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Blakely: Rasheed refused to join huddle

Rasheed Wallace finally spoke to the press today, though he didn't get into details about why he left the arena so quickly after Saturday's loss. From A. Sherrod Blakely of Booth Newspapers:

"Just a lot of different (bleep)," he said. "I'm not going to mention none, just a lot of different (bleep)."

He wouldn't get into the specifics, but there were a couple of things that clearly bothered him.

Wallace was noticeably upset with Chauncey Billups taking a contested 3-pointer with 32.9 seconds to play and Detroit down, 88-85, at the time. He didn't like the ease at which Paul Pierce got into the lane either, which forced Detroit's big men to collapse on Pierce and left Glen Davis open for easy lay-ups. There were also possessions in which Wallace had a sizable advantage on the player guarding him, but the ball didn't swing his way.

Now this is the weird part, and I'm confused why it took days for this to come out:

Wallace, too, made some questionable decisions, like when he elected to not join his teammates in a huddle in front of the bench with 1:25 to play and Detroit down 85-83 at the time. He's done this plenty of times before, so it wasn't all that unusual.

But his refusal on this occasion, even after assistant coach Dave Cowens went to the scorer's table trying to convince him, seemed to bother his teammates more than it has in the past.

So Rasheed was upset at his teammates, and his teammates were bothered at his reaction. And somewhere, off in the distance, Chris Sheridan is vindicated.

Time to get worried? Blakely doesn't think so, suggesting a touch of turmoil will help the team from getting too comfortable. I pretty much agree, although primarily because this seems to be a minor beef between teammates and not Sheed souring on the coaching staff, and the overall chemistry on this team is too good for one game to have a lasting effect. (And besides, I'm guessing even Billups would admit now it was a dumb shot.) Plus, the coaching staff had Wallace's back after the game, pointing out that a breakdown in the perimeter defense was responsible for Paul Pierce being able to penetrate and find Glen Davis over and over.

Also, credit Wallace for doing absolutely nothing to draw attention to his frustration. Not joining the huddle was immature, yes, but it's not like he's been pointing fingers since. Every explanation we've heard has been Saunders and beat reporters speculating. Whether they've hit the nail on the head is irrelevant. Whatever issue Wallace has (or more likely, had), he's not made it worse by airing it out in the media.

And just for context, the Pistons are hardly the only team in the league to hit a few bumps in the road even when things seem to be going great. Things like this happen over a long season, it doesn't mean it's always a big deal.