great defensively."
Added Toronto coach Jay Triano: "He extends the defense and made some 3s, and had a season-high in points. He was 5 of 7 from the 3-point line. He has not been shooting that well all year, but he’s got the ability to do it. You have to lean on [point guard Rajon] Rondo a little bit if he penetrates and we got stuck not getting out there quicker."
Even Chris Bosh, who posted 31 points and 13 rebounds, heaped praise on Wallace's performance.
"You never know with a team like that, everybody is a wild card -- Rasheed, Ray Allen, Kevin [Garnett] when he is playing, Paul [Pierce] -- they all can score the basketball and have all been 'the man’ on their team in the past," said Bosh. "So it doesn’t surprise me. [Wallace] made some tough shots, but that is what he does."
The Celtics finished 11 of 26 from downtown. Wallace's thoughts? Yup, just basic basketball.
"We’re just out there playing, just basic basketball," said Wallace. "It's what we've been doing all season, no matter if I’m hitting them or Ray or Paul or Eddie [House]."