Celtics to bench Rasheed?

ESPN Boston has Doc Rivers’ comments about Rasheed Wallace:

“[Wallace] has to play better, bottom line,” said Rivers, who has given Wallace plenty of rope this season. “He has to play better defense — the offense will come — but he has to be a better defender. And we can’t wait for him. He has to be a better defender for us.”

Wallace, underwhelming for much of the 2009-10 season, continues to provide little in the way of production in the postseason despite all the playoff experience he brought with him to Boston. After logging a mere two points and two rebounds over 13 minutes in Saturday’s Game 1 loss, Wallace is now at minus-20 in the plus/minus for the postseason, the lowest number on a team that’s won four of the six games it has played.

Rivers on Sunday seemed unwilling to completely yank Wallace from the rotation, but noted that [Shelden] Williams won’t be overlooked.

Why can’t he yank Wallace from the rotation? From what I saw in Game 1, and from what Bill Simmons has been writing about all season, Sheed has been basically useless this year. His PER is 13.18 (a career low), he is -3.7 in production and -4.1 in net +/- (per 82games) and is shooting a miserable 41% from the field and 28% from long range. Is Rivers afraid to bench him outright because of the poisonous attitude he may bring to the locker room?

Rivers is a pretty good coach, but I don’t understand these comments. Why bother going out to the media at this point in the season? If Wallace can’t get motivated enough in Game Freaking 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals — against the Cavs, no less — then why would he think that making a few statements to the media make any difference?

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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