Friday, April 16, 2010
Sheed: Confidence is fine, thanks
By Chris Forsberg ESPNBoston.com
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Although he admitted his 2009-10 season was "nothing to write home about," Rasheed Wallace said Friday that his confidence level remains high and that he's not about to let the criticism levied at him affect his postseason performance.
"I'm going to be me, no matter what," Wallace said. "Half the people like me and half the people don't. I'm not out here to please the fans or whatever, I'm here to win a title. Some of the fans are mad with me, some of the fans cheer for me. I can't worry about that. I can't play my game off that. I'm going to go out there and do what I've got to do and get the W."
Rasheed Wallace is averaging 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in Boston, down from his career marks of 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Wallace came to Boston as a prized free-agent acquisition and was supposed to lift the Celtics back to championship caliber after injuries derailed the Green's title defense last season.
But Wallace has been a major disappointment, averaging 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds, down from his career marks of 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
What's more, Wallace was atrocious shooting the ball. He shot 40.9 percent overall from the field, the lowest of his career, including a dismal 28.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Asked to grade his performance, Wallace admitted it wasn't up to standard.
"So-so, nothing to write home about, it was just so-so," Wallace said. "But I'm not worried about it. It was a down season coming to a new offense, so I'm not worried about it. I'm not making no excuses on how I shot the ball or nothing. I know I had a bad year shooting, but it's part of it."
Wallace is a veteran of 14 straight NBA postseasons, and some have wondered whether he has been saving something for when the games truly matter.
Wallace said it's not a priority to win back fans, regardless of whether he turns his game around in the postseason.
"For me, it doesn't matter," he said. "I've been in this game too long to sit up here and try to play my game depending on what the fans say.
"Shoot, when I first got to Portland, they didn't like me. When I first got to Detroit, they didn't like me. When I first got here, they didn't like me. It's nothing new. Like I said, I can't focus my game on what the fans think."
Wallace did describe his confidence level as high and said that the Celtics as a whole feel the same way. But coaches and players dismissed the idea that the team had the ability to flip any sort of playoff switch.
"I don't ever believe that, and I don't think we believe that," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I just think we've been inconsistent. But I don't think it's because we have the proverbial switch. I don't."
Celtics players don't believe there's a switch, but they do acknowledge this team must play to its potential and play a consistent 48 minutes -- something it has failed to do much of this season, particularly while going 27-27 since Christmas.
"It's not about a switch," said Kevin Garnett. "It's about how much you can zone in and lock in and focus in."
Wallace said he has absolutely no doubt that this team can play at the championship level he was brought in to restore.
"I know how we'll play -- bottom line," Wallace said. "If I had any doubts about it, then I wouldn't be as confident. My confidence level is high. Our confidence level is real high right now. I know how we'll come out and play."
Chris Forsberg is the Celtics reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.