Gerald Wallace was acquired last season by the Brooklyn Nets via trade for the sixth pick in this year draft to be a leader and defensive stopper. The pick went to Portland where they selected the multi-talented Damian Lillard.
Wallace has career averages of 13 points, six rebounds and two assists per game in his 11 year career while shooting 47 percent from the field. Right now, Wallace is averaging career lows in all of these categories and is shooting an abysmal 41 percent.
The year did not start off well for Wallace when he turned his ankle on opening night when the Nets opened Barclays center with a win over the Toronto Raptors.
That seemed to be a precursor for his first year in Brooklyn where he has battled multiple injuries and shooting slumps.
Can Crash find a way to get out of this slump?
“It is what it is,” Wallace said. “I just have to keep playing. I try not to affect me as far as playing. I can’t complain. The games keep coming. They’re not going to wait for you to make excuses. I just have to keep trying, keep putting in work and doing what I can do. Some nights it’s rough. You want to be out there helping your teammates but you’re struggling.
“Things aren’t going the way you’re used to them going. Things aren’t going as smooth as you want them too. But you just have to stay positive, hopefully work yourself out of this slump.”Wallace didn’t want to detail all his aches and pains after scoring eight points in Tuesday’s win over the Hornets, but there have been at least two injuries this season – a sprained ankle and bruised ribs – that have caused him to miss games.
Still, he was benched for the entire fourth quarter in Sunday’s loss to the Grizzlies, while the Nets attempted a comeback that fell short.
“What can you say? I was playing like (expletive). I didn’t deserve to play in the fourth quarter,” Wallace said. “The main thing is just rebounding and playing defense. The main thing I’ve been focusing on with my offense struggling is trying to play good defense. They’re putting me on some of the other guys, some of the tougher guys that are on hot streaks or whatever. And my main thing is I just have to go out there and control them and not let them have a big night.”
John Paolantonio, ContributorI have always been a big fan of Crash and his relentless non stop play. With that being said, I am not quite sure who the person is that is suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets this year wearing number 45.
The Nets small forward position has been a revolving door of players for the past three years and the production from the position has been a league worst in those years. I thought after the trade for Wallace that situation would be resolved.
I think I was wrong as the production, or lack there of, has been pretty much the same with Wallace as the previous years. That is a big statement knowing who played that position for the Nets prior.
Wallace is an undeniable leader and hustle guy that can change games without the stats that define other players although he seems to be in a funk that I haven’t seen from him in his long career. He has gone through shooting slumps before but the number of easy buckets and layups that he has missed this season is startling.
The Nets don’t need him to drop 20 points a night and grab 10 rebounds for them to be successful but they do need him to make the easy plays and occasionally hit the wide open corner 3-pointer. He has not been able to do that this year and it makes me ask, “Is he injured and we don’t know about it?”
I hope this is simply a bad stretch for the man they call “Crash” and he finds his way out of it so he can be a leader by example for the Nets and their upcoming playoff run.