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Rasheed primed for a big year

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Quite a few people, both media-types and regular fans, have noticed something about Rasheed Wallace this preseason: he just seems extra focused. Some have suggested it's the result of tasting real success 2004 and suffering bitter defeat in 2005. Personally, I have no idea, but I love the idea of last year's sleep-walking Pistons suddenly playing with a chip on their shoulder.

This is old news, but give MLive a break, they're just trying to fill pages until the real games count:

Every playoff series has defining moments, and one of them came when Wallace left Spurs forward Robert Horry wide-open for a game-winning shot in the closing seconds of Game 5.

Wallace said he didn't think much about it after it happened, but his actions this summer and in training camp indicate otherwise.

"He's really looking like has something to prove," said teammate Chauncey Billups. "It just seems like he's got a little chip on his shoulder."

Known for having to work his way into shape during training camp, Wallace reported in excellent physical condition when players arrived in early October. He spent most of the summer in the metro Detroit area with his family, occasionally going to the Pistons practice facility to work out and play a few games.

No one, and I mean no one, on the Pistons roster has as much offensive potential as Rasheed. You just can't matchup with him, not when he's posting up down low on one play and shooting threes from the top of the key on the next. I always felt that his talents were a bit underutilized under Larry Brown, but Flip Saunders knows how to get the most out of versatile big men:

He should benefit from having Flip Saunders as the head coach. Saunders, who spent nine-plus seasons as the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach, plans to use Wallace in ways similar to how he used perennial all-star Kevin Garnett.

Granted, Rasheed will still be the second or third option on most plays behind the guards, but I expect him to add at least a point or two on last year's career-low 14.5 ppg.

Rasheed a changed man, with something to prove [MLive.com]