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The importance of having Ben Wallace around

A couple of commenters who are devoted to the youth movement were a little annoyed last night when Lawrence Frank benched Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe late in last night’s game. The logic in leaving them in, although I don’t agree with it, was that players like Monroe and Knight need to sink or swim in situations like that. I guess a case could be made for that.

Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press has the counterpoint though:

But even as Ben Wallace approaches the final laps of his career, advancing time hasn’t changed some things.

He still does the little things that win important games.

How many noticed how quickly he called time-out after snaring a critical defensive rebound off a missed Kobe Bryant three-point attempt with 32 seconds remaining in overtime? He got a stoppage before the Lakers could foul him and send him to the free throw line, which remains a nail-gnawing adventure with Wallace.

I’m a big believer in giving hard-working young players like Monroe, Knight and Jonas Jerebko big minutes. They’ve all played well enough to earn them. But I’m also not opposed to occasionally having one, two or all of them sit down and watch how a player like Wallace responds in late-game scenarios like what played out last night. I certainly don’t want it to be the norm with them, but once in a while is fine.


  • Mar 7, 201210:42 am
    by domnick


    you can’t teach experience… that is why Big Ben is getting alot of respect from the young guys like Monroe and Jerebko etc..

  • Mar 7, 201210:53 am
    by Lisa


    Big Ben might be taking minutes from the young guys but he’s a great teacher for playing defense. These young bucks need to play better defense.

  • Mar 7, 201210:54 am
    by tim


    definitely the right move to play wallace down the stretch.  Bynum was eating Monroe for lunch.  Those commenters sound like ill informed kids.

  • Mar 7, 201210:56 am
    by vic


    i agree with winning. they certainly need to see what they’ll be missing next year, and figure out a way to replace Ben.

  • Mar 7, 201211:29 am
    by DoctorDaveT


    Wouldn’t it be great to have Ben Wallace as an Assistant Coach next year, if for no other reason, to scrimmage against the starting 5 with the ‘B’ team in practice?
    And if they don’t have 15 guys on the roster….

  • Mar 7, 201212:16 pm
    by frankie d


    not that upset with benching knight and monroe…both were clearly not getting it done.
    and it isn’t like either is being buried on the bench, a la daye.
    this was one of the few times frank has actually outcoached another head coach.  he found a combination that worked and stayed with it, instead of subbing guys in and out, as though he’s looking at a predetermined schedule of minutes.
    he also realized what every western conference team knows: that the laker guards are horrible defensively.  so he kept ben in, knowing that the offensive focus would stay with stuckey and gordon, who could exploit that weakness.
    good win.  
    i hope this does not happen often, however.  the idea is that the young guys will play and learn and gain necessary experience this year.  if, once or twice or three times, the young guys have to sit and watch and hopefully learn, it’s not the end of the world.  if they are smart, they will go out and apply the lessons they observed.
    the key is that they have to get back on the court and play.  and that goes for all the young guys.  no player gets better on the bench.

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